• Julian Raagaard Svenstrup
  • Ulrik Bjørnholdt Løhde
4. term, Music Therapy, Master (Master Programme)
Aim: People who suffer from a mood disorder often have difficulties when it comes to verbal expression (Hannibal, 2012). Theory describes how it is possible to work with emotions in music therapy (Wheeler, 2010) and that within the treatment of depression it is possible to project emotions into the music, whilst finding a space for emotional expression (Erkkilä, 2011a). Psychotherapeutic theory suggests that it is possible to modulate emotions with emotions (Greenberg, 2012) and thereby transforming an emotional state. Furthermore we have included theory describing how music can contain emotions (Sloboda & Juslin, 2012) and how music therapists have the ability to decode the emotional expressions in music (Bodner & Gilboa, 2006). With that knowledge in mind we wonder how emotional expressions can be facilitated through music therapeutic improvisation, and what strengths and challenges that entails, when the form of expression is mainly nonverbal? This masters thesis aims to investigate, explore and understand emotional expression and what we define as emotional work through an improvisational approach in music therapy, with 2 patients with depressive symptoms.
Method and design: This research has been conducted as a multiple case study with a qualitative design and finds itself within the exploratory research tradition. This master thesis empirical basis consists of both audio and video recordings. The approach is inductive and therefore the data is the basis of the theoretical orientation. The results are found using A phenomenologically inspired approach to microanalysis in music therapy by Trondalen (2007), which furthermore draws from the hermeneutic tradition and includes an interpretation of data. The results obtained through this analysis are ideographic and context dependent.
Results and conclusion: The results of the research, combined with the underlying theoretical basis, indicates that improvisation in music therapy can help the clients in this study to explore and express emotion, and furthermore modulate emotional expression, through different improvisational techniques. The improvisational techniques (Bruscia, 1987) used in the improvisations which are the focus of this master thesis, are predominantly from the main categories Techniques of empathy and Techniques of emotional exploration.
Publication date31 May 2023
Number of pages77
ID: 532301360