In Visible Hands: The Matter and Making of Music Therapy

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Abstract

This study explores the topics of matter and making in music therapy through embodied reflexive retrospection with six music therapists. The participants were asked to re-enact a hand position from their memory of a significant moment in therapy. In individual research meetings, they shared their thoughts about this moment while the researcher made a body cast of their chosen hand pose. A thematic analysis of the participant narratives, the hand casts, and existing literature was used to generate the following themes: The biographic hand, The body, space, place, and time, The plural hand, Matter of the hand, and The method in hand. The research procedure facilitated an exploration of epistemological, ontological, and phenomenological perspectives in understanding music therapy practitioner experiences. The study highlights the inseparability and multiplicity of matter, making, and narrating music therapy that transcends context or therapeutic approach.

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