Educational Research & Development

(ISSN: 2360-9494)

July 2014, Vol.2 (4).

© Author(s) 2014. This work is distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.

Research Article


Music Therapy as an Intermodal Practice: Clients and Therapists Perspectives - A Qualitative Study

Dr. Daniel Hyams, PhD

Fermata Inc.
Hamilton, Ontario,

Accepted 23 June, 2014; Available Online 9 July, 2014.


This qualitative study used a phenomenological approach to investigate the lived experiences of clients and music therapists working with an integrated arts approach in music therapy. Seventeen client participants (aged 11-19 years old) underwent five consecutive therapy sessions with one of three qualified music therapists. The guiding questions pertained to the participants' experience of having various arts materials in addition to the standard musical instruments available during the music therapy sessions. The results showed a positive response from the clients' perspectives, and a negative response from the therapists. The clients unanimously preferred having choice in the sessions. The therapists, however, noted that once the clients chose their preferred arts modality, they remained loyal to this mode and did not deviate from using it. When the client utilized music in the session, the music therapists felt confident. When the client chose a non-music modality, the music therapists felt insecure about their professional abilities and competencies. The study results underscored a need for further dialogue within the expressive therapies around the integrative approach, and specific integrated arts training. The study also raised ethical and professional questions regarding a singular arts therapist using other arts modalities without formal training and or qualification.

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