Kalli and Sofi: An exploration of the use of iPad in music therapy with older adults, examining and reflecting on its impact on both the clients and the therapist and their clinical relationship.
(2016) Kalli and Sofi: An exploration of the use of iPad in music therapy with older adults, examining and reflecting on its impact on both the clients and the therapist and their clinical relationship., no. 66.
Music technology has demonstrated an exponential evolution over the years. Incorporated in the medical and educational arena, Electronic Music Technologies (EMT) became established as a pressing need for music therapists to clinically implement. Tablets, the iPad in particular, are one of the most affordable and accessible EMTs to art therapists as well as their clients, rendering them a valuable therapeutic tool (Hoesterey and Chappelle 2012). Being the leader of tablet software technology, Apple, since the launch of the first iPad in 2010, has developed a profusion of software applications (apps) useful to music therapists (Knight and LaGasse 2012). Apps for recording, playing back, listening to music, musical instruments, composition, notation, data storage, organization and assessment/evaluation, and audio-visual activities constitute only a tiny example of the apps that have been designed and are applicable in clinical practice (Knight 2013). The huge variety of apps in combination with their light size and portability has rendered iPad popular among art therapists and general health care practitioners. The purpose of this explorative study is to investigate the role of iPad and its applications in music therapy. An interpretative phenomenological analysis of a music therapist's reflections upon her use of iPad in a therapeutic setting and upon its impact on the clients and their relationship with the therapist is carried out. Observation, analysis and reflections upon the use of iPad apps in an open day centre with two clients presenting mental, cognitive, emotion and communication difficulties are introduced. An empirical exploration of the possible adaptation of musical and game oriented apps from music therapists in order to improve their clinical practice and assist their clients in achieving their personal therapeutic goals is made. This thesis discusses the potential of iPad apps to be as effective and engaging as conventional activities in achieving the client's personal therapeutic goals, using a carefully planned model of practice and following a client-centred approach.