Tim Brunson DCH

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Receptive music therapy with persons suffering from a physical handicap

Music therapy, as a part of arts therapies, is used as a therapeutical tool for restoring, maintaining and improving the mental, physical and emotional health of human beings. The main mission of receptive music therapy is not found on the performance level, but on the level of attentive and intimate music listening that is not passive at all, contributing to musical pleasure and to wellbeing. At first we introduce the basic vocabulary used in receptive music therapy, flow experience and the main dimensions (bio-psycho-social) influenced by stimulating music listening. We also present the aims of this psycho-pedagogical project: The focus lies on determining the sensitivity of physically handicapped persons to different music stimuli (music styles). In this case, we can talk of the degree of music reception. We worked in an institution for persons suffering from a physical handicap. The applied methodology is based on the psycho-musical survey by Verdeau-Paill├Ęs (1). This psychological record consists in a basic interview and a test of music listening performances leading to the construction of a summary graph and the final receptivity psychogram. An observational frame conceived by Schiltz (2) and adapted to the actual situation offers the possibility of making exact observations as to non-verbal and verbal variables during the therapeutical sessions. Thus, we can present the results of descriptive and non-parametric statistical procedures, but also the results of case studies. The statistical tests used were Wilcoxon's sign-rank test for a pre-post comparison of variables related to non-verbal and verbal behaviour (two different sessions of music therapy with similar contents) and Spearman's Rho which permitted us to compute the correlations between non-verbal expression and verbal communication (N=14). Finally we conclude that our patients considered their musical experience as very positive. The results of the personal interview and the psycho-musical survey brought about several interesting statistical findings on how receptive music therapy physically and psychologically influenced the patients.

Scholer M. Bull Soc Sci Med Grand Duche Luxemb. 2010;Spec No 1(1):193-203. Universit├Ąt Trier. scholermyriam@gmx.net

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