Whose "Power of Music"? Questioning and Problematizing aspects of Language and Power in Music Therapy Practice within Mainstream Primary Schools in the UK
Keywords:mainstream education, language, power, music therapy
Music therapists have long worked in specialist and mainstream school settings and their practice, therefore, has been influenced by discourse used in both education and therapy. Parts of the discourse from both fields tends to pathologize children and focus on individual problems and treatment. In the same space, critical frameworks seek to challenge this by advocating for language and practice that is inclusive and context sensitive. By focusing on the complex nature of a mainstream setting, this article will highlight how music therapy practice might serve to strengthen or challenge deficit-based discourse around children within their school environments. I propose that, within school communities, there is much to be learned from paying closer attention to people's voices and expertise regarding their own practices and knowledge of both music and health. By illustrating day-to-day school life, I reflect on how particular approaches, choices of language and practice might impact how music is experienced and how this relates to health and wellbeing.
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