This article takes the lens of Critical Disability Studies as a theoretical and philosophical stance for critical reflecting upon the HCPC Standards of Proficiency for music therapists. The discipline of Critical Disability Studies, evolving from Disability Studies and the Disability Rights Movement, is initially defined, before multiple paradigms of disability are introduced as central tenets of this discipline. The fraught relationship between Critical Disability Studies and Music Therapy is explored, with reference to seminal publications and the tensions between them. The HCPC Standards of Proficiency are then taken as a source of reflection to attempt to understand some of the friction between Critical Disability Studies and Music Therapy. The aforementioned paradigms of disability are utilised as a framework for interpreting a selection of the Standards of Proficiency. Examples are given and questions asked to interrogate and contextualise the standards. From this critical reflection, a discussion emerges which seeks to understand how these ideas might inform theory, research and practice in music therapy which may further perpetuate particular perspectives on music therapy to other disciplines. The article concludes by drawing these threads to a conclusion, and makes some tentative recommendations: to educators, practitioners and the wider profession.
- music therapy
- disability studies