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date: 30 November 2021

Abstract and Keywords

Developmental music therapy (DMT) is a model that underpins music therapy practice with multiple client groups. The resonances of DMT can be found whenever music therapists use any or all of their understanding of developmental stages, family context, and social and cultural frameworks to consider needs and interactions within individual or group music therapy. Music therapy training courses teach developmental theories, and therefore most practising music therapists use these theoretical perspectives in their interactions with clients. Thus chapter will show how developmental music therapy refers to three major theoretical orientations: (1) Theories of stress, coping, and adaption; (2) Human life span development, including stage models of development, and musical milestones of development; and (3) Ecological perspectives such as Bronfenbrenner’s bioecological model of development (Bronfenbrenner 1979). Boxill consistently termed her approach developmental music therapy (Boxill 1989). Therefore, this chapter provides an overview of Boxill’s writings and theoretical positioning within DMT.

Keywords: developmental music therapy, human life span development and music, Edith Boxill, stress and coping, music therapy theory

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