The Sound of Music: Transforming Medical Students into Reflective Practitioners


There is a growing focus on the introduction of courses in humanities in medical education. Music is not a widely-used tool in medical education. It has unique features that make it an excellent educational resource for the possibility to express emotions. Within minutes, topics of interest in learning medicine, such as loss, compassion, sorrow, and solidarity can be identified and used in pedagogical processes. Music—like other art forms—can deal with the emotional universe of the student. Promoting a reflective attitude within an academic discipline requires the creation of space to make it formal. The Public Health Department of Jundiai Medical School (Sao Paulo, Brazil) offers a special course on family medicine core values, led by a SOBRAMFA Medical Education & Humanism faculty member. The process of understanding a student’s experience has allowed for the unveiling of a phenomenon that encompasses the student’s inner world as he/she attends to his/her medical training. The music is played on the outside resonates with the story and emotions of the student. Students realize that the pace imposed by the medical school does not allow them to reflect on either their own lives or their formation. The musical experience allows students to hear their feelings and share them with the professor and peers. They are surprised by memories and feelings that surface that they were unaware of or could not remember. These feelings are presented in themes that organize the affective experience of students, mobilized by the music. Several themes have emerged, such as the search for the self; family; vocational doubts; relationships with peers, professors, and patients. The findings of the experience of the music spectrum come in, offering numerous prospects for development in the context of medical education, as noted in the themes that emerged. As the basic experience we have of the world is emotional, the music—this form of human knowledge of affective tone—also becomes educational force, because the teaching process is not limited to transmission of content. Instead, more importantly, it implies that the teacher in development processes of meaning and significance enable the learner to reflect and transform the everyday practice, especially in medicine, where the interpersonal relationship is the basis for the full realization of future professional action.

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Janaudis, M. , Fleming, M. & Blasco, P. (2013). The Sound of Music: Transforming Medical Students into Reflective Practitioners. Creative Education, 4, 49-52. doi: 10.4236/ce.2013.46A009.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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