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Where Educaton and Therapy Overlap

Music as basic human activity

 

The question whether the Consonate Method belongs to music education, music therapy or special music education is difficult to answer. First of all I could reply that apart from theoretical debates we do music for our on sake. The method was established to bridge the gap between skills and desires. Naturally, it can be used with educational, therapeutic purpose as well as it can be seen from the brief summary about special music education.

 

Music is an inseparable part of a human being

Music is originally a social activity, a natural consequence of the everyday life. In ancient times music-making was not a question of aesthetics; as part of the community all members of the society could and should have participated regardless of their musical ability. The musical performance was not judged by the audience; what is more, the performers were their own audience at the same time. Ansdell (2004) shed light on the fact that in the eighteen century music started to be taken away from everyday life and cultivated in concert halls. Sárosi (1986) pointed out that before the invention of recording music, the only way of listening to it was live performance. The human experience of music changed radically due to technical development: it has somehow made it unusual to hear someone start singing. Nowadays the situation is even worse than in 1986, some young people almost always keep their earphones in their ears, and listen to their own music during activities which used to be occasions to sing. Although many books and studies underline the positive effects of musicing on the whole personality, musical activities like singing, playing musical instruments or improvising are not so evident and natural in modern society.

Kodály, who “advocated teaching a love for music supported by knowledge about music” (Kite, 1990) was convinced that general music education from early childhood is a way to restore our broken relationship with music. This is the aim of the Consonante Method as well but the challanges we faced were physical and intellectual limitations.

 

Common Goals of Music Therapy and Special Education

Music therapy and music education naturally overlap in the field of special musical education (Mitchell, 2007; Boxill, 1995). Stephenson (2007) highlights the work of Daveson &Edwars (1998) that „many of the general goals of music therapists are broadly congruent with the goals of special education”. John Pelliteri (2000) shed light on the fact that similarly to the special education „music therapy crosses multiple modalities and thus can simultaneously address several needs”. The comprehensive educational, rehabilitative, and developmental goals of music therapy respond to a variety of needs on psychological, physical, cognitive socio-emotional and other transdisciplinary areas. (Varvasovszkyné-Velsz, 1998; Daveson & Edwards 1998; Stephenson 2007; Ockelford & Markou, 2012). Different professions put emphasis on the acquisition of different musical skills or the development of a wide range of non-musical abilities. In order to benefit the most from using music both teachers and therapists must be conscious of the widespread therapeutic effects of music, in perceptual and sensory skills, fine and gross movement, verbal and nonverbal communication, socialization, attention, emotions, cognitive and learning abilities (McFerran & Rickson 2007, Rickson, 2014).

As Wigram (1998) mentions interaction is one of the primary functions of music therapy, especially for mentally challenged people. In addition to involve them into a meaningful preverbal or nonverbal communication music is widely used for expressing their feelings and emotions, decreasing challenging behavior as aggression, auto-aggression, change negative feelings, increasing self-esteem, preventing or alleviating secondary handicaps (Daveson & Edwards 1998, Oldfield, 1999, Pellitteri 2000, Stokes & Sianson, 1992, Warner, 2007). Music creates a predictable structure for the participants promoting their emotional security. (Kern & Humpal, 2012.) The group-therapy helps them to experience being an effective member of the community: being accepted, respected, by sharing feelings, emotions trough music (Watson, 2007). Furthermore, common shared music helps to decrease their isolation, increases their social skills by trying and practicing different roles in the community as soloist, listener, leader, and supporter (Davies & Richard, 2002, Watson 2007). Vibroacustic or other complex sensory stimulations are also common used goals of special education and music therapy, especially for clients living with severe disabilities (Hooper & Lindsay 2004, Berger, 2002). Speech-therapy and music therapy also have a lot of common fields: breath and voice control, as well helping verbal communication with melodic support or facilitate speech with rhythm exercises (Baker, 2000. Cohen, 1994.). Different authors accentuate that music therapy is one of the most effective and comprehensive tool for children with autism spectrum disorders. (Kim et als, 2009. Wigram & Elefant, 2006, Watson, 2007.)

The Community Music Therapy Approach accentuates the importance of musical performance in social inclusion. Public performances of different minority groups increase the social status of the performers, facilitate social actions, promote social recognition and empowerment (Brynjulf 2012, Jampell 2011, Ruud 2008).

 

References:

Ansdell, G. (2004). Rethinking music and community theoretical perspectives in support of community music therapy. In Pavlicevic, M Ansdell, G (Eds.), Community music therapy (pp. 65-90). Philadelphia: Jessica Kingsley Publishers.

Baker, F. (2000). Modifying melodic intonation therapy programs for adults with severe non-fluent aphasia. Music Therapy Perspective, 2, 107-111.

Berger, D.S. (2002). Music Therapy, Sensory Integration and the Autistic Child. London: Jessica Kingsley Publishers

Boxill, E. H. (1995). Music therapy for the developmentally disabled. Austin, TX: Pro-Ed.

Brynjulf, S (2012): Health Musicing: A Perspective on Music and Health as Action and Performance. Music, Health and Wellbeing (pp183-196.). New York: Oxford University press.

Cohen, N. (1994). Speech and song: Implications for therapy. Music Therapy Perspectives, 12(1), 8-14.

Daveson, B. & Edwards, J. (1998): A Role for Music Therapy in Special Education, International Journal of Disability, Development and Education. 45 (4), 449-457

Hooper, J. & Lindsay, B. (1997) The use of the Somatron in the treatment of anxiety problems with clients who have learning disabilities. (1997). In T. Wigram & C. Dileo (Eds.), Music vibration and health. Cherry Hill, NJ: Jeffrey Books,; pp. 169-176.

Jampel, P.F. (2011) Performance in Music Therapy: Experiences in Five Dimensions.Voices: A World Forum for Music Therapy, Vol 11, No 1

Kern, P. & Humpal, M. (2012.) Early Childhood Music Therapy and Autism Spectrum Disorders. Developing Potential in Young Children and their Families. Philadelphia and London: Jessica Kingsley Publishers.

McFerran, K., & Rickson, D. (2007). Music therapy in special education: Where are we now? Kairaranga: The New Zealand Journal of Education 8(1), 40-47.

Mitchell, E. L. (2007)  Therapeutic Music Education: An Emerging Model Linking Philosophies and Experiences of Music Education with Music Therapy. Doctoral Thesis. Wilfrid Laurier University, Faculty of Music, Music Therapy Department. http://web.wlu.ca/soundeffects/researchlibrary/ElizabethMitchell.pdf Retrived 2014.09.10.

Ockelford, A. &Markou, K. (2012): Music Educaton and Therapy for Children and Young People with Cognitive Impairments: Reporting on a Decade of Research. Music, Health and Wellbeing (pp.383-405). New York: Oxford University press.

Oldfield, A. (1999) 'Listening, the First Step towards Communicating through Music' in P. Milner and B. Carolin (eds) Time to listen to Children, Routledge, pp.188-199

Pellitteri, J. (2000). Music therapy in the special education setting. Journal of Educational and Psychological Consultation, 11, 379–391.

Rickson, D (2014) The Relevance of Disability Perspectives in Music Therapy Practice With Children and Young People Who Have Intellectual Disability Voices Vol. 14, No 3

Ruud, E. (2008). Music in therapy. Increasing possibilities for action. Music and Arts in Action,1(1), pp.46-60

Sárosi, B (1986): Folk music : Hungarian musical idiom. Corvina Kiadó Vállalat, Budapest

Stephenson, J (2007) Music Therapy and the Education of Students with Severe Disabilities. Education and Training in Developmental Disabilities 41(3), 290–299

Stokes, J. & Sinason, V. (1992). Secondary mental handicap as a defence. Waitman, A. Conboy-Hill, S. (eds) Psychotherapy and Mental Handicap. London: Sage.pp. 46-58.

Tiszai, L (2015)  Kodály Approach in the Crossroad of Education and Therapy Voices 2015 no2. https://voices.no/index.php/voices/article/view/804

Varvasovszkyné-Velsz, D. (1998) Zeneterápia és gyógypedagógia súlyosan és halmozottan sérültek intézményeiben. Debrecen. Private Press.

Warner, C. (2007.) Challenging behaviour : working with the blindingly obvious. In Watson, T. (ed). Music Therapy with Adults with Learning Disabilities. Hove: Routledge

Watson, T (2007) Working with people with profound and multiple learning disabilities in music therapy. Music Therapy with Adults with Learning Disabilities. Hove: Routledge.

Wigram, T. (1998.) Music Therapy- Developments in Mental Handicap. Psychology of Music, 16(1): 42-51.

Suggested citation

Tiszai, L. 2015, March 07. Consonante / Where Educaton and Therapy Overlap