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Music as a Global Resource: - International Council for Caring ...

Music as a Global Resource: - International Council for Caring ...

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SECTION: Music for Mental and Physical Health COUNTRY: Chile PROJECT: MUSIC THERAPY WITH WOMEN IN A COMMUNITY MENTAL HEALTH CENTER DESCRIPTION: In 2006, the Barnechea Health Center in the city of Santiago offered for the first time, music therapy groups in a community-based initiative. Its beneficiaries were low-income women, with limited formal education, ranging in ages between 35 and 70.The objectives of the group were to overcome depression, panic attacks, adjustment disorders, family violence and other posttraumatic stress reactions experienced by survivors of the recent Chilean earthquake. Music played a key role in the therapeutic process through free improvisations, the use of familiar songs and melodies, and music and relaxation techniques. Stringed, percussion, and wind instruments were used. These simple instruments were easy to use and allowed clients, without previous knowledge of music, to play them. The goal was to promote an understanding of the disturbing inner emotions of these women by finding ways to channel them creatively. CURRENT STATUS: A follow-up study was done after the conclusion of the first music therapy group that ended in 2009. The women have continued to meet twice a month on their own. This group has become a self-help group, providing the women with a social network, solidarity and relief in difficult times. They have continued to increase their knowledge of various topics by researching areas of interest and then making presentations to their peers. As a result of this project, two other music therapy initiatives have been started designed to help sensitize health care workers, physiotherapists and support staff who serve the public. The goal is to develop improved self-care techniques as well as outlets for their work related stress through music. RESEARCH AND EVALUATION: Through questionnaires collected at the beginning of the music therapy treatment and then at the end of twelve sessions, client response was evaluated. It was reported that the clients perceived these music therapy groups as an important improvement in their quality of life, increased self-esteem, decreased levels of anxiety, and improved development of creativity and self-care. These reports also found that the social interaction promoted by the music therapy groups was an effective way to overcome loneliness and to increase tolerance for frustration. CONTACT INFORMATION: Organization: Barnechea Health Center Address: Centro de Salud – COSAM, Municipalidad de Lo Barnechea, Chile Phone: (562)-7573381 Contact Person: Paulina Cortes, Music Therapist E-mail: pcg@movistar.cl 84

SECTION: Music for Mental and Physical Health COUNTRY: Colombia PROJECT: MUSIC THERAPY FOR CHILDREN WITH NEUROLOGIC DISORDERS DESCRIPTION: The music therapy program at the Instituto Colombiano de Neurociencias (ICN) has been offering individual music therapy sessions for patients with different neurologic disorders since 2004. The ICN is a private institution offering outpatient services in the city of Bogota for over twenty years. It serves patients with learning disabilities and neurological disorders such as Down‟s syndrome, cerebral palsy and autism spectrum disorders. All therapists at ICN work within a neuropsychological framework. Individual sessions are offered in areas such as music therapy, speech therapy, neuropsychology, neurology and psychology. An average of 40-50 patients are seen each week, although not all patients are seen in music therapy. ICN also does an evaluation of the patients learning processes and advises several education institutions regarding mainstream programs in regular education. Most of the patients attend regular schools, and go to their therapies at the institute throughout the week. After a patient is referred to music therapy by other services at the Center, an individual music therapy plan is developed. Usually children participate in individual sessions once or twice a week. Music is used in various ways according to the individual goals and objectives. Some of the specific goals include the use music for self-regulation, developing means of communication, improving the understanding of verbal language, increasing the use of spoken language, increasing social interaction, decreasing aggressive behaviors and improving thought processes. Children having trouble with bilingual education can also be helped by music therapy. Music experiences include improvisation, composition and both vocal and instrumental recreation.. Mostly the music repertoire of the clients is used. That includes children‟s music, pop, rock and also popular tropical rhythms such as tropi-pop or reggaeton. As goals are accomplished, the program is adjusted or terminated according to the needs of the child. In Colombia the law requires that schools have mainstream programs for children with disabilities. Every child should be in a regular school, using adaptations as needed. The ICN works with several schools, especially those that our patients attend, in order to make the education work in the best way possible for children, their classmates, and teachers. The music therapist participates and coordinates some of the institution‟s consulting projects throughout the city. The goal is to make music an integral part of mainstreaming programs in schools. The music therapist demonstrates how music is a powerful tool to help facilitate learning, to increase self-esteem and promote the acceptance of the other children that is necessary for a school community to have success with this mainstream philosophy. CURRENT STATUS: The program is currently working according to its objectives. It serves around ten patients each week and also provides assessments and evaluations. It is staffed by one music therapist who is an integral part of the institution‟s team, participating also in the different consulting projects to outside institutions. The program is funded by the participants in the program paying a fee per session. ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: www.neurociencias.org.co Publications can be found on the website. 85

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