Rap in Music Therapy with Appalachian Youth with Adverse Childhood Experiences


music therapy
Hip Hop
cultural appropriation
Adverse Childhood Experiences

How to Cite

Fletcher, J. (2018). Rap in Music Therapy with Appalachian Youth with Adverse Childhood Experiences. Voices: A World Forum for Music Therapy, 18(4). https://doi.org/10.15845/voices.v18i4.2591


Children and adolescents in Appalachia are often exposed to Adverse Childhood Experiences and may have higher levels of depression, anxiety, and aggression than youth in other areas of the United States. The unique challenges of working with youth in Appalachia and the unexpected prevalence of rap as a preferred genre are summarized in this article. Rap is a frequently requested genre with youth in Appalachian Ohio and the youth in the area frequently identify with common themes in rap such as social criticism, social empowerment, humanistic values, and negative behavior criticism. Despite success with these methods within music therapy sessions, this Caucasian music therapist has experienced internal conflict due to the potential for cultural appropriation by using rap music in music therapy with clients who are not indigenous to Hip Hop Kulture. Discussion of the implications of therapeutic application, this therapist’s self-reflections and supervision process, potential for appropriation, and personal outcomes are included.


Articles published prior to 2019 are subject to the following license, see: https://voices.no/index.php/voices/copyright

Authors retain copyright and grant the journal right of first publication with the work simultaneously licensed under the  Creative Commons Attribution License CC-BY 4.0 that allows others to share the work with an acknowledgement of the work's authorship and initial publication in this journal.

Authors are able to enter into separate, additional contractual arrangements for the non-exclusive distribution of the journal's published version of the work (e.g., post it to an institutional repository or publish it in a book), with an acknowledgement of its initial publication in this journal.

Authors are permitted and encouraged to post their work online (e.g., in institutional repositories or on their website) prior to and during the submission process, as it can lead to productive exchanges, as well as earlier and greater citation of published work.


Bergen Open Access Publishing