It’s our last day in Romania and we have had a busy few days
in Oradea.

On Thursday morning we visited a day centre for adults with Down
syndrome. They had received a project in 2000 from Kathryn Williams
and Emma Walmsley. They had recently moved into a new centre with
more space and suitable facilities. With funding for the centre
being difficult to obtain, most of the staff there are long term
and dedicated volunteers.

We were able to observe a session and it was
clear that the music sessions were something they did regularly and
looked forward to. I can still hear some of the beautiful sounds
that were created in the room where the session took place. So much
love, laughter and friendship was present at this centre and it
really warmed our hearts.

Our last day was spent at Centrul de Educatie Inclusiva
nr.1, a school for children with special needs. Cathy
delivered a project here in 2002 so it was exciting for her to
revisit the teachers who took part in her training programme and
see how they were getting on. We observed some great sessions with 5 different staff members all using music therapeutically with the
children they work with. Those who were not there for Cathy’s
training have learnt some skills from the staff that attended the
‘training for trainers’ course, which she ran 3 years ago.
Cathy’s project encapsulates the true meaning of
‘sustainability’ and the aims of Music as Therapy
International. 11 years later the interest in Music therapy is more
alive than ever with new staff members wanting to learn more and
incorporate music therapy into their work. Unbeknown to us there
awaited a room full of 20 enthusiastic teachers who had gathered to
meet Cathy and I so they could share their experiences and
interests. They were all keen to learn more so they could develop
their skills and understanding of music therapy. Hopefully this is
something that we can facilitate alongside our Local Partners here
in Oradea.

It’s been a fantastically busy week, meeting lots of old and
new Local Partners, seeing some lovely music sessions and having
some motivating discussions. We cannot wait to share all we have
seen and learnt with the rest of the Music as Therapy
team and put some of the possible plans for the
future in to action.

Hannah and Cathy