Skill-sharing can be an effective way to get something started or to build capacity of an organisation or team. But it can feel like quite a daunting task if it isn't something you've done before. Where do you begin?
We provide consultancy for practitioners, within and beyond the Music Therapy profession, keen to learn from the experience of Music as Therapy International when planning and undertaking development work overseas. We are also pleased to support music therapists who have been called upon to share their skills here in the UK.
Typically, these initiatives are being undertaken by individual therapists who are leading projects using music therapy in places where it is not widely available (e.g. developing and transitional countries). They know the need for music therapy is there and often have varying levels of support from small charities with wider aims, church groups, schools, rotary clubs, etc. People usually get in touch with us because, despite this support, they need more focused help to plan and implement an effective music therapy project. We offer full or half day consultancy, or ad hoc or regular supervision.
For example, music therapist Tsvia Horesh received consultancy from us to help her devise and deliver a skill sharing project in Myanmar in 2012. We helped Tsvia plan a project which resulted in her training 20 staff working in 9 different special schools in Yangon. Tsvia has since returned four times to offer support and further training.
We also provide consultancy in the UK, helping music therapists share their skills with other practitioners and care staff, and to strengthen their practice.
"I work for Forget Me Not Children’s Hospice in Huddersfield as a music therapist. The music service is valued and supported by both the care team and management. One of my roles as the music therapist is to support and encourage members of the care team to use music with the children. They are all eager and keen to use music, taking instruments on their care visits to play and sing with the children. However, they all lack in confidence and are unsure of what they are doing. I have been asked to provide workshops for staff on musical ideas and activities. Before doing so I felt I needed further training in how to provide music-making skills for non-musicians who lacked confidence. I had a three hour 1:1 consultation with Alexia Quin who provided a space to talk through the work, aims, objectives, how, why etc. It grounded my thinking in ethics (ensuring that the training I offer doesn’t reduce the value of having a music therapist on the team), confirmed I was on the right track and provided ways in which to offer music making that is accessible and encouraging. It was a really inspirational and supportive three hours". (Sarah Weston, Music Therapist)