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Perspectives on developing a music therapy programme within an educational setting for adolescents with mental health issues : a thesis presented in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Music Therapy at the New Zealand School of Music, Wellington, New Zealand
This thesis outlines exploratory research that sought to find out how music therapy could most effectively address the needs of the students and support the ideas and learning objectives of staff at an innovative new school for adolescents with mental health issues. This was achieved by involving staff and students (n=12) in a series of group interviews, in combination with reflections from a research journal. Amongst other things, the findings suggested that students valued the opportunity to learn new musical skills, relax and express themselves. The staff appeared to value the way music therapy could support therapeutic and educational objectives within the school; for instance, by providing students with opportunities to work together in small groups, or by providing individual students with a way of relaxing and experiencing success. The writer describes efforts to tailor music therapy to fit with the needs of the setting and concludes by suggesting possible avenues for future music therapy research in a setting of this kind.