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An Educational Model for Music Therapy: the Case for a Continuum

By James Robertson


This paper proposes that an educational dimension to music therapy in both training and practice should be considered. The rationale of recent and forthcoming curricular developments in music teaching would seem to imply that the perceived boundaries between music education and music therapy are becoming less distinct. It is thus likely that the two professions begin to be curious, at least, about such close proximity. Yet the therapeutic potential of music is not exclusive to the profession after which it is named. Furthermore, it would appear that the responsibilities of the music teacher in the present educational climate require a more inclusive (and therapeutic) approach as pupils with special needs, increasingly, are integrated into the mainstream sector. It is probable, therefore, that the teacher, rather than the therapists, will be inclined to meet these needs. While the boundaries between the professions necessarily prevail, a re-alignment (by means of a continuum) might be appropriate. This paper represents the personal views of the author as to how such an adjustment could be made and certain parallels are drawn with the profession of art therapy. The outline of a case is then presented for the consideration of educational music therapy. This would enable teachers of music to follow a modular programme of study which, while confined to the special education needs sector, could provide an alternative route to a music therapy qualification

Publisher: British Society for Music Therapy
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