Dana Jacobson, who was recruited from Israel to take on the role of assistant during the 4 week project in Myanmar, has just sent us the final blog updates. We hope you enjoy reading them and we look forward to sharing the full report with you as soon as we can!
After two intensive first weeks, that were sort of an introduction to music therapy techniques, to the structure of the course, and to us and the other participants, the afternoon courses began to be more intimate and even more powerful. We continued to share skills with the teachers and teach them lots of music therapy activities, for groups and for individual sessions. We aimed to give them practical tools that they could use immediately, so most of the activities were with recorded music, basic rhythmic tapping patterns, vocal improvisations and movement. In parallel, we continued with the personal work with the participants themselves. We conducted a lot of improvisations about life and emotions, sharing circles concerning personal history and background, and experiences from their musical work at the school.
In the mornings, we worked in the 2 schools (the Eden center and the Montessory School) with the teachers. They conducted individual and groups sessions (that we planned together the week before), and we accompanied them in the sessions. We met with the teachers before the sessions and helped them think about the goals of the session, the needs of the children, the setting and the activities that would fit the client group. In the afternoons, the teachers shared their own experience from the day with the others.
The teachers were amazing. With their co-operation, willingness to learn, and the bravery they showed, each teacher with her/his own personal story, and how they got to working in the special education system. We felt good about the progress we were making and that we were actually helping them to start a very important process of learning and knowing themselves more, in a new and different ways.
Forth week: the end
In the beginning of this week we started to prepare for the ending of the project. During the afternoon course, we asked the teachers to do more practical important tasks; creating an opening song, planning the formation of music therapy in their schools (who will conduct it, how many hours they can dedicate for it, groups/individual and et cetera). Also, some of the teachers brought videos of musical sessions that they conducted and together we have analyzed them.
For the conclusion, we talked about the importance of dedicating a time period for the music therapy program.
At the end, we had a ceremony for everyone who participated and it was very exiting!
We prepared certificates for the teachers, shared our feelings about the amazing experience that
we had had working with them, and talked about our hope for the continuity: that they will continue working with music and update us, meet each other to keep on learning and sharing experiences (like a peer group), and of course, that we will meet again in the not so far away future.