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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: Israel PROJECT: MUSIC THERAPY FOR ADULTS WITH INTELLECTUAL DISABILITIES DESCRIPTION: Ten people from a community hostel, all with intellectual and functional disabilities, participated in a music therapy group that took place at the Bar-Ilan Music Therapy Center during 2010-11. Some clients also suffered from mental illnesses, personality disorders and social and family difficulties. There were 8 men and 2 women ranging in age from 20-60 years old. Transportation for clients was provided each week by the hostel. This is significant since having the program outside the hostel increased clients sense of empowerment. The therapeutic goals were designed according to each individual‟s needs in order to strengthen self-confidence and self-image. The goals included: Expanding emotional awareness, improving emotional regulation and encouraging the expression of feelings Developing awareness of each group member‟s strengths and difficulties Encouraging active participation in order to strengthen a sense of vitality and creativity Enhancing interactions and communication with peers At the beginning of the process, the main activity was musical presentations: each member was asked to bring his/her favorite song which was copied onto a CD and song lyrics were printed and distributed to everyone. The whole group listened to the song and group members shared their feelings and thoughts with the presenters. This activity enabled group members to deal with intimate issues such as interactions with family members, loss and difficult emotions such as anger and sadness. Later musical interventions and activities included improvisation, listening to music, music and imagery and movement to music. All activities were designed and implemented according to the clients‟ intellectual abilities. CURRENT STATUS: Bar-Ilan Music Therapy Center is dedicated to enhancing community music therapy. To this end, another music therapy group is planned for next year that will take place in the hostel. RESEARCH AND EVALUATION: The vision of the Bar-Ilan Music Therapy Center is to enhance theoretical and functional research in the main fields of music therapy (music and medicine, psychology of music, music psychotherapy and music therapy in special education) and to focus on the interaction between research and clinical work. For this music therapy group, verbal feedback was gathered from all the participants as well as the therapists. Reports indicate that most participants came on a regular basis and felt that the group was important for them. The interactions among group members improved – clients talked about the closeness they felt to other group members and how difficult it was for them to end the group. Some participants were able to relax while listening to the music while others were able to enjoy improvising. Some group members gained insights about themselves. All participants were very involved and opened up emotionally and socially during the process. Both group members and co-leaders expressed deep satisfaction from the process and felt that the work was very meaningful for them. ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: http://www.biu.ac.il/hu/mu/mt/index.html 124

Publications: Amir, D. (2011). My music is me: Musical presentation as a way of forming and sharing identity in music therapy group. Nordic Journal of Music Therapy. DOI: 10.1080/08098131.2011.571279 CONTACT INFORMATION: Organization: Bar-Ilan University Address: Ramat Gan, 52900 Israel Contact Persons: Dorit Amir, PhD, Music Therapy Program, Music Department; Email: dorit.amir@biu.ac.il; Moshe Bensimon, PhD, Music Therapy Program, Music Department and Criminology Department; Email: moshe.bensimon@biu.ac.il 125

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