To honour the vital role music therapy plays at Very Special Kids, our Registered Music Therapist and Zoom Room facilitator, Helena has shared the important role music plays and how we can use World Music Therapy Day as a reminder to appreciate music and it’s healing powers.
The importance of World Music Therapy Day
World Music Therapy Day provides us with an opportunity to reflect on the healing power of music and how we use music to enhance our wellbeing. Music has been used for thousands of years across many cultures to foster healing, connection and community, and music therapy draws on these fundamental aspects to support people in their daily lives.
Music therapists are trained to use music to support the physical, cognitive, emotional and social needs of people of all ages and abilities. Music therapy helps create a safe space for processing some of the challenges we face. Through creating and sharing music, we aim to foster trust and connection with others, promoting a sense of belonging and community.
The versatile nature of music and the differing ways in which people connect with music makes my role quite unique, in that I can therapeutically adapt musical interventions to meet different needs. Within a single day at Very Special Kids, I can collaborate and co-facilitate a music session with Leo (Occupational Therapist) and Belinda (Physiotherapist), focussing on physical needs such as trunk control and reaching forward, making choices and communicating with them, and of course having fun. Within the same day, I might also facilitate a music session for a family where I’m cultivating a safe space for parents and siblings to process grief and loss. Using music as a support tool that is motivating for engagement and emotionally meaningful is very special to my role.
World Music Therapy Day is also an opportunity to look at how we use music currently, and perhaps how we can use it more intentionally in our daily lives to support our own wellbeing. Whether it’s singing your favourite song in the car or having impromptu jam sessions using homemade instruments with your children, music is a resource that anyone can benefit from. Music provides us with an avenue to communicate and express our feelings in ways that extend beyond words and can take us on a journey, allowing us to explore and experience different emotions. It provides comfort in times of need, it motivates us to move and dance, and it provides relief from the chaos of the outside world.
The next time you listen to music, consider being more present and allow yourself to be purposefully engaged in the experience and how it feels. There’s no right or wrong way to do it and participating in music doesn’t require specific skills or knowledge to feel the benefits. There are many different ways to engage with music and it is a powerful tool that can positively impact our lives.
Thank you to the Campbell Foundation, whose generous support allows Helena to bring the joy of music to the children, young people and families in our care.