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How gamelan music has influenced me as a music therapist – a personal account
journal contributionposted on 2023-07-26, 12:36 authored by Helen Loth
This essay discusses how the playing of Indonesian gamelan music has influenced my work as a music therapist. Having played gamelan music for 23 years it is part of my musical identity. I reflect on what drew me to the gamelan and the relevance this has to its use in music therapy practice. I feel that the unique ways in which the group plays together in this music have influenced how I work musically in my clinical group-work. These features include the lack of a conductor and consequent emphasis on listening and responding to aural cues, group communication, the culture of inclusion and the lack of hierarchy. I also discuss how I have used gamelan in the training of music therapy students and consider some directions for future research.
Publication titleVoices: A World Forum for Music Therapy
PublisherBergen Open Access Publishing