MMus Music Therapy community projects
The MMus (Music Therapy) students are involved in a number of community projects across the country. These engagements are extremely diverse in terms of settings, target groups, goals and objectives, intervention strategies and implementations thereof. As much as these outreach activities are set apart by their diversities, they are all bound together by at least one shared goal – to promote emotional, physiological and communal strength through music-facilitated interaction.
The University of Pretoria’s music therapy students are encouraged to shape their participation within the respective communities around the needs of both the individuals and communities as a whole. Their work is uniquely representative of each student’s interests and personal strengths. Each engagement promotes growth and skills development on both personal and professional levels for both students and individuals within their particular community settings.
Students of the MMus Music Therapy programme, customise their engagement with the individuals within their specific community settings to utilise skills and resources found within these settings. These skills are emphasised, developed, and refined through the therapeutic process to empower the individuals of the respective communities.
Student engagement projects:
uThixo uLungile: a crèche situated on the Stoney Drift dumpsite in East London.
MMus student, C. Schulze: The music programme currently consists of group musical activities in preparation for the Community Clinical phase which will take place in 2017.
New Life Centre: a refuge for pregnant women in crisis
MMus student, S. Hitge: The music therapy intervention seeks to offer psycho-social support to group members through a variety of music therapy techniques, including improvisation, drumming, music listening and song writing.
St Anne’s Home: a non-government organisation, situated in Woodstock, Cape Town
MMus student, C. Garden: “I am making music on various levels of the community, using some conventional music therapy techniques in order to achieve predetermined clinical goals, while collaborating with staff and mothers to end off my process with a concert within the safe music therapy environment. The women will perform songs that they have written and the children will perform. The mothers’ song-writing and performing processes may allow them to experience themselves as something new, to learn more about themselves, their strengths and set some goals for the future.
“Families of the St Anne’s residents will be invited to the concert, extending my work to the broader community. The concert will also hopefully open up discourse about gender-based violence and allow the community to see these women as strong and triumphant, not defined by their experiences.
Bramley Children’s Home is one of Child Welfare Tshwane’s projects
MMus student, A. Pretorius: The children at Bramley Children’s Home had not previously been exposed to music therapy and are positive about their experience of the modality thus far.
UP PACE is a community outreach programme supported by UP Arts, and is geared at enhancing the study and performance of indigenous African music. The ensemble acts as a practical ground for music education students to explore the learning and teaching methods of African indigenous musical arts.
Post-graduate students form the Music Education division of the Music department published articles in collaboration with their supervisors on their community outreach projects in The Talking Drum, edited by Prof Elizabeth Oehrle (Dec 2013).
Two articles in this issue – those of Julius Kyakuwa & Dr Dorette Vermeulen, and Rosemarie Graham & Dr Kim Flores – provide brief accounts of projects conducted as part of a module, Community Music Involvement, which forms part of the Coursework component of the Masters’ degree in Music Education, and encourages the students to listen to the needs of local communities and to respond sensitively through music-based interventions.
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Last edited by Sonja CruywagenEdit