Skip to main content
Music Therapy Students' Experiences as the Client in Group Muisc Therapy
Music Therapy Perspectives
  • Nancy A Jackson, Indiana University - Purdue University Fort Wayne
  • Susan C Gardstrom, University of Dayton
Document Type
Publication Date
Inclusive pages
Peer Reviewed
This report highlights a collaborative, phenomenological study undertaken by 2 faculty researchers from different undergraduate music therapy training programs in the Midwest. A total of 9 junior and senior music therapy students from both programs (5 from one & 4 from another) were involved in short-term group music therapy, participating in three 2-hour sessions during the course of an academic semester. Sessions were facilitated by the researchers, both of whom were board certified music therapists. To ensure ethical treatment, each researcher led sessions with the students from the other university, with whom they had no dual relationships. Student participants were involved in several variations of the 4 music therapy methods of improvisation, recreation, composition, and listening (Bruscia, 1998b). After each session and in between sessions, participants reflected in writing on their experiences of self, others, and the therapeutic process in which they were involved. A final online survey was distributes at the end of the project to gather further input about the students' perceptions. A holistic description of the participants' experiences was derived using qualitative content analysis. Students indicated that they grew in areas such as self-awareness and indentified greater empathy as a key learning outcome. Specific results are presented herein.
  • music therapy,
  • students,
  • experience as the client,
  • qualitative,
  • phenomenology
Citation Information
Nancy A Jackson and Susan C Gardstrom. "Music Therapy Students' Experiences as the Client in Group Muisc Therapy" Music Therapy Perspectives Vol. 30 Iss. 2 (2012)
Available at: