• Agnes Kolar-Borsky
4. term, Music Therapy, Master (Master Programme)
This master thesis is a qualitative study about the use of one particular improvisation method in pediatric music therapy: the “situation song”. The term situation song comes from the German word “Situationslied”. This describes an improvised song, which is sung by the therapist or/and the child and which relates to the actual occurrence and the therapeutic relationship. In my thesis I surveyed the therapeutic intentions to use such songs. I further investigated if music therapists find situation songs helpful to handle situations within the therapeutic setting, which are difficult for them.
The investigation took part on three different levels: First, I elaborated on my own use of situation songs in my work as a music therapist, at a school for children with special educational needs. Second, I studied relevant literature in English and German. On the bases of hermeneutic text interpretation, I extracted any data about the therapist’s intentions to sing situation songs. I coded these data and summarized these in categories of primary aspects, following the coding strategies from grounded theory. In a third step, I designed a semi-structured interview guide and interviewed music therapists, who use situation songs with children. This was done on the basis of my pre-understandings and the literature study. I interviewed three music therapists from three different countries: Hilde Skrudland (Denmark), Örbrún Guđmundsdóttir (Austria) and Ingrid Erhardt (Germany). All three interviews were done in English and transcribed. I analyzed the data using the same strategies as for the literature – looking at the text in a hermeneutic way and using coding strategies from the grounded theory approach. I used the software program AtlasTi to do so. Each set of findings led to further elaborations on my own intentions to use situation songs. This helped to deepen my understanding about the subject-matter.
The findings of my thesis show that situation songs are used by some pediatric music therapists, especially with children at an early developmental age. The many different intentions behind the use of situation songs can be summarized as such: (1) to create a therapeutic space; (2) to support the therapeutic relationship; to enhance experience and development in the fields of (3) emotion, (4) behavior, (5) expression and (6) social skills; (7) to transport messages in language and (8) to give structure to the child. The overall aim behind the use of situation songs is to offer essential experiences to the child in order to support his or her development.
In this study I focused on the use of one specific clinical method and thereby learned about general therapeutic attitudes, aims and priorities of other pediatric music therapists.
LanguageEnglish
Publication date27 May 2013
Number of pages67
ID: 76796011