An Emerging Theoretical Model of Music Therapy Student Development

Abbey L. Dvorak, Eugenia Hernandez-Ruiz, Sekyung Jang, Borin Kim, Megan Joseph, Kori E. Wells

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

3 Scopus citations

Abstract

Background: Music therapy students negotiate a complex relationship with music and its use in clinical work throughout their education and training. This distinct, pervasive, and evolving relationship suggests a developmental process unique to music therapy. Objective: The purpose of this grounded theory study was to create a theoretical model of music therapy students' developmental process, beginning with a study within one large Midwestern university. Methods: Participants (N = 15) were music therapy students who completed one 60-minute intensive interview, followed by a 20-minute member check meeting. Recorded interviews were transcribed, analyzed, and coded using open and axial coding. Results: The theoretical model that emerged was a six-step sequential developmental progression that included the following themes: (a) Personal Connection, (b) Turning Point, (c) Adjusting Relationship with Music, (d) Growth and Development, (e) Evolution, and (f) Empowerment. The first three steps are linear; development continues in a cyclical process among the last three steps. As the cycle continues, music therapy students continue to grow and develop their skills, leading to increased empowerment, and more specifically, increased self-efficacy and competence. Conclusions: Further exploration of the model is needed to inform educators' and other key stakeholders' understanding of student needs and concerns as they progress through music therapy degree programs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)196-227
Number of pages32
JournalJournal of Music Therapy
Volume54
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 1 2017
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Music therapy
  • education and training
  • grounded theory
  • qualitative research

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Complementary and Manual Therapy
  • Music

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