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Lobbying for Music Therapy

Doina Panaite - Psiholog
Presedinte al Asociatiei Terapia, Bacau

- 2007-Feb-11 -
music therapy

By combining the school activity with the specific therapy sessions, I noticed that music therapy is miraculous! The 15 children with Special Educational Needs-difficulties in learning, language disorders, hyperactivity, locomotor handicap-integrated in the regular school system, have known each other, have had fun together and have decided together to create the vocal group “Miracle”.

All children, even if they are not of the same age, are different. Some of them are tall, others are short. Some are shy, others bold. Some learn faster, others not. Some enjoy sports, some not. Some children are born with certain disorders. For example, with eye disorders and locomotor handicap. Even some childhood deseases (virosis, meningitis) or accidents (burns, severe falls, car accidents) can be the causes for the disorders which appear after birth. These children are included in the group of the Children with Disabilities or with special educational needs. The growth and development of children can be affected by the environment in which they live (a hard financial family situation-children who don’t have anything to eat, children who are forced to beg, insanitary houses which expose them to deseases, separated or imprisoned parents).

These are the types of situations I am confronted with during my psychologist/support teacher activity in some regular schools in Bacau town. By combining the specific types of therapy, I noticed that Music therapy can do Miracles!

From the music therapy I have been organizing for three years (during which I had the opportunity to get to know the psychological individual traits of the children), I moved on to group music therapy. The 15 children with Special Educational Needs-difficulties in learning, language disorders, hyperactivity, locomotor handicap-integrated in the regular school system, have known each other, have had fun together and have decided together to create the vocal group “Miracle”. It sounds simple, but the effort was complicated. When you work with SEN children, the level of development of their music talent is less important. What is important is to establish another type of communication and, because I felt it was possible, I suggested the organizing of a show. For this purpose, we asked for the support of Marius Panaite, a music teacher in the ‘George Apostu’ Highschool for Art Bacau who, after getting familiar with the psychological individual traits of the children, has carefully and flexibly selected the repertory. We continued the rehearsals. We focused on the rhythm education, on the correct and expressive pronunciation of the text, on song reproduction, generally put it, on harmony and ambition developing.

The day of the show came. June 22nd, 2004, the official opening of the ‘Terapia’ Association, Bacau. The vocal group “Miracle” presented an artistic program under the slogan “The Right to be Loved!”, in front of the parents, professors and a impressively high number of association members. The children recited, sang accompanied by an organ played by Mr. Marius Panaite. It was touching. You could see tears in the eyes of the audience. For their effort and courage, they received diplomas and many applause.

It was an interesting experience, which will be continued even if a high school teaching effort is necessary. Using the law of compensation, we will use musical instruments (tambourine, organ, bells, guitar), dancing (it’s well known that dancing therapy has been successfully used in the cases where communication was blocked for retarded or autistic children).

One can talk a lot about the positive effects of music therapy on the human mind. Beside the fact that it leads to a favourable evolution in the case of the psychological processes of knowledge (thinking, memory, attention, imagination), to the development of hearing, communication skills and it’s a real joy for children, the music therapy stimulates the collective socio-emotional integration of the SEN children.

Practicing choir music determines the children to mutually listen to one another, to accept each other, to synchronize with the group, to give up critical or rejection attitudes expressed in these ways: “He is watching me!”, “She didn’t sing well!’ or “M. is sitting too close to me!” (nervous or emotionally instable children). In order to talk about the positive changes in the behavior of the children in the “Miracle” group, we would need a lot of time and many pages. It is certain, however, that we got the joy of their souls!

(September 2004)

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Barbu Dana
Buna ziua, sunt kinetoterapeut la CSEI brasov si as dori sa stiu cum pot intra in posesia acestei carti. Va multumesc anticipat. Cu stima Dana Barbu

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