by Dr Keith J. White
Posted on May 2 2013
On reflection I should have seen it when I heard Leon Fulcher’s brilliant lecture during a CELCIS conference in Scotland some years ago, but for some reason it only dawned on me last week! For decades there have been discussions about the distinctions between residential work and field work, social work and residential care and the like. But what I had missed completely was the role of music in all this.
Put simply, in social work there is no music. Think of the assessment process and the forms; think of the meetings involving children and young people; think of management; think of training and the lectures; think of the whole ethos including the administrative offices, and you immediately get the point. This is a world, a way of operating, in which music has no place.
Then think of foster and residential care, and the penny drops: there is music of all sorts: on TV, Ipads, Ipods, MP3s, radio, and still, against the odds, children and young people actually playing instruments or singing themselves. There is music being discussed, background music, concerts, dances, and film music. One is a world devoid of music: the other is replete with it.
If this sounds obvious to every reader, I am sorry that it has taken me so long to catch up. But, I hear you say: why does it matter? What might it mean or signify? And this is the point that struck me: if you are dealing with assessment, administration, planning, and with matters of the mind, then music is of little relevance. In fact it may get in the way. But if you are dealing with matters of the heart, and spirit: with feelings and the deep inner world of a person or a …