Volume 6 (2) 2014 – Article
Is Mindfulness a Useful Practice for Music Therapists? A Research Project Report
This study explores the familiarity and usefulness of mindfulness to music therapists who work in a clinical setting, and it aims to examine plausible similarities between presently known concepts of mindfulness and the conventionally established therapeutic attitude as portrayed in this paper. Seven music therapists working in London took part in this study. Four attended a focus group and three were interviewed over the telephone. The findings show that most participants were familiar with the concept and had some experience of mindfulness, and stated that it enhanced their clinical work. Participants described some practices they do to prepare themselves for sessions, and they explained how they experienced silences as well as non-musical components within music therapy. Their opinions about the familiarity of mindfulness in their profession varied. The findings suggest an overall positive view on mindfulness; however, as the sample number is small, I would suggest that my research questions and findings could be used as a platform for future research initiatives.
music therapy; mindfulness; therapeutic attitude; silence; clinical practice
Aglaïa Maria Mika is a classical singer and music therapist. She studied singing (with Jessica Cash), acting (Mountview Academy of Theatre Arts), philosophy, literature, religious studies (University of Kent) and music therapy (Guildhall School of Music and Drama) in the UK. Since 2011 she is a resident in Austria, with international vocal performances in Early Music. Since 2012 she is a visiting lecturer in music therapy and vocal studies at Jerusalem University. She also works as a music therapist in addiction rehabilitation, psychiatry and foster care. She has completed a ten days silent Vipassana meditation retreat as well as a course on ‘mindfulness for musicians’.