Exploring the Collaborative Musical Experience of Swedish Bunne® Method in Japan: A Case Study Towards the Development of Universal Design in Musical Experience

Exploring the Collaborative Musical Experience of Swedish Bunne® Method in Japan: A Case Study Towards the Development of Universal Design in Musical Experience

Akiko Fujibayashi (Bunne Japan Co. Ltd., Japan)
Copyright: © 2019 |Pages: 29
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-8042-3.ch007

Abstract

Universal design has been a timely and important research topic of our time both in the realms of music therapy and education. Bunne Method, Swedish music method, was developed by Sten Bunne in 1980 to overcome physical and social difficulties and age gaps by sharing musical ensemble experience. This qualitative study explores the collaborative musical experience of elderly people and children in Japan by implementing Bunne Method. Bunne instruments are made in universal design with a four string swing bar guitar, one string mini bass, chime bar, monophonic flute for the use of anyone regardless of music experience, handicap, etc. In music activities with Bunne instruments, human physical, psychological, and social nature are activated in a synergistic manner so that it also helps to create positive feelings and confidence and livelihood through the pleasure of playing music.
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Background

Universal design and kyosei living have been timely and important research topic of our time both in the realm of music therapy and education. In 2012, the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT) in Japan set a new goal of constructing a kyosei society by implementing an inclusive education system in special education. The inclusive stance in education promotes learning together and building a community (Glass, Blair & Ganley, 2012) for students with a broad range of abilities, with and without disabilities.

Bunne Method, Swedish music therapy method which was imported to Japan, was developed by Sten Bunne in 1980 to overcome physical and social difficulties and age gaps by sharing musical ensemble experience. It is a method where music is used as a tool for people to interact, both under leadership and spontaneously. Partial musical aims are given for raising their motivation in a step-by-step, long term education process. Sten Bunne, the expert of music therapy in Sweden, holds the view that music is an excellent tool for human growth and development. This view comes from his 38 years of practice and lecturing.

Figure 1.

Sten Bunne

978-1-5225-8042-3.ch007.f01

The major characteristic of the Bunne Method, developed by Sten Bunne, is that a specially designed a family of easy-to-play musical instruments are used. They are called the Bunne Instruments, and make it easier for people with various difficulties to participate in playing music. The musical instruments are for accompaniment with chords, melody playing and bass playing. Sten Bunne is also the designer of the Bunne Instruments and learning environment. Their origin stems from the 1980s in Sweden.

The names of the most popular Bunne Instruments are the following:

  • Swing Bar Guitar

  • Single-Note-Flutes/ Bass flutes

  • Chime Bars

  • Mini-Bass

The Bunne Method is based on the fact that when people perform or sing music, they develop the sense of participation and musical community physically, mentally, and socially, and even spiritually. However, the most importantly, in order for this musical method to work, the method must match the needs of the people using it. If not, the leader and participants will face impossible demands. Keeping the methodical approach in mind while carrying it out with a lot of common sense and sensitivity is a good starting point for the leader.

Following are the frequently asked questions arise about Bunne Method:

  • 1.

    Is it necessary to have experience of musical education to instruct a musical group?

  • 2.

    Do the participants need to be fully developed and healthy to join?

  • 3.

    Is long-term, hard practice needed to handle a musical instrument?

The answer to all three questions above is simply “no”. In the Bunne Method, music a tool. To realize this, a comprehensive understanding of the building blocks is needed. We will try to give you some exciting tools for playing music with people in a way that is often considered “impossible.”

Following is the specific showcases of the Bunne Musical Instruments.

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