Perspectives on Queer Music Therapy: A Qualitative Analysis of Music Therapists’ Reactions to Radically Inclusive Practice

Perspectives on Queer Music Therapy: A Qualitative Analysis of Music Therapists’ Reactions to Radically Inclusive Practice

ABSTRACT: From the article:

The queer music therapy model was designed by Bain, Grzanka, and Crowe in 2016 as a novel therapeutic approach to affirm and empower LGBTQ+ identity through music. No data have been generated on how this model might actually be implemented, or the strengths and limitations of the model according to music therapy professionals. The purpose of this study was to build on Bain and colleagues’ work by collecting music therapists’ perspectives on queer music therapy and using these data to critically evaluate the model. Semi-structured qualitative interviews were conducted with twelve music therapists who identify as LGBTQ+ or have experience working with LGBTQ+ clients. Participants were prompted to discuss their music therapy backgrounds, experiences with LGBTQ+ clients, and reactions to the queer music therapy model. Interviews were analyzed using a critical discourse analysis approach.

The qualitative findings revealed major strengths of the queer music therapy model and ways in which it could be improved by attending to: (a) the structural limitations of the music therapy discipline, including the demographic composition of the field and lack of critical perspectives in music therapy training; and (b) intersectional considerations of ageism and ableism within diverse LGBTQ+ populations. Queer music therapy has positive implications for future work with LGBTQ+ individuals, but it must more substantively integrate intersectionality theory to serve a diverse range of LGBTQ+ clients. Further, it must critically attend to the structural limitations of the music therapy discipline itself.

REVIEWER: Peter Gerlings

AUTHOR SUMMARY: Catherine E Boggan, Patrick R Grzanka, Candice L Bain, BM

READ MORE: https://academic.oup.com/jmt/article-abstract/54/4/375/4807381