Author

Hyun Jin Hong

Date of Award

5-2013

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science in Music Therapy

Department

Music Therapy

First Advisor

Claire Ghetti

Abstract

The purpose of this phenomenological inquiry was to explore spiritual dimensions of Creative Music Therapy, also known as Nordoff-Robbins Music Therapy (NRMT). NRMT uses improvisational music therapy with children and adults with mental, emotional, and physical disabilities to encourage deeper and more extensive realization of therapeutic goals. This study examined music therapists’ spiritual experiences by illuminating their personal experiences in the NRMT setting. Research questions and sub-questions included: How do NRMTs define spirituality? How do they experience spirituality in music therapy? Why do they regard the experience as spiritual? How are those experiences reflected in music? How do they view the relationship between Nordoff-Robbins music therapy and spirituality? Data was collected through interviews with five Nordoff-Robbins music therapists who live in or around the New York City area and who have greater than five years of experience in Nordoff-Robbins music therapy. The results showed that there are spiritual aspects in Nordoff-Robbins music therapy. The study revealed the importance of the therapist’s role in helping clients achieve spiritual experiences. The study may benefit the field of music therapy by increasing awareness of spirituality in this particular approach, and it may also help music therapy students who want to study the Nordoff-Robbins approach, providing guidance for a deeper understanding of the model.

Related Pillar(s)

Study

Included in

Music Therapy Commons

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