Date of Award

Fall 12-14-2023

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Music (MM)



First Advisor

Dr. Laurie Peebles

Second Advisor

Ms. Katie Whipple

Third Advisor

Ms. Gabrielle Banzon




Music therapy with The Boys & Girls Club of a rural area of middle Georgia would create a positive outlet for the youth to delve into an experience that would create worthwhile opportunities for them outside of their everyday routine, while implementing coping mechanisms, self-actualizing habits, and social benefits. With the implementation of music therapy used in The Boys & Girls Club of The Big Bend, this population would be exposed to not only a therapy that they are not accustomed to, but they would most likely learn to appreciate music therapy to cope in their everyday life that will assist them to be prepared for a self-actualized and sufficient future.

With a Community Music Therapy approach, this population would share the act of participating in musical engagement and the ability to possibly present their musical works through group interventions, creating a space where there is social interaction and social awareness from peers. With my similar background of being an individual of African American descent in a society that does not always cater to my needs, there could be a better understanding of how Community and Cultural-Centered music therapy influences the at-promise youth population. The purpose of this study is to conduct music therapy interventions with adolescents from the ages of 10 to 16 in an afterschool program to observe how these adolescents experience music therapy on a social and emotional timeline.

Self-identity was the underlying theme in the study because the participants initially executed a sense of knowing who they were by describing themselves using adjectives such as “funny”, “fun”, “rude”, “quiet”, “caring”, “helpful”, and “smart.” They were able to voice that they had parents, mostly mothers, who worked late and would pick them up from the facility after work. With an established and consistent daily routine that the participants described during the pre-interview process, it is important to note that self-identity appeared to be consistent because there was the principle of responsibilities. These adolescents have been molded by school, communities, and present families that have allowed them to discover and know who they are as a self.

While having the opporunity to conduct a Community and Cultural-Centered music therapy qualitative case study with the Boys & Girls Club facility in the rural middle Georiga with adolescent participants, I have learned with this focus group that the common trait that they shared included the main theme of self-identification. The afterschool program adolescent population were witnessed to identify their emotions and learn how to express themselves through creative and self-expression through music therapy improvisation interventions for example. I believe that there is a need in possibly establishing a music therapy program with this population because they are still learning about themselves and peers.

Keywords: Rural area in middle Georgia, At-Promise Youth, Cultural-Centered Music Therapy, Community Music Therapy, Boys & Girls Club, Self-Identity, Emotional Awareness, Social Interaction


I am a Master of Music Therapy (MMT) graduate.

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Music Therapy Commons