Elly’s research seeks to locate music therapy as a participatory and anti-oppressive practice for young people in schools to explore issues related to gender and power. With a highly multidisciplinary approach, the research relates to current aims in education and public health to address gender-based violence by exploring the experiences of young people in schools. In parallel, the research expands on music therapy as an anti-oppressive practice, specifically focusing on deepening music therapists’ understanding of critical issues related to systemic and interpersonal violence.
Drawing on critical and participatory methodologies, Elly has conducted workshops across multiple school sites, and established a music therapy program in a single school for one year. The research explores the complexities of violence embedded in the Australian school context, and seeks to highlight young people’s agency and resistance in light of discourses of deficit and risk. Implications relate to the importance of reshaping gender-based violence prevention practices with young people, and addressing structural violence at play in Australian education settings.