Creating New Music Therapy Programs In Medical Settings: A Phenomenological Inquiry

ASU Author/Contributor (non-ASU co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Kathryn Esposito (Creator)
Appalachian State University (ASU )
Web Site:
Cathy McKinney

Abstract: This phenomenological study explored the process of starting a medical music therapy program at facilities that did not previously have one. The unique experiences of five music therapists who started new medical music therapy programs were explored using thematic analysis of transcripts of semi-structured interviews. Results indicated that participants had difficulties breaking into established systems, occasionally experienced tension with other co-workers and volunteers, and sometimes felt isolated during the process. Despite challenges, experiences were generally positive due to the passion for the work which enabled them to persistently advocate, network, innovate, and engage in self-care necessary to fuel the ongoing work required of the process. Many other factors helped during the process such as personality traits of the music therapists, the support of other music therapists and professionals from other disciplines, and shifting perspective. A need for business education emerged in the results, which remains a topic of exploration for music therapy educators, possibly addressable through incorporating workshops, electives, or continuing education. Future research could include survey research which would provide a larger and more sample size as well as more insight for how the experience of starting a medical music therapy program could be affected by varying demographics.

Additional Information

Esposito, K. (2019). Creating New Music Therapy Programs In Medical Settings: A Phenomenological Inquiry. Unpublished Master’s Thesis. Appalachian State University, Boone, NC.
Language: English
Date: 2019
Medical music therapy, new music therapy programs, creating music therapy programs, music therapy entrepreneurship, healthcare settings

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