This dissertation is a qualitative study of the relationship between a mother and a toddler with a disability. This study was conducted with both a mother and toddler at the Baby Therapy Centre in Pretoria, a facility that caters for babies and toddlers between the ages of birth to three years with special needs and developmental delays. The purpose of this research was to explore how the medium of music throughout a process of eight music therapy sessions might afford a mother and toddler with a disability opportunities for relating. Throughout the course of the music therapy process, moments of play, communication and meaningful interaction occurred between the mother and toddler, indicating a shift in the mother-toddler relationship, thereby advocating for the inclusion of mothers in music therapy sessions. The research approach adopted in this dissertation includes an in-depth case study of one mother-toddler pair, using interviews and thick descriptions of video excerpts as the main data sources. The findings from this research indicate that music therapy affords a mother and toddler with a disability opportunities to relate within sessions through play, musical interaction, instrumental play, vocal use and improvisation. The inclusion of the mother in music therapy sessions appeared to enhance the mother-toddler relationship, in addition to the learned transference of skills that the toddler acquired during the process. Copyright
Dissertation (MMus)--University of Pretoria, 2012.