Wednesday, April 6, 2011

What I Am*#

Now a few days post Under pressure, I am slowly integrating some of the things that came out of the discussion after my presentation.

I have ended up with more questions than answers from the experience but that is entirely appropriate at this stage of the game - at least that's what they tell me!

In my quest to measure the process that occurs when engaging in a Community Music Therapy (CoMT) or Community Cultural Development (CCD) program, it seems I may first have to define process. I have a working definition that is about looking at the journey not the outcome.

(Through my recent illness, one of the things that has been made very clear to me is that the time taken to complete something is just as important as the end product, and this has been useful in helping me to preserve energy and begin recovery.)

According to the concise Macquarie Dictionary, process is defined as a systematic series of actions directed to some end; a continuous action, operation, or series of changes taking place in a definite manner. The problem with these definitions for my purposes is that they are saying that the steps involved in process are predetermined, or taken in order to reach a goal or outcome.

I am saying that the steps are not predetermined, or cannot be outlined, and there may indeed be no outcome that is visible. Perhaps the process is the outcome?!?!

The Australian Modern Oxford Dictionary definition of process has something that better supports mine - a series of actions or operations used in making or achieving something; a series of changes, a natural function; a course of events or time. These definitions seem to suit my own a little better. I clearly need to do some further reading about process in therapy.

My interest in process predated my illness so it seems serendipitous that I am now attempting to study this very thing, after having some very real life lessons to learn about it. Maybe it is true that I needed to learn these life lessons before I could effectively study process, and in turn attempt to evaluate it!

The challenge for now seems to lie in the fact that during therapy, or any form of participatory music program, every individual or group brings something different and unique with them. We all take our own history and experiences and all the things that make us who we are and explain a lot of why we do what we do, with us everywhere we go. For this reason, it would seem to me that process within the context of CoMT/CCD will be a very unique thing for each individual or group.

I'll keep you posted as I progress on my journey. I had begun to look at evaluation, but I think it will serve me well to switch to looking at process for the moment.

Off to the library to get some different sorts of books out!

And what I Am is THOUGHTFUL.
And what I AM is MUSICAL.
And what I AM is SMART.
And what I AM is BRAVE.
And what I AM is HELPFUL.
And what I AM is SPECIAL.
*What I Am -

#Check out this song on youtube, I love it!! I have posted it before! I think it says a lot about what I am trying to say and explore.


  1. Love your song choice today. You are definitely all those things, and so much more.

    It's an interesting journey you've decided to take with your PhD. Not for the faint hearted by any means.

  2. If I may- I think the process of defining "process" is just as fascinating. One of the things I so like about being a music therapist is that no two therapy dyads/groups are ever alike, because no two people are really entirely alike. Add the fact that we bring who we are (as therapist, as client), and the fact that we are always evolving in some way, at any given moment to the therapy process (there's that word again), and it's all the more nifty!