In Visible Hands: A multidisciplinary collaborative arts-based research project exploring meanings given by music therapists involved in creative music action in relation to their hands
Emerging from a concern about the invisibility of the physical body in the discourse and research of two distinct and related disciplines, musicology and music therapy, this project explains, explores and provides a space for discourse and analysis of the meaning given by music therapists involved in creative music action in relation to their hands.
Method and process
The "In Visible Hands" project is based within the genre of arts-based research using creative arts practice and narrative analysis methods. In this project, a mold will be taken of one the participants’ hands using alginate-based molding techniques. The participant will be asked to form their chosen hand into a particular posture in relation to a specific moment in their music action practices within their discipline.
The process of mixing the materials for the mold, immersing the hand, waiting for the old to set and releasing the hand from the mold will take approximately 15-20 minutes. During these minutes, a short, focused semi-structured interview will be carried out. The interview will be audio-recorded and transcripts of the interviews will be analyzed using narrative analysis methods to elicit constructs and potential categories of meaning. The mold will later be filled with a casting material to create an identical copy of the participant’s hand.
After the initial step is completed, the participants will be asked to respond in writing to any emergent constructs and categories identified through the analysis of the initial interviews.
Once the narratives have been returned, the analytic process will continue with the elicitation and search for categories and suggested core categories and related to existing and emergent theory. These findings will be communicated with the participants at the close of the study.
The output of this study includes the casts of the participants’ hands that can be used for education, demonstration and potential future research studies; one methodological article and one article containing a discussion and presentation of the results of the entire project. The project will also be presented at one national and one international conference. If appropriate, the research design may include the output of an "Arts and Science" exhibition titled: "In Visible Hands."