Grieg Research School in Interdisciplinary Music Studies
Viva Voce

Rock’s Role in Correctional Services

24th of October Lars Tuastad defends his dissertation about rock's role in correctional services. The Viva Voce will be held at the Grieg Academy, Department of Music, University of Bergen.

Lars Tuastad
Lars Tuastad

Main content

The dissertation

Since 2000, Tuastad has worked as a music therapist in Bergen Prison and has been involved in “Music in Custody and Liberty”, a program that offers inmates and ex-inmates opportunities to participate in music activities. During his PhD research period, Tuastad began an action research project with a band named Me and THE BAND`its. The band consists of three ex-inmates and Tuastad and is rooted in the project “Music in Custody and Liberty”. The action research project had two aims: 1) establishing and leading the new music activity in a useful way, and 2) making performances out of songs and stories from the band members’ own life experiences. The dissertation indicates how participating in the band community has contributed to comprehensive and decisive changes in the band members’ lives, including self-reflection, self-insight and consciousness-raising. Additionally, the band has reached a lot of their aims. They have had a lot of concerts, concert lecturing, touring and positive feedback from their audiences.

The theoretical framework for the dissertation has been drawn from socio-cultural perspectives, mainly focusing on the concepts “community of practice” and “scaffolding”. Tuastad emphasises how the band is a source of recourses, where one is strengthened both individually and as a band community. In conclusion, Me and THE BAND`its represent an alternative voice within the Correctional Services.

The PhD dissertation is based upon three articles and a “cape” contextualizing the articles. The first article is an attempt to explore the paradox and potential of music as a freedom practice inside and outside prison. In article two, the paradoxes of identity in Me and THE BAND`its is explored using a narrative inquiry approach. Article three scrutinizes Me and THE BAND`its as a self assistant self-help group, using music as the third force in the rehabilitation process.

The implications for practice highlight the need to create more participatory and user-led projects within the Correctional Services. It is also suggests that more research will be required to make the need more visible.


Lars Tuastad was born in 1967 in Haugesund and grew up in Husnes. He did his master in music therapy in 2008, and has been a PhD-candidate at the Grieg Academy, Dept. of Music, University of Bergen from 2010 – 2014. His supervisor has been Brynjulf Stige, Professor in music therapy.


Viva Voce

Time: Friday 24th of October at 09.00

Location: Gunnar Sævigs sal, Grieg Academy - Department of Music, Lars Hillesgt. 3, Bergen.



First opponent: Even Ruud, Professor, University of Oslo

Second opponent: Tor-Johan Ekeland, Professor, Volda University College

Head of the committee: Randi Rolvsjord, Associate Professor, PhD, University of Bergen


Trial lecture

Title: Konsertforedraget som musikkterapeutisk metode: Identitetsbygging, identitetsframstilling og narrativ terapi

Time: Thursday 23th of October at 16.00

Location: Gunnar Sævigs sal, Grieg Academy - Department of Music, Lars Hillesgt. 3, Bergen.


Ps! The viva voce will be held in Norwegian.

Norwegian title: Innanfor og utanfor – Rockens rolle innan kriminalomsorg og ettervern