Melbourne Conservatorium of Music - Theses

Permanent URI for this collection

Search Results

Now showing 1 - 1 of 1
  • Item
    Thumbnail Image
    Musical recovery: the role of group singing in regaining healthy relationships with music to promote mental health recovery
    Bibb, Jennifer Louise ( 2016)
    This thesis describes an emergent project which investigates the role of group singing in inpatient and community mental health settings. Music therapy has previously been identified as a way to foster processes of mental health recovery (Hense, McFerran & McGorry, 2014; McCaffrey, Edwards, & Fannon, 2011; Solli, Rolvsjord, & Borg, 2013). However, little is known about the specific factors apparent in group singing which promote recovery. This project aimed to address this gap by exploring the role of group singing in promoting recovery through a small mixed methods study and a larger grounded theory study. Adults aged between 18 and 72 years who were in mental health recovery participated in this research and were recruited from a number of different inpatient and community contexts around Melbourne. Key principles of recovery-oriented philosophy (Slade, 2009) and resource-oriented music therapy (Rolvsjord, 2010) were adopted. An initial mixed methods study was conducted which aimed to both explore experiences of group singing and measure outcomes of belonging before, during and after a 10 week community group singing program (Bibb, Baker, Tamplin & McFerran, under review). The qualitative analysis revealed that being with others, being heard, having a sense of purpose, achieving something and group size and setting contributed to participants experiences of the group. However, little could be concluded from the quantitative data, since for individual reasons, each of the four participants reported difficulty completing the measures. This led to a change in focus of the study to include an additional interview question asking participants to specifically reflect on their experience of completing the self-report outcome measures (Bibb & McFerran, under review). In addition, a need to critically examine the measures used in mental health research and the assumptions surrounding their ‘reliability’ was identified. A method of Critical Interpretive Synthesis was used to interrogate the most commonly used self-report outcome measures in mental health research in the last ten years (Bibb, Baker & McFerran, 2016). The results of the critical synthesis indicated that many of the measures most commonly used in mental health research do not align with the contemporary recovery-oriented philosophy of mental health care. The second study of this thesis adopted a grounded theory approach to explore the conditional and contextual factors involved in group singing. Collaborative interviews allowed for the participant and the interviewer to be active in making meaning of the participant’s experience (Holstein & Gubrium, 1995). The findings of this study, after 29 interviews, impelled the development of a new term, ‘musical recovery’ which depicts a process of regaining healthy relationships with music to promote mental health recovery. A number of factors are identified as promoting and interfering with musical recovery within a group singing context. The musical recovery framework illustrates how music therapy practice can be a process of recovery in itself.