Implementation of Music Therapy at a Norwegian Children’s Hospital: A Focused Ethnographic Study


  • Fredrik Berntsen Due
  • Claire M. Ghetti GAMUT, Grieg Academy – Dept. of music, University of Bergen



music therapy, implementation, focused ethnography, organizational theory


The profession of music therapy is experiencing a period of expansion in Norway, with the establishment of new positions occurring in a variety of health contexts. One area that is poised for continued growth is music therapy within medical contexts, and in paediatric hospitals, in particular. There are various ways in which new music therapy positions are developed within paediatric hospitals, and studying these implementation processes can provide valuable insight. In this study, we use a focused ethnographic approach to explore how different members of the interdisciplinary team experience the implementation of music therapy in a children’s hospital, including the present and the former music therapist. We consider how the music therapist has positioned herself within the established hierarchy, what leadership and other healthcare personnel have done for/against this new profession, and which elements have helped or hindered the process of implementation. Data collection and analysis consisted of reflecting upon and analysing: 1) the first author’s participation in music therapy praxis on a paediatric medical unit, 2) fieldnotes from field observations within the children's hospital, and 3) semi-structured interviews with interdisciplinary staff. Main findings suggest that given support from leadership and a consultative/advisory workgroup, it was rather straightforward to start up a music therapy practice within this particular children's hospital, but it was more complicated to formally and informally fully integrate music therapy in the interdisciplinary team.

Author Biographies

Fredrik Berntsen Due

Fredrik Berntsen Due, finished spring 2017 a five-year integrated master’s degree in music therapy at the Grieg Academy, University of Bergen, Norway. He is currently employed as a music pedagogue at a music-based kindergarten (Bergen, Norway), where he works with a group of three- and four-year-old children. Fredrik completed two additional praxis periods working with children during his five-year music therapy training.

Claire M. Ghetti, GAMUT, Grieg Academy – Dept. of music, University of Bergen

Claire M. Ghetti, Ph.D., LCAT, MT-BC, CCLS is Associate Professor of Music Therapy at the Grieg Academy, University of Bergen, Norway, and a researcher with the Grieg Academy Music Therapy Research Centre. She has extensive clinical experience with children and adults in intensive and long-term care medical settings, and has conducted research and theoretical work in the area of music therapy as procedural support, music therapy with emotional-approach coping to improve peri-procedural outcomes, and dual certification of music therapists / child life specialists. She has authored and co-authored book chapters on music therapy in pediatric intensive care and for children at risk for traumatization due to hospitalization.



How to Cite

Due, F. B., & Ghetti, C. M. (2018). Implementation of Music Therapy at a Norwegian Children’s Hospital: A Focused Ethnographic Study. Voices: A World Forum for Music Therapy, 18(2).