Erin I. Fox

Date of Award


Document Type

Open Access Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Music Therapy (MMT)


Music Therapy


This phenomenological study explored the lived experiences of three music therapists when working with actively dying hospice patients. The participants spoke of their experiences, drew mandalas, and improvised music. Through the lens of Interpretive Phenomenological Analysis the interview transcripts were coded two main themes emerged: clinical experiences and personal experiences. Subthemes under clinical experiences included use of ongoing assessment, clinical reasoning, clinical use of music to meet patient needs, roles as music therapist, facing challenges in the work, and working with patients’ spirituality. Subthemes under personal experiences included awareness of needs for self-care, physical and sensory experiences, emotions and new awareness from the work, a deepened understanding of death, and the work as spiritual on a personal level. Spiritual and emotional experiences were present on both clinical and personal experiences. The mandalas and music improvisation served to help the participants reflect more on their personal experiences.


SC 11.MMT.2017.Fox.E

Included in

Music Therapy Commons