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Voices:AWorldForumforMusicTherapy,Vol14,No2(2014)
[Research]
SituationSongsTherapeuticIntentionsandUseinMusicTherapy
withChildren
ByAgnesKolarBorsky&UllaHolck
Abstract
Theaimofthisstudywastoexaminethevarioustherapeuticintentionsbehindtheuseofoneparticularimprovisationmethodapplied
inpediatricmusictherapy,calledthesituationsong(fromtheGermantermSituationsliedPlahl&KochTemming,2008,p.180).
AccordingtoPlahl&KochTemming,thetermsituationsongdescribesanimprovisedsong,whichissungbythetherapistand/orthe
child.Thesongrelatestotheactualoccurrenceinthemomentandwithinthetherapeuticrelationship.Thestudyfocusesonthe
therapistssingingonlyandonthevariousintentionsbehindtheuseofthisspecificmethod.
Thestudywasconductedinstages:Anelaborationofthefirstauthorsclinicalexperiencewithsituationsongs(preunderstandings),a
systematicanalysisofrelevantliterature,followedbysemistructuredinterviewswiththreemusictherapistsfromDenmark,Austria,
andGermany.Aflexibleinvestigationapproachwasused,followinghermeneuticprinciples.
Thefindingsofthestudyshowthatpediatricmusictherapistsregularlyusesituationsongs,especiallywithchildrenwhoareatan
earlydevelopmentalage.Thevariousintentionsbehindtheuseofsituationsongscanbesummarizedassuch:tocreatea
therapeuticspacetosupportthetherapeuticrelationshiptoenhanceexperienceanddevelopmentinthefieldsofemotion,behavior,
expressionandsocialskillstoexpressmessagesinlanguageandtogivestructuretothechild.Theoverallaimbehindtheuseof
situationsongsistoofferessentialexperiencestothechildinordertosupporthisorherdevelopment.
Thisstudyattemptstogiveanimpulsetomoreinternationalexchangeofclinicaltermsappliedinmusictherapy.Thestudywas
submittedasthefirstauthorsmasterthesisinmusictherapyattheAalborgUniversityinDenmark.Thesecondauthorsupervisedthe
processofthemasterthesis.
Keywords:Situationsong,pediatricmusictherapy,therapeuticintentions,developmentaldelay,autism,children

Introduction
Whenasongreflectssomethingoftheessenceofthechildscharacterorstateofmindatthisstageofdevelopment,atthis
presentmomentintherapyplayingandsingingitbringstoexpressionthequalityandcontentoftherelationshipforming
betweenyou.Asthechildlistensto,orsingsthesong,orbeatsit,hehasthepossibilitytoliveinthismusicallygeneratedbond
betweenyou,andfindinithealingandstrengtheningexperiencesofselfhood(Nordoff&Robbins,2007,pp.242243).
Inpediatricmusictherapy,songsplayanimportantrole.Thetermsonggenerallyreferstoprecomposedsongs,whichare
repeatableandstructuredandaresupposedtosupportthefeelingofsafety.Contrarytothis,improvisationreferstoamoreopen
andnonpredictableapproach,expectedtoencouragenewexperiences(Austin,2008Jones,2006McFerran,2011).Literature
examplescanalsobefound,wheresongandimprovisationarecombinedsuchassongsthatareimprovisedinthemoment.Inthe
EnglishandGermanmusictherapyliterature,varioustermsareusedtodescribesuchasong:improvisedsong(Oldfield&Franke,
2005Robarts,2003Turry,1999Wigram&Baker,2005),spontaneoussinging(Austin,2008),spontaneoustunes(Stegemann,
2007),playsong(Gold,Wigram&Voracek,2007),individualimprovisedsong(Nordoff&Robbins,2007)andsituationsong
(GermanSituationsliedinPlahl&KochTemming,2008Stegemann,2007Schumacher&CalvetKruppa2008Voigt,2008and
EnglishsituationsonginGold,2003).Theterm,improvisedsongisthemostcommonlyusedtermintheEnglishliterature.Inmost
casesitreferstotheclientsactivespontaneoussingingaboutthemesinthechildsworld(Oldfield&Franke,2005Robarts,2003
Turry,2009).
TheGermantermSituationslied[situationsong]definesanimprovisedsongwhichisdirectlyrelatedtotheactualtherapeutic
occurrenceandisinventedspontaneouslybythetherapistforthechild,togetherwiththechildorbythechildhimself/herself
withinthesituation(Plahl&KochTemming,2008,p.108,authorstranslation).InEnglishmusictherapyliteraturenocommonterm
currentlyexists,whichdescribesthecharacteristicsofthesituationsong,whereastheclinicalphenomenonbehindthetermis
described(ascanbeseeninthequotationofNordoff&Robbins,2007,above).However,thespecificmethodisrarelyacentralissue
intheliterature.Thephenomenonismostlymentionedbetweenthelines.
Situationsongscanbesungbythetherapist,thechild,orbothtogether.Inthisstudyhowever,itwasnotintendedtoinvestigatethe
childsuseofsituationsongsasanactivewayofexpression.Thefocusliesonlyonthetherapistssingingandonthevarious
intentionsbehindtheuseofthisspecificmethod.
Situationsongsfocusonthecurrentinterpersonaldynamics(Gold,Wigram&Voracek,2007Plahl&KochTemming,2008).In
practice,thismeansthatthetherapistand/orthechildimproviselyricstoanimprovisedmelodyandtherebyexpressthemselvesboth
musicallyandverbally.Musictherapistsoftenchoosetosupportthisvocalmusicbyarhythmicalorharmonicfoundation,e.g.drums,
guitar.Thesongsareoftensimpleandrepetitive.Situationsongscanalsoevolvefromknownsongs,e.g.childrenssongs,orrap.
Thelyricsofsituationsongscontaingreetings,callsandintroductions,statements,e.g.aboutthelocation,timeandsetting,
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descriptionsandobservations,e.g.aboutthechildsand/ortherapistscurrentactivityorbehavior,expressions,e.g.aboutcurrent
sensations,feelingsandthoughtsthelatterforexampleaboutthebelievedcurrentneedsoftheclient,questions,e.g.aboutthe
clientsinterests,wishesandneeds,discussionsorhumorouscomments(thislistcanbeextended).Essentialtoalltheabove
examplesisthatthefocusliesonthehereandnow(situation)andtheyouandme(relationship).
Inthefirstauthorsclinicalworkinpediatricmusictherapywithchildrenwithseverelearningdifficultiesanddevelopmentaldelays,
situationsongsareafrequentlyusedmethod.Togiveanexample:Whenachildismovingrestlesslythroughtheroom,Istarttosing
asimplesituationsong.Isingthechildsname,whoIam,whereweare,andwhatwearedoingrightnow.Ifitfeelsappropriate,I
singhowIperceivethechildinhisorhercurrentstateofbeing,howIfeelinthismoment,andwhatIbelievethechildmightneed
rightnow.Thiscanleadtovariousformsofdialoguesbetweenthechildandme.Thedynamicandatmosphericqualityofsituation
songsvariesbetweenquietlullabylikesongs,energeticreachingoutcalls,livelydiscussionsongs,andmomentsofjoinedhumor
andlaughter.
IamtrainedinpsychodynamicmusictherapyandIbelievethattherapeuticchangehappenswithinthetherapeuticrelationshiprather
thanthroughthemereuseofspecificmethods.Iamconvincedthatthephenomenonofcountertransference(Bruscia,1998)isan
essentialaspectofthetherapeuticrelationship.Observingthefeelingsandsensationsofcountertransferencecanhelptofacilitate
essentialhealingexperiences(Austin,2008).Iexperience,thatsingingaboutthesituationhasamagnificenteffectontherelationship
betweenthechildandme,ontheatmosphereintheroomandonthesharedfocusbetweenus.Singingaboutthesituationhelpsme
furthertocopewithdifficultsituations,forexample,whentheclientshowsdestructivebehaviorbyharminghimorherself,me,orthe
instruments.Singingaboutthesesituationshelpsmetosecurethetherapeuticspaceandkeepmytherapeuticattitudes.
Onthebasisoftheseclinicalexperiencesandpreunderstandings,astudywassetuptoinvestigate,1)ifsituationsongsareregularly
usedinpediatricmusictherapy,2)whatkindoftherapeuticintentionsleadtotheuseofsituationsongs,and3)ifothermusic
therapistsexperiencethatsingingsituationsongshelpsthemtocopewithdifficultsituationsduringthemusictherapysessions.Do
othermusictherapistsfindsituationsongshelpfulsecuringtheirtherapeuticattitudeandtheatmosphereduringdifficultmoments
withintheprocess?
Thisarticlepresentstheresultsofthestudyandattemptstogiveanimpulsetoamoreinternationalexchangeofclinicaltermsand
appliedclinicalmethods.Sharingexperiencesabouttheuseofspecificclinicalmethodsinregardstospecificclientgroupsisan
importantsteptowardsthedevelopmentofourclinicalrepertoire.Thefocusonaspecificmethoddeepensknowledgenotonly
regardingthemethodassuch,butbroadensourunderstandingofgeneraltherapeuticattitudes,aimsandprioritiesinrelationtothe
specificgroupofclients,incorporatingdifferentschoolsofmusictherapy.
Method
Methodology
Thestudyfollowedaflexibleandqualitativeapproach(Robson,2011Stakes,2010)withtheprinciplesofhermeneuticinquiries
(Gadamer,2004Kvale&Brinkmann,2009)astheprimaryguidelines.Basedonthefirstauthorsownclinicaluseofsituationsongs,
musictherapistliteraturewasstudiedandanalyzed.Buildinguponthesefinding,aninterviewstudywasconducted.Everystepinthe
processofthestudyledtoareciprocalreflectiononpreviousknowledgeinthesenseofthehermeneuticcircle(Kinsella,2006).
Furtherresearchorientationwasfoundinphenomenologyasaphilosophy(Kvale&Brinkmann,2009).Thepersonalexperienceand
perspectivesoftheotherwasthecentralissuebothduringtheliteraturestudyandduringtheinterviews.Sincethedatawas
interpretedbasedonpreknowledge,theapproachwasnotstrictlyphenomenological(Forinash&Grocke,2005).Asystematiccoding
strategywasfollowedinordertoanalyzethedata:creating,mergingandrefiningcodes(opencoding),bundlingcodestocategories
(axialcoding),andfinallyputtingtheseintoabroadercontextofunderstanding(selectivecoding)(Robson,2011).
Preunderstandings
Theinvestigationstartedwithathoroughelaborationonthefirstauthorsclinicalexperiencewithsituationsongs.Thisledtothe
realizationthatsituationsongswereusedforvariousintentions,whichcanbeassortedintotwocategories:
a. toshowappreciationandcreateatherapeuticspaceand
b. toformatherapeuticrelationshipbetweentheclientandthetherapist.
Thesetwocategorieswerethestartingpointforfurtherinvestigations.
LiteratureReviewandAnalyses
EnglishandGermanliteratureaboutpediatricmusictherapywasreviewed.Thephenomenonsituationsongwasoftendescribed
betweenthelines.Musictherapiststendtowriteabouttheassumedeffectofthesituationsongonthechildratherthantheir
therapeuticintentionsbehindtheuseofsituationsongs.Thedatawerethereforetranslatedfromtheassumedeffectsontheclientto
thetherapistsintentions.Buildingontothecategoriesfoundduringtheelaborationonthefirstauthorsclinicaluseofsituationsongs,
theliteraturedatawereanalyzedandsortedintoeightcategoriesofintentions(seeFigure2).
InterviewConductionandAnalyses
Asemistructuredinterviewguide(Kvale&Brinkmann,2009)wascreated,inspiredbytheresearchguidelinesofKvale&Brinkmann
(2009),Stakes(2010)andRobson(2011).Thisinterviewguideconsistedoffourparts:1)askingforanintroductionexample,2)
askingforfollowupexamples,3)exhibitingquestionsreferringtotheliteraturefindings,and4)exhibitingquestionsreferringtothe
firstauthorsexperienceregardingtheeffectofsituationsongsontheabilitytocopewithdifficultsituationsandtosecurethe
therapeuticattitudeandspace.Amixedinterviewstylewasusedtoactivelyseekspecificknowledgewhilealsobeingopento
unexpectedfindings(Kvale&Brinkmann,2009).
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Threepediatricmusictherapists(Denmark,Austria,Germany)wereinterviewedviaSkype[1](allinterviewsinEnglish).Each
interviewlasted50minutes.Theintervieweeswereinformedbeforehandviaemailaboutthesubjectmatterandthedefinitionof
situationsongasdescribedbyPlahlandKochTemming(2008).TheaudiodataoftheinterviewwasrecordedusingPamela
professionalsoftware[2].Apreciseguideofanalyzingprocedurewasdeveloped(seeFigure1),whichallowedallthreeinterviewsto
beevaluatedsidebysideforequaldataanalysis(Bruscia,2005).ThetextwastranscribedbythesoftwareprogramExpress
Scribe[3]andanalyzedbytheuseofsoftwareAtlasTi[4].Thisprogramallowedtheresearchertomarkpatchesofinterest,toattach
codestothesepatches,tomergecodesintolesscodesofthesamemeaning,torefinethecodes,togroupthecodesintocategories,
tomergeandrefineagainanoftenrepeatedprocess(seeFigure1)
Thecategoriesoftheinterviewdatawerebuiltuponthecategoriesoftheliteratureanalyses(inahermeneuticsense).Itbecame
clear,thatthreefurthercategorieswereneededandthenamesofsomecategoriesneededasmallredefinitiontofittheinterview
data(seeFigure3).Somecodesfitintomorethanjustonecategory(Robson,2011).Aprimarycategorywasspecifiedforthese
codes.
Figure1:Mystepbystepguidetotheinterviewanalysis(KolarBorsky,2013,p.39)
Step1:Theactualinterviewsendinginterpretationsback(Kvale&Brinkmann,2009)
Step2:Brainstormfirstmeaningcondensationandcodes(Robson,2011Lindvang,2010)
Step3:Transcription(Kvale&Brinkmann,2009)
Step4:Membercheckingofthetranscription(Kvale&Brinkmann,2009)
Step5:Patchesofinterest(Bruscia,2005)
Step6:Coding(Robson,2011)
Step7:Readingfirstnotes(Step2),alteringcodes.
Step8:Categorizing(Robson,2011)
Step9:Meaningcondensationofeachinterview(Kvale&Brinkmann,2009)
Step10:Membercheckingofthemeaningcondensation(Robson,2011)
Step11:Integrationandinterpretationofdata(Robson,2011)
Results
CodesandCategoriesoftheLiteratureFinding
Thefindingsoftheliteraturereviewandanalyses(seeFigure2)showthatpediatricmusictherapistsusedsituationsongsregularly
by.ThemusictherapistslistedinFigure2workwithpediatricclientswithvariousdiagnoses,suchasdevelopmentaldelays,autism
spectrumdisorders,andbehavioraldifficulties.Therapists,whospecializeinworkwithchildrenwithdevelopmentaldelaysor/and
autismspectrumdisorders,tendtousesituationsongsforawiderrangeofreasonsthantherapistswhoworkwithchildreningeneral.
Thisimpliesamorefrequentandawideruseofsituationsongswithclientswithdevelopmentaldelaysandautisticspectrum
disordersthanwithotherdiagnoses.
Situationsongsareusedonthebasisofawidevarietyofintentions.Theseintentionsweresummarizedintofivecategories:
1. Appreciation&space,
2. Contact&relating,
3. Regulatingemotions,
4. Structuringsessions&process,
5. Progressenhancing&pedagogicaspects.
Themainimpulsebehindtheuseofsituationsongsistomakecontactandtorelate(seecategory2).Mostmusictherapistsuse
situationsongsfurthertorespondtothechild(category2c)andtogivefeedbackcategory2e&2f).Situationsongsarealso
frequentlyusedasatooltocreateatherapeuticspaceandtoshowthechildappreciation(category1),togivecomfort(category1b),
togivereassuranceandtoshowacceptance(category1d).Somemusictherapistsmakeuseofsituationsongstoregulatethe
emotionalstateofthechildandofthemselves(category3),toorganizeandstructuretimeandsessions(category4)andtoset
gentlebutdirectimpulsestoemphasizedevelopmentalprogressesintherapy(category5).IntheliteratureaboutNordoff&Robbins
MusicTherapy,situationsongsaredescribedasbeingusedforthewidestrangeofreasonsthroughoutthelistedcategories,withall
fivecategoriesbeingassignificantastheother.Onlyoneliteraturesourcecouldbefound,wherethebenefitofsituationsongsforthe
therapistismentioned:Schumacherreferstotheopportunitytosingsituationsongsinsituationswhicharedifficultforherself,
specificallyinordertocopewithachildsdemandsforconstantrepetitions(category3d).
Therapists LH N&R T V S P&KT
Children
and
Developmental
delay,autism,
Cancer Developmental
delay
Autism Children
in
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Clientgroups,
diagnoses
adolescents
ingeneral
behavioral
difficulties
general
Codesofintentions
Category1:Appreciation&space
a)tonurture x
b)tocomfort x x
c)togivethechild
thefeelingofa
caringandemphatic
visvis
x
d)togivepersonal
reassuranceon
behavior,show
acceptance
x x
Category2:Contact&relating
a)tocreate
nearness,reachout,
sendsignals
x x x
b)tocreatedistance
c)torespondtothe
child
x x x x x x
d)toencourage
sharedplay
moments/sequences
x x
e)togivefeedback
onthechilds
actionsandbeing
x x x x
f)togivefeedback
ononesown
thoughtsand
feelings
x x x x x
g)toletthechild
feel,thatthe
therapistlivesin
music
x
h)topreparefor
verbal
interpretations

Category3:Regulatingemotions
a)tosoothe x
b)toregulatestate
ofarousal,change
moodofchild
x x x
c)toenhance
experiencesofdeep
emotions
x
d)tocreate
humorous/joyful
moments
x x x
e)tocopewith
situations(constant
repetitions)
x
Category4:Structuringsession&process
a)toofferstructure
intime(linking
activitiestogether)
x x x
b)tooffervariations
tostayatanactivity
x x
c)toindicate
beginningandend
ofactivity
x x
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Figure2:Codesandcategoriesfromtheliteraturereview(KolarBorsky2013,p.32)
d)toexpandthe
childsattention
span
x
e)tomediatethe
therapyprogress
throughmusic
x
f)tomovefrom
musicandplay
towardsverbal
psychotherapy

Category5:Progressenhancing&pedagogicaspects
a)toencourage
progress
(expression)and
reinforce
x x x
b)tocelebrate
progress
x
c)tosetboundaries x
d)togive
instructions,make
suggestions
x x
e)tosupportthe
developmentof
listeningskills

f)tosupportthe
developmentof
awarenessofothers
x
g)tosupportthe
developmentof
impulsecontrol

A:Aigen(1998)B:Beer(2011)GR:Grinnell,quotedbyBruscia(1987)LH:LutzHochreutener(2009)N&R.:Nordoff&Robbins(2007)P&KT.:Plahl&Koch
Temming,(2008)S:Schumacher(1994)Schumacher&CalvetKruppa(2008)Turry,(1998)T:Turry(1999)V:Voigt(2008)
CodesandCategoriesoftheInterviewAnalysis
ThecodingresultsoftheinterviewswiththreemusictherapistsabouttheirintentionstosingsituationsongsarepresentedinFigure
3.Thefindingsshow,thatthesituationsongisregularlyusedbytwooftheintervieweesandsometimesusedbyintervieweeC.The
intervieweesworkasmusictherapistswithchildrenwithvariousdiagnoses,suchasdevelopmentaldelays,severephysical
impairments,attachmentdisorders,behavioraldisorders,andearlychildhoodtrauma.Theintentionsbehindtheuseofsituation
songsweresummarizedintoeightdifferentcategories:
1. Appreciation&space,
2. Relationship,
3. Emotion&moodregulation,
4. Structureofactivity,
5. Socialskills&pedagogicaspects,
6. Behavior,
7. Expression,and
8. Language.
Category2,Relationship,wassplitintotwosubcategories:
Relatingtothechild(category2
child
)and
Relatingtooneself&copingwithdifficulties(category2
therapist
).
Allthreetherapistsusesituationsongstocreateabasictherapeuticspace(category1).Theywanttogivethechildfeelingsof
security(category1e)andofbeingcaredfor(category1b&1c).Throughtherecognitionofthechildsindividualneeds(category1f),
throughhopeforthechildsdevelopment(category1g),andthroughacceptanceofthechildandhisorherbehavior(category1a),
thechildshallexperienceappreciation.Allthreemusictherapistsmentionsituationsongsasameansofworkingontherelationship
(category2)tocreatenearnessandmakecontact(category2
child
a)forexample.IntervieweeBreferstotheopportunitytocreate
distancewhenthisseemsnecessary(category2
child
b).
Situationsongsareusedtodescribeandcontainthechildsemotions(category3),assensedbythetherapist(category3a)and
sometimestoregulatethecurrentmoodofachild(category3b&3d).Allintervieweesstate,thattheydonotusesituationsongsto
usedirectivestructureandtoregulatethetherapyprocess.Structure(category4)isneverthelessanimportantaspectofsituation
songsnotinthesenseofinfluenceontheprocess,buttoofferthechildfeelingsofsecurityasecuringstructure(category1e,as
quotedbyintervieweeB).
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Thesituationsongcanalsobeusedasameanstofosterthedevelopmentofsocialskills(category5)forexampletoencouragea
childtofollowinstructions(cat.5a),toexpandher/hisrepertoireofactions(category5d)andtointegrateachildinagroup(category
5b).
Threetherapistsusesituationsongsregularlytogivefeedbackontheobservedbehavior(category6).Twooftheintervieweessing
situationsongstogivefeedbackontheirownthoughtsandfeelingsinregardtocountertransferences(category2
child
e).One
intervieweesingssituationsongstogivefeedbackontheintervieweesownuncertaintiesandhopes(category1g,category8e).
Twointervieweesmentiontheaspectofexpression(category7):Situationsongscanbeusedtogivethechildavoice(category7a,
quotedbyintervieweeA)andtosupportthechildsawarenessofhisorherownexpressionalabilities(category7b).
Animportantfurtheraspectofsituationsongsistheopportunitytosendamessagethroughlanguage(category8).Throughthe
song,thechildcanbetoldsomethingconcreteandspecific,whichcannotbetoldthroughmusicalone(category8d).Thechilds
understandingofaninstruction,hisorhermoodandemotionsandthespecificsituationcanbeenhancedthroughthesituationsong
(category8b).Thesongcanbefurtherusedtoshowachildwithseverephysicalimpairmentrecognitionofhisorherintellectual
abilities(category8g).
Whenaskedabouttheeffectsofsingingsituationsongsonthemselves,thethreeintervieweesrespondedverydiversely.Interviewee
Amentionstheimportanceofcreatingroomforherselfattimesandpresumestousesituationsongstodoso(category2
therapist
a,
category2
therapist
b).IntervieweeBsingssituationsongstoregulateheremotionalstateattimes,forinstancewhenshefindsithard
tocopewiththeknowledgeaboutachildsdifficultlifesituation(category2
therapist
c).IntervieweeCstates,thatshedoesnotuse
situationsongsorotherformsofmusicalimprovisationtoregulateherownwellbeingwithinmusictherapysessions.
Therapists IntervieweeA IntervieweeB IntervieweeC
Clientgroups,diagnoses
developmental
delays,severe
physicalimpairments
developmental
delays,behavioral
disorders
attachment
disorders,early
childhoodtrauma
Codesofintentions
Category1:Appreciation&space
a)toshowacceptance x x
b)togivetothechild/tonurture x x
c)tocreateasituationthatisgood
forthechild
x
d)togivethechildthefeelingofa
presentvisvis
x x
e)togivechildfeelingofsecurity x x
f)torecognizechildsneeds/show
understanding
x x
g)tobuilduphopeforchild's
progress
x

Category2
child
:Relatingtothechild(equivalenttoContact&
Relating)[5]
a)tocreatenearness/tomake
contact
x x x
b)toallowdistance x
c)toshowchild,thatitisseenand
heard/torespond
x x
d)tomeetchildsinterests x
e)togivefeedbackonown
thoughts/feelings
x x
f)tocreatesharedfocus x
g)tosuggestsomething/toinvite
thechild
x x x

Category2
therapist
:Relatingtooneself&copingwithdifficulties
newsubcategory)
a)togiveroomtooneself/carefor
ownneeds
x x
b)toshowownself x x
c)toregulateownthoughtsand
emotions
x x

Category3:Emotions&moodregulation(equivalenttoRegulating
emotions)
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Figure3.Codesandcategoriesfromtheinterviewanalysis(KolarBorsky,2013,p.39)
a)todescribe/nameprobable
emotions
x x x
b)tohelpthechildtoregulatehis
moods/tosoothe
x x
c)tomotivatechild x
d)tocreatehumorousandjoyful
moments
x

Category4:Structureofactivity(equivalenttoStructuringsession&
process)
a)tocreateastructure/aframe x x x

Category5:Socialskills&pedagogicaspects(equivalentto
Progressenhancing&pedagogicaspects)
a)toteachthechildtofollowan
instruction
x
b)tosupportchild'sintegrationin
groupsetting
x
c)tosupportdevelopmentof
childslisteningskills
x
d)tosupportchildtoexpandhis
repertoireofactions/fosternew
experiences
x
Category6:Behavior(newcategory)
a)togivepersonalreassuranceon
behavior/tocontainit
x
b)togivefeedbackonthechild's
actions
x x x

Category7:
Expression(new
category)

a)togivethechildavoice x x
b)tosupportthechilds
consciousnessofhisownvoice
x
Category8:Language(newcategory)
a)todescribe/nameatmosphereor
situation
x x x
b)tosupportthechilds
understanding
x x
c)togiveaverbalmeaningtothe
music
x x
d)totellthechildsomething
specific
x x x
e)toexpressuncertainties x
f)tostimulatethechild'slanguage x
g)torecognizethechilds
intellectualabilities
x
Discussion
Theliteraturereviewledtoanoverviewonmusictherapistsintentionsbehindsituationsongsthroughoutdifferentmusictherapeutic
approaches.Theinterviewstudymadepossibleacloserfocusonthetherapeuticintentionsbehindthemethod.Thecombinationofa
broadliteratureanalysesandasmallinterviewstudywasthechosenmethodinordertosupportrobustresults.
Inordertoverifythehermeneutictextinterpretationoftheliterature(asmentionedbyKvale&Brinkmann,2009),exhibitquestions
wereaskedduringtheinterviews.Thiswasawaytocheck,whetherthecategoriesweremeaningfultoothermusictherapists.Exhibit
questionswerealsoasked,whichlinkedtheinterviewstothefirstauthorsownexperiencewithsituationsongs,specificallyindifficult
situations,e.g.whenthechildshowsdestructivebehavior.Inthesenseofthehermeneuticcircle,knowledgewasdeepenedand
expressedmoreprecisely.
ComparisonoftheLiteratureandInterviewFindings
Duetotheadvantagesofinterviewingaskingintervieweesconcretequestionswithfocusontheprecisesubjectmatterofthestudy
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morecodesandcategorieswerefoundintheinterviewdatathanintheliterature.Further,somedifferenceswerefoundregarding
thetherapeuticfocus.Toshowappreciationandtocreateatherapeuticspaceareofmajorimportancebothfortheauthorsofthe
literatureasfortheinterviewees(category1).Intheliteraturethemainfocusisongivingcomfort,onaccepting,nurturingandcaring.
Theintervieweesadditionallymentiontheintentiontocreateasecure,safeandgoodsituationforthechild,toshowrecognitionofthe
childsindividualneedsandtobuilduphope(quotebyintervieweeA)forthechildsprogress.Thelattercanbeseenasawayof
showingappreciation,believinginthechildandhisorherabilities,devotingoneselfwithempathytowardshimorher.Relationship
(category2)isaprimaryfocusbothintheliteratureandtheinterviewdata,specificallytomakecontact,toallowdistance,torespond
andtogivefeedback.Theinterviewfindingsshowmoreover,thatsituationsongscanbeusedtocarefullysuggestsomething,to
invitethechild,totakepartinasharedactivityandtomeetthechildsinterests.
Accordingtotheinterviewdata,singingsituationsongscanhelpthemusictherapisttocreateroomforhimselforherself,andtoshow
hisorherownneedstothechild.Singingsituationsongscanfurtherbeawaytoregulatehisorherownthoughtsandemotions.
Accordingtooneliteraturesource(Schumacher,1994),singingsituationsongscanhelpthetherapisttocopewithconstant
repetitions.Twoexamplesfromtheinterviewees(aswellastheexamplefromthefirstauthorsclinicalwork,seeintroduction)
demonstratetheuseofsituationsongsinordertoexpresscountertransference.Singingaboutsensationsandfeelingsof
countertransferencecangiveroomtothisphenomenonsothatbecomespossibleagaintofullyturntowardsthechildandsecurethe
therapeuticspace.Thechildcanperceivetheauthenticityandpresenceofthemusictherapistatangiblevisvis.
Whileintheliteraturethereisatendencytousesituationsongsfortheregulationofemotions(category3)(e.g.tosooth,tomotivate,
tocreatehumoroussituations),thefocusoftheintervieweesistoaccept,contain,describe,andnameemotionsratherthanchange
them.
Intheliterature,situationsongsaredescribedasamethodtostructuretheprocess(category4),e.g.byindicatingbeginningand
endofanactivity,offeringvariationsandexpandingthetimeofsharedfocus.Thefindingsoftheinterviewanalysisshowaless
directiveapproach.Structure,forexample,throughtherepetitionoflittlesongphrases,isusedtosupportthechildsunderstandingof
whatisgoingon,sothatthechildfeelssecureandcanembarkonthetherapeuticrelationship.
Theintervieweesusesituationsongswithafocusonthechildsbehavior(category6).Theintentionstogivepersonalreassurance
onbehaviorandtogivefeedbackonthechildsactionswerefoundintheliteratureaswell,butatthisstageofthestudyweresorted
intoothercategories(category1&2).Afurtheraspectabouttheuseofsituationsongsmentionedintheinterviewsisexpression
(category7).Thetherapistcanexpresssomethingonbehalfofthechildtogiveherorhimavoice(quotebyintervieweeA)and
supportthechildsawarenessofherorhisownexpressionalabilities.Theintentiontoencourageexpressionwasfoundinthe
literatureaswell.Hereitrelatestothechildsowncreationofsongsandnottosubtlefirstattemptstousethechildsownvoiceor
mimicsandgestures.
Afurtheraspectabouttheuseofsituationsongsfoundintheinterviewdataislanguage(category8).Thesongofferstheopportunity
tosendspecificmessagestothechildaboutthoughts,uncertainties,feelingsanddescriptions.Thechildcanexperience,thatheor
sheisappreciatedasahumanbeing,wholiveswithinlanguage,eventhoughheorshemightnotbeabletomakeuseofthis
expressively,duetoseverephysicalimpairments.
IntegratedModel
Onthebasisofthefindingsanintegratedmodelofthecategoriesofintentionstousesituationsongswasdeveloped(seefigure2).
Fromthispointofview,thetherapeuticspace(category1)istheessentialframeforanytherapeuticworkatanytimeinthemusic
therapyprocess.Themusictherapistintendstobeapresentvisvisforthechild,toacceptthechildinherorhisuniqueness,to
showrecognitionofthechildsneedsandtocreateasecuresurrounding.Theseexperiencesareessentialforthechild,inordertobe
abletorelateandtomakeprogress.Thechildandmusictherapistcreateadynamicrelationship(category2)witheachother.The
therapistintendstoseeandhearthechild,respondtoherorhim,andmeetherorhisinterests.ThetherapistsupportstheSpacefor
thechild,butalsoshowshisorherownneeds,feelingsandthoughtstosomeextent(Spaceforthetherapist).Bydoingsothe
therapistshowsauthenticityandhelpsthechildtodevelopanawarenessoftheother.Basedonnewbeneficialexperienceswithin
thetherapeuticrelationship,thechildissupportedtodevelopfurtherinthevariousfieldsofdevelopmentemotion(category3),
expression(category7),behavior(category5)andsocialskills(category6).Thecategorieslanguage(category8)andstructure
(category4)arefurtherresources,whichhelptoworkonthevariousfieldsofdevelopment.
Experienceanddevelopmentneverhappeninjustoneoftheabovecategories,butaffectusinanintegratedorholisticsense.Todo
justicetotheconnectednessofthedifferentcategories,thecategoriesinFigure4aretransparentandpartlyoverlapping.Theyare
closelyinterrelatedanddonotstandalone.

Figure4:Integratedmodelofthecategoriesofintentionsbehindtheuseofsituationsongs(Kolar
18/9/2014 Kolar-Borsky
https://voices.no/index.php/voices/rt/printerFriendly/744/646 9/10
Borsky,2013,p.62)
Thecategoriesofintentionsbehindtheuseofsituationsongsoutlinedifferentfieldsofexperienceanddevelopment.Theoverallaim
behindthemusictherapistsuseofsituationsongsistoofferessentialexperiencesinordertosupportthechildsdevelopment.
AlthoughtheintegratedmodelinFigure4referstotheintentionsbehindtheuseofsituationsongsonly,itprovidesvaluable
informationaboutgeneraltherapeuticintentions,aimsandprioritiesofmusictherapistsworkingwithpediatricclients,beyondtheuse
ofsituationsongs.Especiallysignificantistheimportanceofthetherapeuticspace(firstprerequisite)andfurtherthetherapeutic
relationship(secondprerequisite),leadingtolearningopportunitiesinvariousfieldsofdevelopment.
Conclusion
Thefindingsshowthatsituationsongsareregularlyusedbypediatricmusictherapistswithvarioustrainingbackgrounds,especially
bythosewhoworkwithchildrenwithdevelopmentaldelaysandautismspectrumdisorders.Severaltherapeuticintentionsleadtothe
useofsituationsongs.Theoverallaimoftheuseofsituationsongsinpediatricmusictherapyistoofferbeneficialexperiencesin
ordertosupportthechildsdevelopment.
Thestudyfurtherrevealsthespecialfeaturesofthesituationsongadualmodalformofexpression(verbalandmusical)withinthe
spontaneityofimprovisation.Verbalcontentcanbesupportedbyasongmelody.Thiscanmakeiteasierforthechildtounderstand
thewords,toreachthechildemotionally,andtomakeitsaferforthechildtotakeininformationwhichisdifficulttobear.Moreover,
musicalmessagescanbesupportedbysonglyrics.Thisenhancestheclarityofthemusicalmessageandgivesanotherangletothe
musicalexpression.
Basedontheethicbeliefthateveryclienthasarighttoexperiencetransparencywithinthetherapeuticprocess(Plahl&Koch
Temming,2008),situationsongscanbeusedtoincludetheclientinthisprocessandtoshowhonesty.Perhapstheclient
comprehendsmorethanthetherapistbelievesorperhapstheclientonlyunderstandsmusicalmessages.Usingsituationsongs,the
therapistcanopencommunicationverbalcontentwithinamusicalcontextwithoutburdeningtheclients.
Thisstudygivesanimpulsetomoreinternationalexchangeofclinicaltermsappliedinmusictherapy.ThestudyfocusesonEnglish
andGermanliteratureonly.Therefore,furtherresearchaboutthesubjectinotherlanguages,suchasSpanish,wouldcontributetoan
evengreaterinsightintothetopic.
Thisstudyfocusesonmusictherapistsviewsonsituationsongs,particularlyspecifiedreasonswhymusictherapistsapplythese
songsinpediatricmusictherapy.Thisleadstoconclusionsaboutpresumedandobservedeffectsofsituationsongsonpediatric
clients.Nevertheless,theactualintrapersonaleffectsonclientscannotbeevaluated.Visibleeffects(reactions,changeofbehavior)of
appliedsituationsongswouldrequireaninvestigationthroughvideoanalyses.Thiscouldbeafurtherinterestingresearchsubject.
Investigationsoftherapeuticintentionsbehindthevariousapplied(musical)interventionmethod,especiallythroughinterviewstudies
withmusictherapiststhroughoutdifferentcountriescouldsupportprofessionalandinternationalexchangeofvaluableexperienceand
thedevelopmentofourprofessionalrepertoire.
Notes
[1]www.skype.com/en/(27.04.2014)
[2]http://www.pamela.biz/en/(27.04.2014)
[3]http://www.nch.com.au/scribe/(27.04.2014)
[4]http://www.atlasti.com/index.html(27.04.2014)
[5]Referringtothecategoriesoftheliteraturereview
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