The module serves to:

  • Deepen our awareness of the complexities of Psychosocial (PS) Music Intervention project management and of the numerous variables (anticipated and not) to be considered;
  • Support the development of a PS Music Intervention Presentation for potential stakeholders;
  • Support the development of criteria and guidelines for carrying out a Needs Analysis prior to project planning.

Introduction - Matching dreams and realities

watch video by Deborah Parker

1. What does the community want and what is it asking for? (these may not correspond!) What are its resources, needs, expectations?

How good is our comprehension of expectations and requests? (NB – we need to develop the capacity to listen carefully to language used and what it is communicating);

How good is our ability to analyse the relevant contexts?

  • the direct context (in other words the main target group);
  • the indirect context (environment);
  • the possible/probable outcome ‘conditions’ for work and future prospects.

2. What is PS Music Intervention able to provide?

What do we want to give?
What are our expectations of this work?
What are the available resources (human, material, economic)?
What is the potential for development (personal, institutional, social, cultural, material, economic…)?

3. How can PS Music Intervention enter and engage within the gap?

What is the nature of the gap between the community’s requests, resources and needs, and our resources and skills?
Are we able to develop adequate research for project planning?
Do we have a clear definition of essential criteria for project design and implementation (drafting of aims, work provision,organization of resources, timeframes …)?

This introductory activity is documented by the ‘Lets Pretend’ letters, to provoke initial brain-storming on the first steps of PS music intervention development, with a video clip of the MARS pilot seminar workshop (July 2016).

Contexts for PS music interventions; evidence for efficacy of PS music work

watch video webinar by Deborah Parker


Frameworks of thinking from contemporary sociology

watch video webinar by Anna Sonetti


Focus on the psychsocial framework

watch video webinar by Dario Gentili

The nature of this Module is practical and experiential; and to some extent, your assignments are based on a mixture of your initial engagement with your project field work, and existing MARS documents and literature. You are strongly encouraged to work in groups: to generate and pool experiences and ideas amongst yourselves, and present group assignments.

The assignments do not necessarily have to be written documents – you are free to be creative about the communication method:

  • oral presentation
  • PowerPoint presentation
  • written presentation.

Assignment proposal 1

Drafting of Presentation of  Psychosocial Music Intervention for potential stakeholders

Referring to the MARS Needs Analysis introductory chapters, and literature cited in the bibliography (select some texts in the Resources tab to inspire yourself!), develop a Presentation of Psychosocial Music Intervention, which you can use to inform possible stakeholders. This should include:

  • general needs of marginalised and deprived communities to be addressed by the intervention;
  • aims and objectives of PS music interventions;
  • skills and provision by PS music practitioners;
  • possible outcomes of PS music interventions in target communities.

Assignment proposal 2

Needs Analysis Template

Create a Needs Analysis Template of questions to put to potential stakeholders, in order to collect preliminary information about a possible PS Music Intervention, including:

  • specific context
  • requests and expectations
  • resources available

NOTE: You may find this easier to do by starting the other way round! Imagine that someone is asking you about the musical reality you work in; how would you describe it? What are the most important aspects, characteristics, needs and expectations to communicate? What is it necessary to tell about the surrounding context?

Assignment proposal 3

Needs Analysis Critical Reading and Discussion

Referring to the MARS Needs Analysis introductory chapters, literature cited in the ‘Bibliography for Social Research’ (see the Resources tab) and in the ‘Context Analysis Guidelines’, select one of the ‘Context and Needs Analysis Examples’ and provide a critical discussion of the document. Choose one or more guidelines as a reference; if you are working in group we recommend that the same document is object of the reading but different people choose different guidelines as reference.

Data and References


Bibliography for Social Research

List of texts to explore the topics of the first module. References marked with (*) are considered fundamental.

Theoretical references

  • Goffman E. - Forms of talk. University of Pennsylvania Press, 1981
  • Goffman E. - Frame Analysis: An Essay on the Organization of Experience. Cambridge, MA, US: Harvard University Press, 1974. (*)
  • Goffman E. - Interaction Ritual - Essays on Face-to-Face Behavior. Routledge, 2017 (*)
  • Lewin K. - La teoria, la ricerca, l’intervento. Il mulino. 2005
  • Lewin K. - Action research and minority problems, Journal of social issues 2(4) 34-46, 1946 (*)
  • Gobo J. - 'Class' as a metaphor. On the Unreflexive Transformation of a Concept Into an Object. Philosophy of the social sciences 25(4) 442-467, 1995
  • Morin E. - Introduction a le pénsee complex. Edition du soleil, 2014 (*)
  • Niklas L. - Introduction to Systems Theory. 2012 (*)


  • Geertz C. - The interpretation of cultures. Vol. 5019 Basic books, 1973.
  • Melucci A. - Verso una sociologia riflessiva. Il Mulino, 1998

Focus Groups

  • Bloor M. (ed.) - Focus groups in social research. Sage, 2000
  • DeWalt K. M., DeWalt B. R. - Participant observation: a guide for fieldworkers. AltaMira Press, 2002
  • Bertaux D., Thompson P. - Between Generations: family models, myths and memories. Transaction, 2005

Context analysis and social work


Public Domain References and Documents