Kheeima Stewart qualified as an Interactive Music-Maker in 2018; Since then she has continued using her interactive music-making techniques and activities within her Early Years Community Co-ordinator role at Quaggy Children’s Centre in Lewisham. Earlier this week, we spoke to Kheeima about her use of music at Quaggy, and how they are continuing to provide a vital service during COVID-19.

At the start of the COVID-19 Outbreak here in the UK, we contacted all our UK Partners to ask how we might help them. Kheeima (pictured running an IMM session) was the first to respond. Like many nurseries and schools, Quaggy Children’s Centre has stayed open for the children of key workers and vulnerable children, and Kheeima told us that together with her colleague Catherine (also an Interactive Music-Maker), ‘We want to keep the momentum up for our children and keep them engaged with the love of music and thought it would be a good time to invest in some different resources.’ We were pleased to share with Kheeima guidance we had put together in response to some significant challenges for key workers continuing to support children at the moment. If you’re an Interactive Music-Maker reading this, or an interested early years practitioner, find the guidance on our Resources page! While Kheeima is currently self-isolating, she has been encouraging the Community Team to model musical activities for their children’s families, as well as provide instrument-free musical activities at the nursery.

“Denzel’s really loved IMM: he listens and responds to adults meaningfully, and through concepts like fast/slow and soft/loud he has found a way to express his emotions through music. ‘If you’re happy and you know it’ was a great song for Denzel as it allowed us to talk about how he was feeling. IMM allowed us to create a baseline of observation about Denzel and we went on to run small 1-to-1 sessions with him, which gave me an opportunity to focus more on his feelings and emotions with him.”

If you are a UK Partner and feel Music as Therapy International could do something similar for you, please let us know.

If you are a UK Partner and would like to share your Story about how music has impacted you and your clients, please get in touch. If you have participated in a music group run by of our UK Partners, please also get in touch – we’d love to hear from you!