Banda 7 Ofícios: um projeto de capacitação de pessoas com deficiência através da música

Translated title of the contribution: Banda 7 Ofícios: A project for the empowerment of persons with disabilities through music

José David, Ana Gama, Ana Isabel Pereira, Abel Arez, Susana Gaspar

Research output: Contribution to conferenceAbstractpeer-review

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The stereotype of persons with disabilities as being incapable of fully assuming their citizenship is common (Siebers, 2008), and there are still prejudice and stigma about disability (Darrow, 2015). The Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (2010) itself does not consider the right to culture beyond the accessibility of spaces and formats, not expressing the needs for participation and artistic expression. Music empowerment of persons with disabilities may contribute to the satisfaction of individual needs for competence, autonomy and relationships, a necessary condition for intrinsic motivation and psychological well-being (Ryan & Deci, 2000). Several studies have reported the benefits of musical practice regarding the maintenance or rehabilitation of motor, cognitive and socialization skills (Creech, Hallam, McQueen & Varvarigou, 2013; Hallam, 2010). An approach based on the principles of community music, using the skills of musicians and professional facilitators to enhance the skills of participants, can promote the music practice autonomy of these participants (Higgins, 2012; Higgins & Willingham, 2017; Matarasso, 2019). This work aims to analyze the strategies used with persons with disabilities within a community music project. Following a qualitative methodology, a document analysis of the logbooks and reports of individual cases was carried out. The “Banda 7 Ofícios” project was implemented at the Lisbon Cerebral Palsy Association (APCL) and took place between October 17, 2019, and March 12, 2020. It was interrupted due to the pandemic situation, after 22 intervention sessions. Participants were 20 APCL users (7 men, 13 women) between 24 and 60 years old, with different types and degrees of motor and/or cognitive disabilities. The project had the following objectives: 1. to increase the musical capacity of APCL members who wished to participate in musical activities; 2. to develop autonomy in performing musical activities, regardless of the presence of a specialized external facilitator. The main strategies used were: (i) Participatory approach considering the group’s preferences and the individuality of the participants (Boal-Palheiros, 2014; Prendas, 2015); (ii) Diversification of the methods and means used, providing multiple means of representation, action, expression and involvement of the participants (Darrow, 2015), for example, the use of adapted computer interfaces, instruments and musical didactics; (iii) Specific individual work with each participant; (iv) Involvement of musicians (volunteers and students of the Degree in Community Music at ESELx/ESML). Although the project was interrupted, results show that there was a positive, albeit reduced, evolution in the group's musical skills (vocal accuracy and rhythmic precision) and that specific musical skills were developed by some participants, for example using the computer as a tool for musical creation, playing an instrument with a prosthetic adaptation, musically expressing a poetic creation, or simply expressing a musical intention that previously did not seem to exist. It was also found that the musical activity was relevant to the participants in terms of enjoyment and personal fulfillment, and that the strategies used allowed, not only the aforementioned musical development, but also the achievement of personal musical and identity aspirations.
Translated title of the contributionBanda 7 Ofícios: A project for the empowerment of persons with disabilities through music
Original languagePortuguese
Number of pages3
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2021
Event International Conference of CIPEM/INET-md : Perspectives in Psychology of Music and Music Education - School of Education, Porto Polytechnic, Porto, Portugal
Duration: 16 Sept 202118 Sept 2021


Conference International Conference of CIPEM/INET-md
Abbreviated titleIC CIPEM 2021
Internet address


  • Community music
  • persons with disabilities
  • musical empowerment
  • adapted technologies


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