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The inclusion of the family members as primary carers in music therapy sessions with children in a special education centre; How does this help the child and the carer?

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posted on 2023-08-30, 14:07 authored by Pornpan Kaenampornpan
This qualitative study aims to explore the parents’ or other family members’ experiences in participating in music therapy sessions with their children with special needs. This aim leads to three research questions which were; 1) Can music therapy help to achieve aims set out for individual children with special needs and their parents or other family members 2) What are the functions of music therapy in nurturing communication between the parents or other family members and their children? and 3) How can the music therapist develop ways in which parents or other family members can use music to help their children? Six children who are attending the Special Education Centre, region 9 in Thailand, aged four to twelve years old with their family members who are their primary carers, participated in 24 music therapy sessions. Each session was videoed and the video recordings were discussed every two weeks with the carers. The carers were interviewed three times by the research assistants. Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis was employ to evaluate data collected from interviews. Furthermore, there were two home visits, one after a month when the 24th session was finished and another visit was two months after the 24th session was finished. From the interview analysis, there are 28 themes under five categories namely: 1) The carers’ expectations of the music therapy 2) The carers’ experience of seeing their children in the music therapy sessions 3) The carers’ experiences of seeing themselves in the sessions 4) The carers’ experiences of reviewing the video recordings from the music therapy sessions and 5) The carers’ experiences of using music at home. It can be summarised that music therapy made a positive impact on the children and their carers. The finding highlighted how the music therapy enhanced the social and communication skills of the children. Moreover, involving the carers in the sessions enabled the carers to have positive experiences with their children and these experiences led the carers to see and interact with their children differently. The findings suggest the ways to work with the carers in a therapeutic process and how to encourage the carers to use music at home with their children



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