• Hanna Bjøvad Hjortland
4. term, Music Therapy, Master (Master Programme)
Aim: This thesis is a qualitative single-case study seeking to uncover the responses of an intellectually disabled man, who is showing signs of echolalia, in the music therapy setting. More specifically, the thesis seeks to explore the essence of the man’s responses, and the impact of intertwining his words into melody. Finally, the thesis’s aim is to describe the relationship in the music therapy setting, in a way that the reader can make his/her/their own assumptions.
Background: This thesis is based on my internship during my 9th semester at Aalborg University. My internship took place in an institution for people with various intellectual disabilities, located in Northern Jutland, Denmark. My client showed signs of echolalia, where I, the therapist, included his words into improvised songs. After finishing the internship, I was curious about how I could explain our communication, and to what extent the music influenced our relationship.
Method: In the pursuit of answering my research question, I based this thesis on the transcendental phenomenological approach with an ethnographical descriptive micro analysis method implemented. The data used, consisted of three videoclips extracted from the music therapy sessions, transcribed narratively, musically and through ELAN 6.2. A thematic analysis was executed, based on the three types of transcriptions.
Results: The findings of this inquiry, shows both verbal and nonverbal responses used in the music therapy setting. Many of the responses seemed to be repetitive behavior, showing a feeling of wellbeing. Furthermore, it uncovers a joyful and safe relationship, through creating songs where the therapist decides the melody, and the client decides the words sung. Lastly, this thesis discusses ableism and functional communication, through comparing my findings with other inquires on echolalia.
Keywords: echolalia, improvisational music therapy, intellectually disabled adult
Publication date17 Jun 2022
Number of pages79
ID: 471690592