Event Title

Grooves on the Mind: The Call for Music Therapy Practices Applicable to Communities of Color

Presenter Information

Khalid Taylor, Oberlin College

Location

Science Center A247

Start Date

10-28-2016 2:00 PM

End Date

10-28-2016 3:20 PM

Abstract

The purpose of this research is to examine the current structure and effects of music therapy, as it pertains to racial and ethnic demographics. Music therapy has been shown to be an effective form of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), significantly enhancing neurological, psychological, and social facets of human perception, emotion, and interaction. Its dynamic tools and interventions benefit both individuals and groups, because music offers a medium through which people with different lived experiences can find comfort in connection. While music can be transcendental and resonate with people across labels of identity, there are also less apparent therapeutic aspects of how music can and does serve different communities. The most effective strategies of music therapy currently function by individually assessing the needs of clients and applying clinically proven methods of treatment. Analysis of clinical and sociological literature, in combination with interviews of music therapists will allow for a greater understanding of disconnect between these practices and their prevalence within communities of color in the United States. However, preliminary research highlights a scarcity in the acknowledgement of race as a factor discussed in the process of assessing appropriate techniques to aid clients. Given that the field is biased towards Eurocentric approaches of treatment, the lack of intentional incorporation of multicultural approaches creates both inaccessibility and inefficacy of treatment for people of color (POC’s). Ultimately, this research will serve as a basis for modification and implementation of effective musical interventions to specifically address the manifestations of trauma amongst communities of color, as well as a platform to acknowledge the often-invisible, self-sustaining, and unrecognized “therapeutic practices” already prevalent within these communities.

Notes

Session I, Panel 2 - Media & Movements

Major

Neuroscience; Musical Studies

Award

Oberlin College Research Fellowship (OCRF)

Project Mentor(s)

Marcelo Vinces, Center for Learning, Education, and Research in the Sciences

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Oct 28th, 2:00 PM Oct 28th, 3:20 PM

Grooves on the Mind: The Call for Music Therapy Practices Applicable to Communities of Color

Science Center A247

The purpose of this research is to examine the current structure and effects of music therapy, as it pertains to racial and ethnic demographics. Music therapy has been shown to be an effective form of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), significantly enhancing neurological, psychological, and social facets of human perception, emotion, and interaction. Its dynamic tools and interventions benefit both individuals and groups, because music offers a medium through which people with different lived experiences can find comfort in connection. While music can be transcendental and resonate with people across labels of identity, there are also less apparent therapeutic aspects of how music can and does serve different communities. The most effective strategies of music therapy currently function by individually assessing the needs of clients and applying clinically proven methods of treatment. Analysis of clinical and sociological literature, in combination with interviews of music therapists will allow for a greater understanding of disconnect between these practices and their prevalence within communities of color in the United States. However, preliminary research highlights a scarcity in the acknowledgement of race as a factor discussed in the process of assessing appropriate techniques to aid clients. Given that the field is biased towards Eurocentric approaches of treatment, the lack of intentional incorporation of multicultural approaches creates both inaccessibility and inefficacy of treatment for people of color (POC’s). Ultimately, this research will serve as a basis for modification and implementation of effective musical interventions to specifically address the manifestations of trauma amongst communities of color, as well as a platform to acknowledge the often-invisible, self-sustaining, and unrecognized “therapeutic practices” already prevalent within these communities.