HomeThe Paulinian Compassvol. 4 no. 1 (2016)

The First Music Therapy in the Philippines: Experiences and Learnings

Oliver Neil Rodrigues | Brian Saludes Bantugan | Judith Alderete | Mary Abigail Hernandez



The study describes the experiences and learnings of the participants of "The Sound of Healing," the first music therapy conference in the Philippines. Using interviews and surveys from purposively sampled informants, the study was able to identify dominant themes in the learnings of participants and the most critical experiences that helped facilitate the learnings. The study documents a historical event in the university and for the country as it is the first music therapy conference in the country. The results revealed that given the adequate preparations, competent facilitators, group-oriented and meaningful content, a new discipline and practice like Music Therapy can be a worthwhile endeavor for a group of participants who are mostly female in the National Capital Region and in the field of education, particularly in higher education. The experiences that were most meaningful to the participants were related to content, particularly those that were considered (1) holistic, (2) strategic, (3) experience based, (4) practical, and (5) associated with high quality speakers. The themes that surfaced as the dominant domains of related learnings among participants were the following: (1) service, (2) paradigm shift, and (3) humanity. Of considerable value to Paulinian members of the audience were characteristics that they deemed reflective of their spirituality, as reflected by its organizers and the nature of music therapy: (1) charity in action, (2) Marian discipleship, (3) Paulinian core values, and (4) a purposeful giftedness.