Dr Cathy Warner

'Music Therapy with Adults with Learning Difficulties'

I analysed a year of weekly group music therapy sessions for five residents in their community home using a method called participatory action research where the voices and perspectives of the members of the group are a central feature of this study. The benefits of the music therapy included changing fixed relationship patterns and the expression of group identity: home staff and the music therapist were involved in a process of co-operative inquiry. The research indicates how people with severe learning difficulties may influence the course of the inquiry themselves, also challenging staff and institutional perceptions. The dissemination of the research has implications with the use of music therapy in this context and adds to the on-going debate on patterns in community care within health and social care practice.