Special Issue 7 (1) 2015, “Music Therapy in Europe: Paths of Professional Development” – Article
Maintaining the dialogue of influence: Developing music therapy theory in pace with practice and research
Claire M. Ghetti
The field of music therapy relies upon the ongoing construction of practice, theory and research in order to assure its optimal development. Theory, practice and research create a dialogue of influence, with each carrying the potential to impact the others in significant ways. Due to the reciprocal nature of the relationships among these three practices, it is important that the development of each keeps pace with the others. This article defines key terms related to theory, practice and research, and explores the various relationships among them. A rationale for the importance of theory construction is presented, as well as support for the need to match pace in the development of practice, theory and research. Critical discourse is seen as a necessary process for promoting the evolution of theory in the field of music therapy, and clinicians are empowered to consider their role in achieving this aim.
Keywords: music therapy; theory construction; metatheory; practice; research
Claire M. Ghetti, PhD, LCAT, MT-BC is Associate Professor of Music Therapy at the Grieg Academy of Music, University of Bergen, Norway. She has extensive clinical experience with children and adults in intensive and long-term care medical settings, and has conducted research and theoretical work in the area of music therapy as procedural support for invasive medical procedures. She has served on the editorial boards of the Journal of Music Therapy and Music Therapy Perspectives, and has authored journal articles and book chapters on various research methodologies and clinical approaches.