Challenges of working with people aged 60-75 years from culturally and linguistically diverse groups: Repertoire and music therapy approaches employed by Australian Music Therapists

Challenges of working with people aged 60-75 years from culturally and linguistically diverse groups: Repertoire and music therapy approaches employed by Australian Music Therapists

Abstract

Meeting the musical and cultural needs of the increasing number of aging Australians of culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) groups presents a significant challenge to music therapists. Music therapy clinicians working in aged care (N=24) were surveyed to identify the repertoire they use in their aged care work and to identify specific repertoire used with people from CALD groups. In addition, the clinicians were asked to comment on challenges associated with working with people from CALD groups. Repertoire identified included 142 different songs, 15 (11%) of these in languages other than English. Songs were classified into popular, patriotic, folk, musicals, and religious categories. Findings indicated that people with Italian, Greek, German, Yugoslav and Polish backgrounds were the most frequently seen groups. Repertoire for non-European groups was limited, indicating that music therapists need to expand their repertoire to meet the needs of all CALD groups. Challenges faced by clinicians included language barriers between client and clinician, and their lack of knowledge regarding the contexts where specific music selections may be used. Findings suggest that more emphasis be placed on understanding how to best work with CALD groups in music therapy training courses.

 

Keywords: music therapy, repertoire, culturally and linguistically diverse groups, aged care


Citation

Baker, F., & Grocke, D. (2009). Challenges of working with people aged 60-75 years from culturally and linguistically diverse groups: Repertoire and music therapy approaches employed by Australian Music Therapists. Australian Journal of Music Therapy, 20, 30-55.


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Date published: July 2009