Date of Award


Document Type


Selected Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License

Degree Name

Master of Science in Music Therapy


Music Therapy

First Advisor

Dr. Amanda MacRae

Second Advisor

Dr. Katherine Myers-Coffman


There is little research focused on uncovering bias in the music therapist. This study utilized autoethnography and was guided by a participatory action research (PAR) lens to explore a music therapist’s experience of and relation to internalized bias and interlocking systems of oppression, such as white supremacy, sexism and ableism. Autoethnography refers to a combination of autobiographical and ethnographic methods. PAR focuses on collective meaning making, redistributing harmful power dynamics, and societal change with a liberatory aim. While I (Nicole) was the primary participant and investigator in the research, Natalia was invited to the study as a co-investigator and participant. Natalia was asked to facilitate three music therapy sessions with myself as the client. We engaged in a reflexive process of collaboration with one another throughout the study. Data included recordings and transcripts of the music therapy sessions, our reflective writings, art, memories, and relevant literature. Data were analyzed through the continuous process of autoethnography. Findings are presented in narrative form, interwoven with writing from both Natalia and myself. This study may contribute to the growing body of research in the larger music therapy community regarding client experience, bias, and systems of oppression.

Related Pillar(s)


Included in

Music Therapy Commons