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Many charities and service providers search out feedback from the people they work with about perceptions of their services. At Nordoff Robbins we do this, in part, through service evaluation projects. We use these projects to learn about how each music therapy service is seen and the areas of impact it is seen to have. We also bring the service evaluation projects together to help us learn about the areas of impact that all the evaluated services as a group are seen to have. And the projects are informative and vital for the development of music therapy services.

In addition, service evaluations may contain information that is left hidden from view in other publications. This information may be helpful in contributing to the understanding of music therapy more generally. In a newly published research study carried out by members of the Research Team at Nordoff Robbins, we analysed service evaluations of Nordoff Robbins music therapy in five neuro-rehabilitation settings.

The study focussed on the perceived impact of music therapy not only on clients but also on those around them and their setting. We explored how the context-sensitive nature of these evaluations can enable the identification of areas of impact that can feed back into practice as well as generate research questions.

There are many ways in which service evaluations can be carried out and this project was part of long term work that has led to the current service evaluation system at Nordoff Robbins. This system focuses on people’s perceptions in relation to a set of areas of impact that music therapy services may have on clients, the people around them and the setting within which they are located.

Full reference: Tsiris, G., Spiro, N. & Pavlicevic, M. (2017) Repositioning music therapy service evaluation: a case of five Nordoff-Robbins music therapy service evaluations in neuro-rehabilitation. Nordic Journal of Music Therapy. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1080/08098131.2016.1273966

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