Supporting children with transition from primary to secondary school by building resilience through music therapy: An autoethnographic project
This is an autoethnographic project that focuses on my experience and reflections on what music therapy can offer to children who are at the threshold of transition from primary to secondary mainstream school and potential ways of building resilience through musical interactions. Furthermore, it contains reflections on my role and approach within the session and how this was beneficial for the children I work with over a period of 5 months. While researching this topic area I noticed that the research which has already been carried out focuses mainly on special education; there is minimal research done around mainstream school and transition. White (2020, p.2) notes that “transition between primary and secondary-level schooling is recognised as an important event in children and young people’s lives”. Furthermore, this study on transition showed that it can be a difficult situation for some children who are vulnerable to low confidence and low self-esteem as a result of negative experience (White 2020). Kokotsaki (2017) explored pupils’ views about school music during the transition to secondary school and identified which components of their music lessons contributed to them feeling happier about music at school. How could music therapy support children to build resilience in order to better face the transition from primary to secondary school? This question brought me to this project, allowing me a space to connect the learning to the practical work. It is hoped that this study can contribute to the knowledge of other professionals who aim to support children who find it difficult to transition from primary to secondary school. Resilience is the ability to bounce back from adversity; being resilient includes finding hopeful possibilities even in major trials (Music 2017). Furthermore, he notes that social contact, while feeling emotionally secure, normally leads to happier, more confident outgoing children, leading to their being more resilient and having a more positive outlook at things which enables people to deal better with adversity. 3 18010080 This provided me the foundation and orientation of this project. To be able to approach this from a wider perspective, I anticipated doing an autoethnographic study, taking a qualitative approach, going into phenomenology, meaning the understanding of human beings and human experience. Autoethnography intends to describe and analyse one´s own personal experience in relation to cultural context (Ellis et al. 2011). The data will be collected from personal supervision notes, videos and recordings from my clinical work over a period of five months. I set out to analyse the data from an ethical point of view, taking into consideration confidentiality, anonymity and privacy. Amir (1993, p. 5) states that “Music therapy is an aesthetic process which contains qualities such as creativity, intuition, inspiration, intention and spiritual elements”. Furthermore, she suggests that these qualities are connected to the inner state of the living being.