Date of Award

Spring 5-16-2020

Document Type


Degree Name

MA - Master of Arts


Expressive Therapies


Dr. Tim Reagan


This community engagement project set out to explore how the musicianship identity impacts a musician’s overall sense of self through participation in a mental health focused community orchestra. Currently, in the field of music therapy there is little emphasis on using orchestral music in active music making or connections between music and musicianship identity. This researcher combined the theories of community music therapy and resource-oriented music therapy to develop approaches to this investigation. Phase one consisted of researcher journaling and visual art making prior to and following orchestra rehearsals and one concert. Phase two consisted of a group mandala with members of the mental health focused community orchestra. Arts based research methods were used to interpret and display the results. It was found that the themes of (a) community, (b) laughter, (c) support (silence your inner critic!), (d) “stigma-free star”, and (e) differences are okay came from participation in group processing. Individual reflections implied that participation in a mental health focused orchestra had an impact on professional identity.

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Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.




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