Musical pathways to the peer community: A collective case study of refugee children’s use of music therapy
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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Original versionNordic journal of music therapy. 2022, 31 (1), 7-24. 10.1080/08098131.2021.1891130
Introduction: The quality of refugee children’s social life in the host country is essential to their health and development. Both practice and research indicate the relevance of music therapy in this respect, but our understanding of how music therapy can contribute to refugee children’s social wellbeing is still limited. This article explores how participation in music therapy in a public primary school can nurture refugee children’s readiness to collaborate with peers. Method: The study is situated within a hermeneutic research tradition and is designed as a single-site, collective case study consisting of four cases. Empirical material consists of logs and audio-recordings from music therapy sessions. Results: Results are presented as four case narratives that describe processes related to collaboration with peers. Discussion: Based on abductive analysis, this article discusses the practice of music therapy in terms of the processes of regulating, negotiating, and building a sharable repertoire. The article suggests that music therapy nurtures the child’s capacity to regulate emotions and engage in social participation: an ongoing negotiation of interpersonal relationships is combined with the cultivation of a shared repertoire that creates bridges to other practices and larger social configurations.