Melissa Murphy

From social connectedness to equitable access: A participatory action research illuminating the ways in which young people with disability can engage with music opportunities and the barriers that prevent them doing so. The project is collaboration between Scope, a large disability service organisation and the National Music Therapy Research Unit. Melissa’s investigation has shifted from focusing on young people’s sense of social connectedness and the role that music may play in this, to the more pressing challenge of how they may access music on a more equitable basis. Informed by critical disability studies and community music therapy theory, the project has coincided with the roll out of a new disability funding model in Australia, the National Disability Insurance Scheme. Influenced by the philosophy of the scheme with its emphasis on individual choice, Melissa has worked with young people, first by inquiring how they feel about their social connectedness and then establishing a collaboratively run weekly community music rock band with a group of young people and others from the broader community.