Welcome to WFMT Music Therapy Research. This is our home for discussion and collaboration on music therapy research projects, theory, methods and ethics. Please join us.
The WFMT Research and Ethics Committee
I am currently facilitating a participatory action research with two other music therapists and twelve young people who have intellectual disability, who are transitioning from school to further education or work. We are working together to find out what the young people value about being involved in regular music sessions at this time in their lives. It would be good to hear from anyone else who is doing similar work.
Thank you for getting this research portal up and running Eric Miller. It is great to be interacting with the world music therapy community in this way. I have been involved with the Research and Ethics Committee, World Federation of Music Therapy, since 2008 when it was led by Mary Boyle. Mary sadly died last year and I urge all music therapists to listen to her message to our community, recorded after she was given an American Music Therapy Association lifetime achievement award. You can find it here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g8IBwU7C-6c
Mary left an extraordinary legacy, attested by her extensive writings and the ongoing work by her wonderful students. Certainly I would not have been as involved in music therapy without her encouragement and affirmation. Although a quantitative researcher, Mary introduced herself to me when I presented my qualitative research on song writing in palliative care at a conference in 1994. She encouraged me to publish it in the Journal of Music Therapy (which, if I am not mistaken, had not published any qualitative research until then). This was pre-email days and Mary generously offered to help me write it through commenting on a hard copy draft and hand written correspondence in, what we now call, “snail mail”! Its publication in JMT encouraged my ongoing research and our continuing connection. Vale Mary, an excellent researcher and educator, whose openness, generosity, non-judgmental attitude, and kindness I miss and will never forget.
The current and former members of the WFMT research and ethics committees hope that readers find all the uploaded information on research and ethics on our Commission’s webpage helpful. This initiative was commenced by Mary, with Petra Kern’s guidance.
I want to now comment on a research and ethics concern that I have. In the past 2.5 years, alongside my MT work and research, I have also been involved in qualitative research projects with teams in other areas (advance care planning and prostate cancer). I have become quite concerned by the widespread trend to use transcribers for qualitative research interviews. This means that research interview recordings are being sent to transcription agencies or independent workers who have not necessarily signed confidentiality agreements. For all we know, a transcriber could be living next door to someone whose interview they are recording. I am surprised that this issue does not seem to concern research and ethics committees who have approved the research. One (non-music therapist) researcher told me that she was using an overseas (cheaper) transcription service where English is not the first language of its citizens. Some words were inaccurately transcribed, totally changing their intended meanings.
If we are using transcribers for our qualitative research, I believe we need to ensure their confidentiality (and also check the transcriptions). I also believe that research and ethics committees should consider how transcriptions are conducted in research they approve and request confidentiality agreements. I am interested in others’ views.
Meanwhile, I send my regards and best wishes to all reading messages posted here and encourage you to engage in the conversations. Clare
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