Culturally relevant music therapy in the southwestern United States: An investigation of music therapy with Hispanic populations



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The purpose of this study was to investigate music therapists’ current perceptions of culturally relevant music therapy with Hispanic clients. Information was sought to determine how and where music therapists received training for this competency, and the methods they employ in this practice. Thirty-two individual music therapists in the southwestern region of the United States participated in the online survey provided through the American Music Therapy Association, Southwestern Region’s e-mail listserv. Results indicated most participants recognized the provision of culturally relevant music therapy as important for successful music therapy treatment despite a general lack of training given by both undergraduate/equivalency and graduate degree programs. Methods used to provide culturally relevant music therapy included discussion with the client and the client’s family, research, discussion with other music therapists, and practicing self-awareness. Additional information provided by participants on culturally relevant music therapy interventions included Spanish pop song titles, artists, and genres. Due to the low response rate, generalization of results is limited. Implications from the study and suggestions for future research are discussed.