Arts-Based Way of Being and Knowing: Music Therapy With Young People From Multicultural Backgrounds in South Korea


The purpose of this research project is to gain an in-depth understanding of the musical experience of young people from multicultural backgrounds and to explore any effects of music therapy on their well-being. It ultimately focuses on giving voices to young people from multicultural backgrounds and sharing experiences through music. A mixed methodology has been employed. Five young people aged 12 to 16 years from multicultural families living in South Korea engaged in 'Mu-Being', a 15-weeks music therapy programme at Migrant Welfare Center. The approaches and contents of the session highlighted collaboration with young people in all processes of planning, doing, sharing, and reflecting. With narratives, musical and creative works were used to gain a holistic and integrated understanding of the experiences. At the same time, quantitative measures based on a multidimensional framework were used to investigate how music might affect the well-being of young people. The whole process of synthesis and interpretation included arts-informed methods. The findings and discussions of this study reveal the dynamic process through which young people experience and share music within a multicultural context, and how musical work authentically captures their lived experiences. It also demonstrates how music contributes to individual well-being and the creation of a 'healthful culture' in a community as a shared experience. This leads us to a fundamental reflection on the notion of 'Multicultural'. Furthermore, it provides an insight into how arts-informed ways like music contribute to the exploration of 'yet to be known' cultural areas.

Author Information
Joon Oh, Queen Margaret University, United Kingdom

Paper Information
Conference: ACCS2023
Stream: Cultural Studies

This paper is part of the ACCS2023 Conference Proceedings (View)
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To cite this article:
Oh J. (2023) Arts-Based Way of Being and Knowing: Music Therapy With Young People From Multicultural Backgrounds in South Korea ISSN: 2187-4751 The Asian Conference on Cultural Studies 2023: Official Conference Proceedings
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Posted by James Alexander Gordon