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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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SECTIONS: Music for Mental and Physical Health Music for Sustainable Community Development COUNTRY: Nepal PROJECT: MUSIC THERAPY FOR AUTISTIC CHILDREN: THE MUSIC THERAPY TRUST NEPAL DESCRIPTION: In 2005, The Music Therapy Trust (TMTT) became a recognized charity in India. It was founded to bring clinical music therapy to India as a way to support the well-being of people living in impoverished and marginalized settings who have multiple challenges and psychosocial, physical and medical needs. TMTT introduced the first professional clinical music therapy, training program in India, as well as the first clinical music therapy network as a way to further extend clinical services nationwide. In 2010, TMTT expanded to form TMTTN which represents the Trust‟s ongoing partnership with neighboring country Nepal. TMTTN works in collaboration with Autism Care Nepal (ACN) who estimate that there are between 10,000 to 50,000 people on the autistic spectrum in Nepal. They have founded a school that provides specialized behavioral and educational programs for children with autism. The “Music Therapy Nepal” program is located in Kathmandu. There, at ACN, a Music Therapy Centre was created and children receive ongoing individualized music therapy services. Also, ongoing workshops are being held with educators and with parents to enable children to benefit in a most effective way. “Music Therapy Nepal” has these primary goals: 1. To support children with special needs through clinical music therapy services 2. To improve the functioning of these children through music-based services that are directed towards enhancing communication, emotional, academic and social skills 3. Through ongoing workshops, inform special educators, parents and families about music therapy with special needs children and to inspire them to incorporate music, thereby enhancing their overall well-being To reach these goals, the music therapists hold individual and group sessions with children and families. Improvisational and structured activities incorporating various Nepalese and traditional percussive and melodic instruments and songs are used in ongoing sessions. Informational and interactive sessions are also held with parents to enhance the ongoing use of music in the home and by educators to improve therapeutic incorporation of music in classrooms. CURRENT STATUS: To date, approximately 300 children have benefited from this program in Nepal. In addition, forty parents and fifty educators have participated in workshops. There is one full-time clinical music therapist. In addition, four volunteer music students and two music therapy interns have come from Europe for twoweek to three-month periods of time. In addition, two volunteer clinical music therapists from the UK come for a short visit. The Music Therapy Trust Nepal is beginning to expand its services to other areas of need. Groups of street children are now receiving music therapy. In addition, TMTTN has recently established a partnership with Himalayan Care Hands Nepal and The Himalayan Leaders through which it is presenting workshops for deaf people and also for tourists trekking in Nepal. Music therapy workshops are also being organized for the Gandharba community, the traditional Nepalese musicians who are marginalized and need psychosocial support. 112

The Music Therapy Trust Nepal is self-funded, supported through gifts, donations and through fund raising efforts. ACN, an NGO in Nepal, provides some financial support in order for music therapy to be offered to the autistic children receiving their services. This project is ongoing and the partnership with the community is strong. Further resources are being sought to further extend care and music therapy services into other areas in Nepal affected by poverty, health and social issues. ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: www.themusictherapytrust.com www.autismnepal.org CONTACT INFORMATION: Organization: The Music Therapy Trust India/Nepal Address: c/o Action For Autism, Jasola Vihar, Pocket 7 & 8, New Delhi, India 110025 Phone: 98999 81864 Contact Persons : Dr. Margaret Lobo, Director, TMTT Dr. Lucanne Magill, Course Tutor, International Internship Coordinator E-mail: themusictherapytrust@gmail.com 113

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