This research study explores how the use of a selection of vocal activities in group music therapy may provide institutionalised individuals with CP opportunities for self-expression and social interaction. In addition, the manner in which self-expression is related to social interaction, in this context, is investigated. The study falls into the interpretive paradigm and uses a qualitative approach. A case study design is utilised. A total of eight sessions were conducted over a period of eight weeks, with a group comprising five individuals with CP, ranging from 9-17 years of age. Each individual presented with communication and cognitive impairments, resulting in an inability to verbally communicate. The study makes use of two sources of naturally-occurring data, including four selected video excerpts and in-depth clinical session notes. Coding, categorising and theme identification are utilised in the analysis of the video excerpts and corresponding session notes. My role as music therapy intern in facilitating the vocal activities was key to this process, in terms of providing the individuals with opportunities for self-expression and social interaction. My role in facilitating the vocal activities contributed towards the development of a therapeutic relationship with myself and the group members, which in turn, created the capacity for the ability to socially interact with one another in the group, paralleled with certain stages of relating as theorised within Object Relations Theory. Through my engagement with the group members and because of the existing therapeutic relationship between us, a capacity was created for the individuals to interact and engage with others, enhanced by my role in providing, holding and containing the individuals in order for them to feel safe and confident to interact with others in the group. Copyright
Dissertation (MMus)--University of Pretoria, 2012.