Every Tuesday I work at Wilsic Hall School in Wadworth, Doncaster.  The service is a residential secondary school for people with complex needs mainly arising from autism and learning disabilities.  My role is to offer Intensive Interaction and Musical Interaction sessions for the individuals most at risk of isolation due to their communication disability and also to train staff during the monthly induction training and also as part of an ongoing training programme I have devised for the service.

Currently I am working with two class groups and I am finding that Musical Interaction is a useful approach in this context.  I hope the following short explanation may go someway to explain how I understand the approach relates to Intensive Interaction.

The way I understand Intensive Interaction is that, to create rapport, the practitioner looks for offers in the person’s behaviour and then joins in with this behaviour, using 100% of their attention and celebrating the behaviour like it’s the best idea in the world.  If this results in a mutual understanding of each others behaviour then rapport can be experienced (Fig 2).

In musical interaction the music offers a further opportunity for rapport.  In this approach practitioner will often make the first offer – a song, pulse, tune or rhythm which the practitioner thinks might be be mutually understood by the both the musician and the person (or other participants if working in a group setting).  If this results in mutual understanding then rapport can be experienced (Fig 3).

I have made the diagrams in an attempt to clarify this short explanation.  They work for me… let me know they make the practice more clear to you too.

Oh and if you want to learn more about Musical Interaction then I will be offering training on Musical Interaction Training 20th November 2017.