The roles of music in Let’s talk music, a model for enhancing communication between Arabs and Jews in Israel

Avi Gilboa, Bissan Salman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Let’s talk music (LTM) is a community-oriented music therapy group that was developed to enhance dialogue between Arab and Jewish students. Participants, most of whom do not have prior music skills, are involved in various music activities alongside political discussions about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. In this “perspective-on-practice” article, we reflect on the roles that music has in LTM. Based on students’ written and oral feedback reports at the end of two of these groups, we found that music had six roles: to enhance musical capabilities, to express feelings, to develop togetherness, to get acquainted with “the other,” to raise political issues, and to create distraction from inconvenient (political) content. In the discussion, we compared these roles to those of music in other music therapy groups and in music for peace initiatives, and found that LTM was unique in that it uses music to raise political (conflictual) issues. Other roles that were found in LTM were found in other music therapy groups, but in LTM they had an additional cultural/political layer of meaning. For instance, music helped not only to develop togetherness or to express feelings in a social sense, but also in a political/national sense.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)256-268
Number of pages13
JournalNordic Journal of Music Therapy
Issue number3
Early online date30 Oct 2018
StatePublished - 27 May 2019

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2018, © 2018 GAMUT–The Grieg Academy Music Therapy Research Centre.


  • Conflict resolution
  • community music therapy
  • dialogue
  • group work


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