Jane Gosine, Deborah Hawksley, Susan LeMessurier Quinn

Community Building Through Inclusive Music-Making

Jane Gosine, Deborah Hawksley, Susan LeMessurier Quinn


The objective of this project was to expand the boundaries of regular music therapy sessions at a non-profit organization to include performances and workshops with community musicians. The goals and practices used for persons with physical disabilities prepared participants to benefit from inclusive music-making with local community musicians who had no previous music therapy experience, but whose performing styles were closely aligned with the musical preferences of our participants. The four collaborative workshops, which were held over six months, involved music therapy participants, accredited music therapists, local musicians, and volunteers engaging in music making together where teaching and learning was shared amongst all involved. The workshops were also an important mechanism for raising greater awareness of the needs and abilities of the music therapy participants.


Community; music therapy; song writing; improvisation; community music therapy, performance

Full Text:



Ansdell, G. (2002). Community music therapy and the winds of change. Voices: A World Forum for Music Therapy, 2(2), https://dx.doi.org/10.15845/voices.v2i2.83.

Ansdell, G. (2005). Being who you aren’t; Doing what you can’t. Voices: A World Forum for Music Therapy, 5(3), https://dx.doi.org/10.15845/voices.v5i3.229.

Ansdell, G. (2010). Where performing helps: Processes and affordances of performance in community music therapy. In B. Stige, G. Ansdell, C. Elefant, & M. Pavlicevic (Eds.), Where music helps: Community music therapy in action and reflection (pp. 161-186). Farnham: Ashgate.

Ansdell, G. (2014). How music helps. Farnham: Ashgate.

Bakan, M. (2014). Ethnomusicological perspectives on autism, neurodiversity and music therapy. Voices: A World Forum for Music Therapy, 14(3), https://dx.doi.org/10.15845/voices.v14i3.799.

Bartlett, S. (2012, November 29). Striking the right chord: Engineering students’ design enables girl with cerebral palsy to play guitar. The Telegram. Retrieved from http://www.mun.ca/engineering/Telegram_Striking_the_right_chord.pdf

Bonde, L. O. (2011). Health musicing – Music therapy or music and health? A model, empirical examples and personal reflections. Music and Arts in Action, 3(2), 120-140.

Bradbury T. (2015, December 10). McCann moves to mainland. The Telegram. Retrieved from http://www.thetelegram.com/living/2015/12/10/mccann-moves-to-mainland-4371970.html

Bruscia, K. (1998). Defining music therapy. Gilsum, NH: Barcelona Publishers.

CBC Radio Interview, (2015, December 16). Easter Seals performers steal the show, says Sean McCann. Retrieved from http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/newfoundland-labrador/sean-mccann-easter-seals-1.3367589

Convention on the rights of persons with disabilities and optional protocol. Retrieved from http://www.un.org/disabilities/documents/convention/convoptprot-e.pdf

Cook, N. (1998). Music: A very short introduction. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Csikszentmihalyi, M. (2008). Flow: The psychology of optimal experience. New York, NY: Harper Collins.

Curtis, S., & Mercado, C. (2004). Community music therapy for citizens with developmental disabilities. Voices: A World Forum for Music Therapy, 4(3), https://dx.doi.org/10.15845/voices.v4i3.185.

Employment and Social Development Canada: Indicators of Well-being in Canada – Social Participation – Social Belonging. (2015)

Ruud, E. (1998). Music therapy: Improvisation, communication and culture. Gilsum, NH: Barcelona Publishers.

Ruud, E. (2008). Music in therapy: Increasing possibilities for action. Music and Arts in Action, 1(1), 47-60.

Small, C. (1998). Musicking. Middletown, CT: Wesleyan University Press.

Solli, H. P. (2015). Battling illness with wellness: A qualitative case study of a young rapper’s experiences with music therapy. Nordic Journal of Music Therapy, 24(3), 204-231, https://dx.doi.org/10.1080/08098131.2014.907334.

Stige, B. (2002). Culture-centred music therapy. Gilsum, NH: Barcelona Publishers.

Stige, B., & Aarø, L. (2012). Invitation to community music therapy. New York, NY: Routledge.

Tetra offers real life lessons to engineering students. (2013). Gizmo: The Tetra Society of North America: Custom Assistive Devices. Retrived from http://www.tetrasociety.org/documents/Gizmo-spring-13.pdf

United Nations (1948) Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Retrieved from http://www.un.org/en/documents/udhr/

United Nations (1993). Standard Rules on the Equalization of Opportunities for Persons with Disabilities. Retrieved from http://www.un.org/esa/socdev/enable/dissre00.htm

Wood, S., Verney, R., & Atkinson, J. (2004). From therapy to community: Making music in neurological rehabilitation. In M. Pavlicevic & G. Ansdell (Eds.), Community music therapy (pp. 48-62). London: Jessica Kingsley Publishers.

Zanini, C. R. de O., & Leao, E. (2006). Therapeutic Choir – A music therapist looks at the new millenium elderly. Voices: A World Forum for Music Therapy, 6(2), https://dx.doi.org/doi:10.15845/voices.v6i2.249.

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.15845/voices.v17i1.893


  • There are currently no refbacks.

Voices: A World Forum for Music Therapy (ISSN 1504-1611)