A pre-existing interview of a music therapist working in Heideveld in the Cape flats, South Africa, provides data for this research dissertation. The interview focuses on a project that the interviewee and her colleague initiated as a means of developing the potential of community members and addressing some of the many social issues faced by the community, such as gangs, violence, racial divisions and poverty. The project, 'Music for Life', included a choir of about 60 children from different schools in the area, and a concert held in the community at the end of 2004. This qualitative study explores the experiences of the music therapists as they negotiated community 'musicking' with the Heideveld community through the 'Music for Life' project, and highlights possible implications of these experiences for other music therapists working in similar contexts. Emergent themes suggest that the therapists experienced a constant movement, within themselves and the community. The therapists felt a need to move outwards from their clinical work into the community. Through community 'musicking', the therapists experienced how an often fragmented community was able to move together and to move forward by sharing a sense of hope as the potential of the community was celebrated and affirmed. The therapists also experienced a movement in themselves, personally and professionally. They had to move through the process, changing their thinking and plans constantly through negotiating their work with the community. Implications of these experiences are explored from the stance of Community Music Therapy. The importance, possibilities and difficulties of Community Music Therapy work in communities such as Heideveld are discussed. These hold relevance for music therapists working in similar contexts, where community work becomes a more socially and economically viable means of addressing issues that affect individuals and communities simultaneously.
Dissertation (MMus (Music Therapy))--University of Pretoria, 2008.