"It’s time to sing goodbye"…. We have been singing this every day for the past five weeks so we should be prepared! However Dr. Sundhima, who set up ARMS, said it’s just the beginning when we spoke to her about the training earlier this week.
In the final week as we sat back and observed the teachers facilitating the groups there was a chance to begin to let go and see things from a slightly different perspective. Could we learn something about boundaries in time and space from the teachers here? Keep to time, hold the boundaries but follow the children - a constant mantra from us throughout the project - however we learn a lot from those that push these very boundaries as they seek to assert themselves and challenge the group. Apparently in Hindi the word for tomorrow is the same as the word for yesterday! Maybe in the end being in place and on time, prepared to let go, is the most important feature.
The week ended with a presentation to a group of around thirty people, a mixture of parents and professionals. Ishweri, the head teacher at ARMS and Dr. Sundhima had been keen from the first week to bring interested parties together to hear about the experiences of the training at ARMS and Patashala. Somesh and I both presented on the work as well as the parents and teachers from Patashala school and the ARMS centre. Despite this being quite a formal setting there were at least four children from the school there making it a truly inclusive event, and it was the first time the teachers from Patashala had visited the ARMS centre!
With reference to the 2014 Music as Therapy International Annual Report at the presentation we could point to the work in Romania which started twenty years ago and this suggested that Dr.Sundhima might be correct when she said it was just the beginning!!
We’ve packed our bags and are ready to go. “are you sure you have not left anything” someone says. We certainly hope so….
Alastair & Somesh