University of Limerick
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Discovering anthroposophical music therapy : an investigation of its origins and applications

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posted on 2022-09-12, 12:32 authored by Monika Andrea Intveen
This thesis explores anthroposophical music therapy (AnMt), an approach based on the philosophy of Rudolf Steiner. AnMt is well established in some countries, such as Germany, Switzerland or the Netherlands and is practiced in a wide variety of clinical and rehabilitation contexts. This thesis explores the basic tenets of AnMt including its foundations in anthroposophy, its location in the wider community of mainstream music therapy approaches and the applicability of its methods for music therapists not trained in the approach. The first part of the thesis encompasses a detailed review of the relevant literature to elaborate key concepts. In the second part a modified Grounded Theory (GT) analysis of four interviews with key practitioners is presented. Finally, the findings revealed through the literature review, the GT, and the experiences with AnMt methods I gathered in my own clinical work receive critical treatment. This exploration of the topic of AnMt has revealed that application of its methods for the wider community of music therapists is limited. However, some elements, such as the specialised instruments can be used by non-AnMt practitioners. Common ground between AnMt and other music therapy approaches was explored, but there were also significant differences identified, some of which relate to AnMt‟s distinction from psychotherapeutically oriented music therapy. AnMt aims to be active on a physical, soul-related and spiritual level. Due to its esoteric foundations in anthroposophy AnMt has sometimes received criticism. However, AnMt is proposed to have a place as a contemporary music therapy approach, since it applies music systematically in therapeutic settings, and has a distinct and elaborated process of diagnosis and treatment.



  • Doctoral

First supervisor

Edwards, Jane





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