Dr. Meganne Masko and I are discussing the articles in the Winter 2014 edition of the Journal of Music Therapy (JMT). What I’m most interested in when I read research is how can I apply it to what I’m doing professionally?
The Invited Feature Article is Single Case Design Studies in Music Therapy: Resurrecting Experimental Evidence in Small Group and Individual Music Therapy Clinical Settings by Kamile Geist and John H. Hichcock. This article reminded me of my undergraduate coursework when I studied data collection, objective writing, and measurement. Currently, I struggle with teaching these things to practicum students, so this article helped me to understand types of research that they might relate to while doing practicum. It also provided some examples of graphs, which the students also seem to struggle with. I’m not sure how I’ll incorporate this into what I’m teaching the students, but ideas are sparked!
Stine L Jacobsen, Cathy H. McKinney, and Ulla Holck authored Effects of a Dyadic Music Therapy Intervention on Parent-Child Interaction, Parent Stress, and Parent-Child Relationship in Families with Emotionally Neglected Children: A Randomized Control Trial. I tried to do something similar for my Master’s Thesis at Texas Woman’s University, but with medically fragile infants and their parents. My master’s thesis was a good lesson on the trials of research…. I liked this article because as a parent, I do not feel competent all the time (most of the time), and it reminded me of some things I can do with my child, but also how many parents might feel, especially if they or their child have a diagnosis of some kind (which might lead them to seeking music therapy). It also reminded me of how music and music-making can create a bond between people and demonstrate or elicit healthy interactions.
In The Effect of Musical Attention Control Training (MACT) on Attention Skills of Adolescents with Neurodevelopmental Delays: A Pilot Study, Varvara Pasiali, A. Blythe LaGasse, and Saundra L. Penn studied music therapy attention techniques for children with Autism Spectrum Disorder. My favorite part of this article is the descriptions of the types of attention (sustained, selective, and alternating) and the examples of music therapy strategies that were used to address those types of attention were really clear. Many of the students I’m currently working with in their gerontological clinical training semester have identified attention goals for their clients. However, they have difficulty defining attention and creating strategies that work well for addressing attention. So I can use these descriptions and examples to help my students understand the concept better and design better strategies.
Recruiting Participants for Randomized Controlled Trials of Music Therapy: A Practical Illustration was written by Sam Porter, Tracey McConnell, Fiona Lynn, Katrina McLaughlin, Christopher Cardwell, and Valerie Holmes. In the third paragraph, they use the word “adumbrating.” I looked this word up and it means “outlining.” I hate articles that use jargon or words that I have to look up. I have a pretty large vocabulary, but I prefer to speak in a way that is easily understood and would like others to extend the same courtesy to me. I also don’t care for Randomized Controlled Trials (RCTs). That said, this article had a great discussion on why RCTs are necessary and how they can be useful to music therapy. I like knowing that this article exists, since I think it might be useful should I ever want to do research or assist someone with research.
Hayoung Lim and Cathy Befi wrote Music Therapy Career Aptitude and Generalized Self-Efficacy in Music Therapy Students. Since I would like all music therapists to promote and represent my profession excellently, I like the idea of a career aptitude test that can help one make the decision on whether to pursue a music therapy degree or not.
Finally, this issue has a book review: Alaine E. Reschke-Hernandez wrote a very compelling and well-written review of Writing Scientific Research Articles: Strategy & Steps by M. Cargill and P. O’Connor. Her review was so compelling, I want to read the book even though I’m not currently engaged in writing scientific research articles!
Listen to get Dr. Meganne Masko’s perspective along with mine!