University of Limerick
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The applications of mainstream music technology to facilitate access to creative musical experiences for people with disabilities

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posted on 2022-10-07, 13:14 authored by Jason Francis Noone
This study investigated applications of mainstream music technology for creative music making by people with disabilities within a person centred music therapy context. The research was undertaken with service users from two Enable Ireland facilities in Ennis and Limerick, Ireland working as independent communities of inquiry. A participatory action research (PAR) methodology was employed (Bradbury, 2015), engaging participants as co-researchers with full control over the research process. The guiding research question was “how does music technology help us to make music together?” The research incorporated an extended epistemology to acknowledge and incorporate different ways of knowing of the functionally diverse research groups (Reason & Riley, 2015). Music was considered the primary meaning- making modality optimising voice and agency of the co-researchers. Each group took part in three iterative cycles of planning, action and reflection to explore and develop skills with MIDI controllers, digital audio software, hand-held devices and apps, electric guitars and adapted video game controllers. The Limerick group conducted public concerts, research lectures and an interactive workshop. The Ennis group performed at their day facility and at an Arts & Disability event and curated a CD of their favourite improvisations. The research suggested that developing and sharing practical knowledge through music technology was an empowering experience. Rhizoanalysis was conducted to resolve and clarify the analysis of the research groups while maintaining a participatory perspective. Rhizomatic readings of selected events from the PAR research sessions identified connective dimensions in the group’s interactions and instances of becoming-musician as facilitated through the deterritorialisation of music technology, and of the interpersonal relations within the communities of inquiry themselves. Themes of modularity, isomorphism, affective synchrony, rhizomatic awareness, the role of effort and DMI fit and disruption of participatory hierarchies were identified by the readings.

History

Degree

  • Doctoral

First supervisor

Edwards, Jane

Second supervisor

Joyce, Sandra

Note

peer-reviewed

Language

English

Department or School

  • Irish World Academy of Music & Dance

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