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Romania Support Activities


Since the fall of communism in 1989, Romania has been working to improve its neglected care system.  The charity's roots lie in the country's orphanages, but these institutions are largely a thing of the past due to significant care system reforms.  However, there remains a lac k of training and professional support fo r people working with people with disabilities.  Momentum is building locally to see greater recognition of music therapy as a valid form of intervention of children and adults with additional needs and it feels as important to support this progress as it felt to introduce music therapy when we started our projects there 20 years ago.


Our first ever project, back in 1995, was provided at the request of a Romanian institution for abandoned children with complex needs in the north of the country.  The success of this project, training and equipping care staff to run their own therapeutic music programmes with confidence, led to its replication over the next 10 years.  During this time we delivered 13 projects in 18 care settings across the country, with a total of 3,500 children and adults benefitting from music sessions delivered by the care staff, teachers, psychologists and other practitioners we trained.  We always reinforced our introductory training with moral and professional support for as long as our Local partners were running music programmes.  This led to many of them becoming trainers themselves (the most prolific of whom has since trained 1,500 other care staff) and the majority of care settings continue to have music programmes running to this day.

As one of our Local Partners explained, "I continued this work because I was supported by [Music as Therapy International] for 12 years. The musical instruments that helped me carry out the work, were donated by Music as Therapy International. The continuous effort done by both parties made this collaboration sustainable over time and helped us give sense to the life of abandoned people that didn't have any hope of someone reaching out to them"

Lenuta works for the fantastic Fundatia de Sprijin Comunitar (Foundation for Community Support) in Bacau.  Do read more about their work, here. 

Distance Learning Programme (DLP)

We have delivered the Distance Learning Programme for the past 5 years.  This course strives to teach ways in which a therapeutic approach to music-making can be used to help young children with disabilities.  We do this through the provision of online tutorials, monthly written assignments, an intensive study weekend and a supervised practical assignment, over the course of twelve months.  50 care professionals have been accepted on to the course and we have fully tested the concept, evaluated its impact and refined the content based on our experiences. 


We will not deliver the DLP to a new cohort of students this year, instead we are seeking to find a recognised Training Provider in Romania to partner with Music as Therapy International and host the Distance Learning Programme. 

We have consulted our Local Partners, academics and trainers across Romania for guidance, through a questionnaire. You can read the results of this questionnaire here.

We have formed a Steering Group of 10 Local Partners to help us take forward their recommendations locally. We hope to have identified a suitable local training partner by the end of the year, with whom we will work in 2017 to re-launch the Distance Learning Programme from within RomaniaWe hope to have identified a suitable local training partner by the end of the year, with whom we will work in 2017 to re-launch the Distance Learning Programme from within Romania.

Skill Sharing Project

In 2015, we were approached by a school for children with autism who were keen to develop a music programme and wanted training for their staff.  In response to this we will be facilitating an experienced and long standing Local Partner to deliver the training.

Evidence Base

Last year our Local Partners and the University of Brasov appealed for our help in explaining the value of music therapy to commissioners, funders, parents etc.  We will prepare a document collating the existing evidence base underpinning contemporary music therapy practice and present this to the University students and our Local Partners in November 2016 (This resource has also been requested by Local Partners in Rwanda and Georgia, so the costs of creating it have been divided between these three countries). 


Our Local Partners continue to need support in their continued use of music with children and adults with additional needs.  In response to their requests we will develop our Romanian microsite to improve online resources, and continue to invite applications for help sourcing musical instruments (these are still not available within Romania), supervision, and contributions to locally-led training/conferences to support the development of local practice.