Masters Theses

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Now showing 1 - 5 of 98
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    “Burning Down the House”: A Descriptive Study of Workplace Preference and Burnout in New Music Therapists
    (2023) Teall, Clara
    This survey study examined new music therapists’ experiences of burnout and feelings related to various aspects of their work including clientele age, population, and workplace setting. The purpose of this research was to gather information about the experiences of new music therapists including how long they have been practicing, what type of work they do, how they feel about various aspects of their workplace, and whether there is any connection between these experiences and burnout in the field of music therapy. This survey received 65 total responses, with 49 responses meeting the requirements for participation. Survey results indicated a high burnout rate among new music therapists. A statistically significant positive correlation was also found between rate of burnout in past positions and feelings surrounding past clientele age, population, and work setting.
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    Music Therapy Interventions That Incorporate Augmentative and Alternative Communication: A Survey Study
    (2023-12) Voris, Chloe White
    Many music therapists work with individuals who have complex communication needs and may utilize different types of augmentative and alternative communication (AAC). However, formal AAC training and education is not a common part of music therapy undergraduate education. The purpose of this quantitative survey study was to gather information about music therapists’ experience with learning and using different types of AAC in sessions and examine the types of music interventions therapists use that incorporate AAC. Fifty-five music therapists participated in the survey reporting on their professional experience, AAC learning/training opportunities, ways they incorporate aided and unaided AAC in sessions, and self-confidence when utilizing AAC. Following data collection, the results revealed that music therapists working with individuals who utilize AAC are incorporating both aided and unaided AAC into sessions in diverse ways, despite a lack of formal training in most cases. Many music therapists are gaining knowledge about AAC and its uses through experience and collaborating with other interdisciplinary professionals, such as speech-language pathologists (SLPs). However, additional training and education would be beneficial to increase competency and efficacy. Furthermore, additional research is recommended regarding specific music therapy interventions used with various types of AAC systems to further music therapists’ knowledge and practical use of AAC in sessions.
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    Music Therapists’ Awareness for the Potential of Harm in Music Therapy: A Qualitative Analysis
    (2023-12) Wendel, Olivia M.
    Music therapists are not immune from causing harm to their clients within music therapy services. Understanding how harm might occur in sessions from direct experience has been under researched, despite emerging literature conceptualizing where harm might arise. The purpose of this qualitative survey study was to examine instances of harm from music therapists who have caused or observed harm within a music therapy setting. Ten music therapists’ responses were recorded. Responses of instances of harm were analyzed by comparing to the Music Therapy and Harm Model (Murakami, 2021) sections (harm arising from the 1) music, 2) the music therapists, 3) therapeutic application of music, 4) client-music associations, 5) therapeutic application of music, and 6) ecological factors). Other responses recorded including music therapists’ observed client responses, the music therapists’ awareness to the harm, how the music therapist addressed the harm, and what the music therapy field could do to prevent harm. These responses were analyzed using in-vivo and descriptive codes to generate themes. Upon completion of this study, it was confirmed that the Music Therapy and Harm Model has provided a foundational framework to conceptualize where and how an instance of harm might arise within music therapy sessions, which includes harm arising from all six of the MTHM sources named above, including the primary music therapists’ awareness of the harm occurred, how the music therapist addressed the harm, how music therapists might prevent harm, and how the music therapy field should respond to harm. Additional research into including a larger sample size, identifying music therapist theoretical approaches, specific setting/population studies recommended to continue to understand the potential for harm and how music therapists might prevent these instances.
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    Examining the Professional Skills of new MT-BC’s: A Survey
    (2023-12) Gilliam, Kirby
    As a small business owner, I have experienced new professionals lacking professional skills outlined by the American Music Therapy Association’s (AMTA) professional competencies (2023). Basic professional skills outlined include, but are not limited to conflict resolution, meeting deadlines, and demonstrating critical self-awareness (AMTA, 2023). A complete list of competencies is listed in table 1. Understanding why these competencies are not apparent is important for increasing quality of facilitation in the music therapy field in addition to increasing quality of therapists while decreasing burnout. This thesis explores the sixteen professional competencies outlined by AMTA and professional music therapists’ opinions on where they learned the competency and how well they were prepared upon entering the field. An exploration of existing research and this study confirms discrepancies in new professionals’ abilities as therapists and the survey supports the claim that professionals are practicing while expressing areas of unpreparedness. Discussion supports more research to further understand the breakdown in competency and the importance of increasing gatekeeping for the safety and quality of care of clients provided by music therapists. This study seeks to understand where young professionals need support to provide information to educators and supervisors to increase the quality of an employee ultimately increasing quality of care and growth of the field.
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    A Music-Based Competency Restoration Treatment Manual for the Forensic Psychiatric Setting
    (2023-11) O'Reilly, Marjorie
    For a person involved in the criminal justice system, it is necessary that they are declared competent to stand trial. In 2019, approximately 94,000 people were found incompetent to stand trial (Morris et al., 2019), bringing their legal proceedings to a pause while they underwent competency restoration treatment. Traditional competency restoration includes standardized curriculum of lectures, psychopharmacology, and psychoeducation. In recent years, music therapy has begun to play a pivotal role in competency restoration (Alvarado & Chen, 2012; Sammons, 2014; Stanley, 2019; Stewart, 2020). This clinical project is intended to provide music therapists working in forensic settings with a collection of comprehensive music-based interventions to assist in competency restoration treatment.