• Amanda Fog-Møller Haar
4. term, Music Therapy, Master (Master Programme)
Aim: This qualitative hermeneutic inquiry seeks to describe, categorize, define, and understand the music therapy practice of a music therapy intern, at a hematological cancer ward. The aim is to develop further understanding of the music therapy work, through perspectives from music therapy and nursing.

Background: The subject of this master thesis is the music therapy practice, that took place as part of an internship at a hematological cancer ward in Denmark. This area is undescribed within the Danish context of music therapy, and a flexible approach was undertaken in conducting music therapy in this setting. From the point of view of the music therapist and researcher, the hospitalized persons in cancer treatment seemed to be in a liminal space, a place in life where everything is uncertain. This was experienced as a rather unique position for therapeutic work.
An essential part of the internship was to convey the music therapy work to the nursing staff, which created a curiosity about interdisciplinary cooperation, and how this practice can be understood.

Method: Notes from the internship served as material to formulate a description of the music therapy practice. Through the process of selecting notes to represent different music therapy methods and four different spaces of practice, seven vignettes were created. Thus, the vignettes are a result of a phenomenological description that represents the music therapy practice in a following hermeneutic inquiry. The vignettes are coded through four theories from music therapy and nursing, that hold existential perspectives, and focus on needs. In the discussion of the findings from the analysis, perspectives from existential psychotherapy are included, as well as a questionnaire completed by nurses from the hematological ward.

Conclusion: The vignettes are a representation of the therapist’s experience, which is the starting point for all the findings. The music therapy practice can be defined as practice within the medical area, but also has resemblance with psychotherapeutic and environmental practices. The categorizations point toward possibilities for cooperation between music therapists and nurses, and some concepts highlight fundamentally human elements in the two disciplines, in working with vulnerable people in cancer treatment. In the questionnaire, the nurses describe the music therapy with the words; calmness, joy, break, and presence. The music therapy creates capacities through shared musical experiences, and the opportunity to express oneself in time. The music is an expression of both the therapists’ and clients’ identities and has a certain substantiality as it affects people and their way of acting. This gives the music therapist an ethical responsibility for the impact of the music.
There is a future wish to create a better understanding of how musical experiences can accommodate existential themes, and what significance this has in the context of music therapy.
Publication date12 Aug 2022
Number of pages80
ID: 474892916