Ep. 11: Culturally sensitive practice in music therapy: Crossing cultural divides in aged care, with Eta Lauw

"Culturally-sensitive practice" is such a buzz-phrase in the health and community sectors, but what does this actually look like? And further, how do music therapists work in a culturally sensitive manner?

To help us with this topic, we spoke with Eta Lauw who is a registered music therapist in the sunny island of Singapore. You'll hear a story about how Eta introduced and developed a music therapy program during her time in Australia, at an aged care facility for elderly Chinese people.

 

Eta identifies as Chinese-Singaporean and beautifully expressed to us how she first walked into the Chinese aged care facility thinking along the lines of, "I know about Chinese people, I know what to do". But when she got there, she was surprised at how little she actually knew... despite being of Chinese origin herself. 

So how did Eta set up her program, what did she realise and how did she make it work? 
 

Eta's story clearly articulates the complexity of culturally sensitive practice, and highlights the constant reflexive process that needs to occur to run programs in an informed and deeply sensitive manner. This episode is not only relevant to music therapists, but to all professionals working with people from different cultures. If you know of anyone who may benefit from hearing Eta's story, please feel free to share this email with them!