Muriel Ann Gulliford holds a Post Graduate Diploma Creative Music Therapy from Nordoff Robbins Australia Inc (see certificate at bottom of page). While the benefits of music therapy programs for children are widely known, those benefits are equally valid for the aged and can help to increase awareness and to improve their quality of life.
Lorraine Seget, head of the Diversional Therapy Department of Mountainview Aged Care Facility, recognised that active involvement in a music therapy program could enhance residents quality of life provide stimulation, motivation and opportunities for self- expression and also provide a positive diversion from the pain and debilitation of the physical effects of ageing. The sheer fun of involvement in music could enable the residents to reminisce within a social atmosphere.
A music therapy session may involve singing, movement or dancing, discussion, relaxation as well as playing a variety of musical instruments. Muriel will take individual or group sessions at her home. Please contact Muriel for more information and booking.
Article taken from “Music Works!” a quarterly Newsletter from Nordoff-Robbins Music Therapy Australia. ( No. 13 October 2003) with permission from the Music Therapy Department of West Sydney University.
Some years ago, I facilitated a group of older women for a weekly one hour class of creative movement. The women danced freely and unselfconsciously across the floor while expressing themselves in a variety of movements. Everyone was free to do their own movements or follow mine.
The music included film themes, African, Greek and Jewish numbers.
The benefits of the class were varied with participants enjoying improved circulation, relaxation, feelings of wellbeing and a positive outlook.
One woman commented how it had been good for her confidence and self esteem.
In my Creative Music Therapy sessions I include movement regardless of the age. Flowing silk scarves are used and even if a person needs to be in a wheel chair, they can ‘dance’ using these silk scarves to the music. In their spirit, they are released from the confines of the chair.
I have seen a child who was ‘locked up’ and angry become released when dancing with these scarves to my music. Her mother remarked on the difference the sessions were making to her emotional stability.
This six year old boy has downs syndrome. He loved coming to his weekly Creative Music Therapy session. The therapist allows him to be in control and so lead in the music making.
This enables him to have a sense of accomplishment and purpose. At the same time, a relationship between him and the therapist is formed by using facial expression and eye contact and most importantly by communicating within the music.
When the client becomes active in the music making, he/she is personally involved in a musical experience, entering a new world of expression and order. It is here that therapy takes place.
Children with any kind of physical or mental disadvantage or children who find it difficult to concentrate or focus or have anger or any other kind of emotional issues are free to express themselves within the music. It is within the music that therapy takes place causing positive change.