It is great to be back with the teachers at Patashala and ARMS centers in Hyderabad, India.
It has been around 7 months since Alastair and I completed a 5 week Music as Therapy International (MasT) training project for 9 teachers here. It is so inspiring to witness that both the organization has done a great job sustaining the music as therapy sessions at their respective locations. They have been using the musical activities in the MasT frame work and the children have been benefiting significantly.
At Patashala one boy who is a slow learner used be very shy, hesitant, and fearful in the class room. He used to sit at the last bench and would not communicate much with anyone. Teachers shared that he has changed so much. He is more open, confident, communicative and participating in class work. His focus and involvement in class activities have been increased. He is talking more with friends and teachers and now he has started sitting on the front bench as well.
At ARMS it was so heartening to know about these two Autistic boys who never used to sit in the sessions for more than 2-5 minutes and they used to go out, be distracted and not participate in the music sessions. They would disturb other children and dominate the group process. Now they are not only sitting in the session for the whole 30 minutes but they are playing, singing and taking part in the activities just like any other member of the group. This change in their ability to function in a group with other children has been a significant step and teachers shared it with great enthusiasm and appreciation for MasT sessions.
Hearing these stories, connecting with the teachers and noticing their enthusiasm, keenness and commitment for the Music as therapy process making me once again realize and reaffirm the power and potential of music in human wellbeing.
Thank you all for your support, wishes and positive intentions in making all of this possible. Both of the organisation’s have repeatedly sent their big thanks and appreciation for everything the MasT team has done for them.
Music continues to work :-)