Does Disability Studies have Anything to Say to Music Therapy? And Would Music Therapy Listen if it Did?

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Abstract

In this article I enquire whether a worthwhile dialogue might be entered into between the disciplines of disability studies and music therapy. Considering disability studies alongside feminist theory, I ask whether insights from disability studies can be incorporated within music therapy education and practice. A comparative exploration of the roots and visions of both disciplines, along with a discussion of music therapy's struggle to establish an identity as a clinical profession, leads me to suggest that there are fundamental rifts which would make a constructive dialogue difficult. I draw on perspectives developed by disability studies theorists who have critiqued the development of disabling professions and discuss some examples of disability arts practice to highlight the philosophical differences dividing these two projects. I conclude by suggesting that music therapy realigns itself as a profession allied to the community rather than as a profession allied to medicine.
Original languageEnglish
JournalVoices: A World Forum for Music Therapy
Volume14
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2014

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