Last week was my final week with staff in the music group at The Fields. In line with Music as Therapy International’s overseas model of the final week involving staff leadership only, I attended the group in an observational role. In the past, Music as Therapy International has found that in those instances where staff don’t get to the stage where they are leading a group whilst being observed, they are less likely to carry on running sessions following the conclusion of the project.
When I arrived at The Fields, the staff had set out the room and instruments and went on to lead the session they had planned the previous week. They led a varied group with time for everyone to play together, time for solos, activities with different levels of structure and freedom and some group song singing. Afterwards they evaluated the group, and I really enjoyed hearing their thoughts on the group, especially in light of their detailed knowledge of individual service users.
Next week I will be meeting the staff again to pick up their feedback questionnaires on the different aspects of the project and to give them their certificates. I am really looking forward to hearing from them about how the group is going, and how it changes and evolves over time. It is quite a different experience to the involvement in a project that is located at a great distance (in my case, Rwanda), as I will still see the staff members (although not to do the music group) every week as I go about my usual clinical work. Below is a photo from one of the staff skill-sharing sessions.