The Music of Being
Release Date:21 Mar 2015

The Music of Being

Music Therapy, Winnicott and the School of Object Relations

Jessica Kingsley Publishers

This book explores how the work of key child development theorists informs music therapy practice with children and families.

Focusing primarily on the theoretical thinking and understanding of the paediatrician and psychoanalyst Donald Winnicott, Alison Levinge highlights how his theories resonate with the central aspects of music therapy. Central to the book are Winnicott's ideas on play and an exploration of his understanding of the psychological processes of 'holding'. Winnicott's theories are given greater depth and understanding by referencing the writings of Adam Phillips and Christopher Bollas. Consideration of relevant aspects of Bowlby's theories will also be included.

Knowledge of these theories of child development helps to support understanding of the music therapy process, making this book vital reading for both students and practitioners of music therapy.

In this important book Alison Levinge provides some powerful insights, from her perspective as a music therapist, into the work of one the 20th century's most innovative psychoanalysts. Of particular value to music therapists will be her understanding of Winnicott's recognition of the centrality of unspoken experience to the therapeutic process, and her emphasis on the importance of 'play', in every sense. This book will not only be a resource for students of music therapy: it will be something for all music therapists to return to throughout professional life. – Eleanor Richards, Senior Lecturer in Music Therapy, Anglia Ruskin University, UK
For the last 10 years, all the music therapy training courses in the UK have been teaching students about Winnicott's theories. Here, at last, is a book by an experienced music therapy clinician entirely devoted to looking at the strong links between Winnicott's thinking and music therapy practice. In this cleverly crafted, thoughtful and elegant work, case studies beautifully illustrate, clarify and bring to life these important links. – Amelia Oldfield, music therapist and author of 'Flute, Accordion or Clarinet?: Using the Characteristics of Our Instruments in Music Therapy'
Alison Levinge, PHD, LGSM(MT), Cert.Ed., is a music therapy practitioner and researcher. She specialises in music therapy with children experiencing early developmental difficulties and issues relating to bereavement and is currently researching the use of music therapy for mothers suffering from depression and their babies. She teaches and lectures internationally and is based in Bristol, UK.
Introduction. 1. Object Relations. 2. The Language of Music and the Music of Winnicott. 3. The Music of Beginning. 4. Holding and the Early Environment. 5. The Observation of Infants in a Set Situation. 6. Transitional Objects and the Transitional Phenomena. 7. The Use of an Object and Relating through Identifications. 7.1. Aggression. 7.2. Hate. 8. Playing. 8.1. Theory of Play. 8.2. Musical Play. 9. A Sense of Self and Music Therapy. 10. Transference and Countertransference. 11. Therapeutic Practice. References.
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