Yes, yes, yes it's all of those things, but it's also a whole lot more. To an outsider looking in, music therapy (MT) can appear to be entertainment. You see someone playing guitar & singing for someone who is smiling & moving to the sound and your brain links this to similar experiences- perhaps a music concert or entertainer you've seen.
Viewing it as a form of entertainment is a totally normal assumption to make based on what you are looking at, but in the case of MT, much more is happening that is perhaps less obvious to un-skilled observers. Think of a jam doughnut. To a foreigner who has never encountered this delicious sweet treat it might look like a plain, bread-like, flattened out ball. But those who know better would see it in all it's sickly sweet glory! The point here is that looks can be deceiving where MT (& doughnuts) are concerned.
Go ahead & picture a young girl singing as her music therapist plays guitar. It looks like fun & she is clearly enjoying herself, but there are a myriad of reasons this activity might have been chosen by her therapist. For example:
Music is often non-confrontational & enjoyable which makes it an ideal creative tool for therapists to use to optimise therapeutic processes or outcomes. Think of it this way, if MT was the aforementioned jam doughnut, the sugar would be the music, the dough the therapist & client working together, & the jam would be the delicious, oozy, sweet, flowing wonder that's created through this partnership.
Make sense? Ok I understand if I lost you with the doughnut but hopefully you get the idea. Music is first & foremost a form of therapy (not entertainment) and music is the toolbox we use to support therapeutic outcomes.
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and I was lucky to learn so much from them along the way. But with every large organisation, no matter how brilliant, comes a barrage of red tape, politics & challenging dynamics. This is to be expected, and we navigate it as best we can as clinicians in the workplace because we love the work we do & the colleagues we share it with.
There came a point for me, however, where I really had to reflect on how this impacted my practice as a music therapist whose primary desire was to help support the client & their family with their wellness needs. This reflexive process revealed to me that it was time to go out on a limb to find a way to provide the type of service that matched my own values.
What better way to achieve this than to start my own business...!
I have been working so hard the past couple of months to develop this business in the highest quality way I possibly could. It has taken hours upon hours of research, time, commitment, hair-pulling & passion to get to this point and I'm so happy to be able to launch the Music Therapy Wellness Clinic in Brighton, Melbourne. Thank you to everyone who has shared their wisdom, visited the site, liked our Facebook page & spread the word. What an incredible community of people! I'm excited to share this year ahead with you all.