Reflections from the market place – Community music therapy in context | Intellect Skip to content
Volume 7, Issue 1
  • ISSN: 1752-6299
  • E-ISSN: 1752-6302



Music therapists engaged in musical-social development in territories with well-established legacies of suspicion towards state-sanctioned professional structures face uncomfortable dilemmas. South Africa’s Music Therapy Community Clinic (MTCC) has worked in the Cape Flats, in the Western Cape, for over a decade, and developed priorities and methods in attentive response to that particular market place. The ‘market place’ metaphor signals the possibilities for chaos and flourishing offered by spaces with distinctive – and not necessarily consistent – priorities and edges regarding music, safety, therapy, currency, work, economics and status. These reflections from the market place focus on the complex collisions of professional, musical and community loyalties that music therapists are offered by absent health and education resources and a rich social tradition of everyday music. While situated in a particular South African context, this article seeks to contribute to an adventurous broadening of community music therapy (CoMT) praxes everywhere.


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