I’ve just returned from my first trip to Romania, where Cathy Rowland (our Clinical Advisor) and I co-ran the Intensive Study Weekend for our Distance Learning Students. We delivered two very full days of teaching and workshops to our students, who demonstrated a real commitment to learning and were full of very pertinent and perceptive questions.
Our 12 students were all women spanning a large age range from their 20s to their 50s. Some were Managers of Care Centres, others were Speech Therapists, Psychologists and Teachers all working with children with a range of disabilities. Many were already using music in their work, and having seen its benefits were hungry for more information, new techniques and different approaches to try out. Many asked questions about specific children they worked with, such as what to do if a child cries throughout a session, and how to help a child with a physical disability learn to hold a beater. It was extremely rewarding to see how excited they were about learning and implementing so many new ideas!
Cathy and I were also really struck by the students’ creativity and openness. From the very first workshop, they showed an ability and willingness to be playful and creative, some very useful qualities for future music as therapy practitioners!
Our fabulous local partners Anca and Mia hosted the weekend at their lovely Centru de Zi Sf. Maria in Cluj, and also translated, provided refreshments and were incredibly supportive all weekend. We certainly couldn’t have done it without them!
The weekend was a fantastic learning experience for me as well, and I’ve found the teaching has solidified my own understanding of what I do as a Music Therapist, as well as making me realise how much I’ve learned, both in my MA training and in my first few years of practice. I’m incredibly grateful to have had this opportunity to step outside of my Administrative role and have some first-hand experience of the value of what Music as Therapy does.