New SEN Code of Practice released
The SEN Code of Practice has been released on 28th July 2014 . The local government plans to run this new system from September, but ministers will continue to oversee it, surveying parents, monitoring councils, working with
Ofsted on a tough accountability framework.
Please visit this page for the full article: Click Here
To download the new SEN Code of Practice (now ratified by Parliament): Click Here
Congratulations to Prof Amelia Oldfield ! Honour for long-serving music therapist
Impact of Professor Oldfield’s 34-year career is recognised by international body
An academic from Anglia Ruskin University has become the first ever recipient of the World Federation of Music Therapy's Clinical Impact Award.
Amelia Oldfield, Professor of Music Therapy, was presented with the honour during the opening ceremony of the 14th World Congress of Music Therapy earlier this month.
The conference, held in Krems, Austria, was attended by over 1,000 music therapists and students from 46 different countries, and Professor Oldfield received the award for her “long-term impact on advancing the knowledge and practice of music therapy”.
Professor Oldfield has worked continuously as a clinical music therapist for the past 34 years and helped to set up the world-leading Masters in Music Therapy at Anglia Ruskin in 1994.
In addition to her role at Anglia Ruskin, Professor Oldfield works three days a week at the Croft Child and Family Unit, which is part of the Cambridge and Peterborough NHS Foundation Trust. As a member of the multi-disciplinary team, she assesses and treats young children with a wide range of developmental and emotional difficulties, and will often work jointly with the children and their families.
Professor Oldfield said: “Improvising live music on the clarinet, the piano, voice or percussion to enable children and families to interact and communicate, and perhaps to gain confidence or to begin to feel better about themselves, is an unbelievably rewarding and fulfilling experience.
“I have also conducted four music therapy research investigations, have written and edited books, produced training videos, and thoroughly enjoy my role teaching the next generation of music therapists on the MA course at Anglia Ruskin.
“All these activities have been exciting and stimulating, but the clinical work remains at the core of everything I do, and a week doesn’t go by without me coming out of a music therapy session, once again elated and enthused by how much can be achieved through interactive live music making.”
BAMT becomes a National Member of the Dementia Action Alliance
The British Association for Music Therapy has made a public pledge to help transform the quality of life for people with dementia and their families and carers by becoming a National Member of the Dementia Action Alliance. Alongside other organisations such as Age UK, Department of Health, National Institute for Health and Care Excellence, the College of Occupational Therapists, and the Royal College of Speech and Language Therapists, BAMT is committed to supporting those with dementia and those that care for them. With over 800,000 people currently living with dementia in the UK, this number is predicted to reach over one million by 2025.
To read the full press release, please see the download.
HCPC registrants now require professional indemnity arrangements
All Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) registrants except social workers in
England* must now have appropriate professional indemnity arrangements in place as a condition of registration.
Michael Guthrie, Director of Policy and Standards, commented:
“The majority of our registrants will already meet these requirements because they
will be indemnified either through their employer, a professional body, union
or defence organisation, directly with an insurer, or a combination of these.
it is important that registrants ensure that they have cover in place that is
appropriate for their practice. We have produced guidance called Professional
indemnity and your registration to help registrants understand the new
requirement, which can be downloaded from our website."
future, the HCPC will ask registrants to confirm they meet the requirement by
completing a professional declaration when renewing or registering. However,
this will not happen until the necessary amendments to the HCPC’s Rules have
been made. The HCPC will continue to update on the progress of these.
Listen out for MHA's Music Therapy fund Radio 4 Appeal with Pam Rhodes - Sunday 6 July
MHA's Music Therapy fund will get an airing on Sunday 6 July when Songs of Praise presenter Pam Rhodes delivers the Radio 4 Appeal for the charity.
Pam, who is a Patron of MHA, will appeal to listeners to make a donation to MHA's Music Therapy Appeal, supporting the provision of the therapy to people with dementia.
She will share the story of Dorothy Cartledge, a resident of MHA's Maple Leaf House care home in Ripley, Derbyshire. Dorothy has dementia, but continues to find joy, creativity, and self-expression through the interactive psychological therapy.
Pam said , "Music seems to unlock not just the memory, but also the personality. Sometimes when people have dementia, those signs of personality seem to have disappeared in the frail frame we can see, but the precious person inside is still there and MHA recognises this."
Recipients of music therapy do more than simply listen to music. They are encouraged and support to participate in live interactive music making. No previous musical experience or skill is necessary! Music therapy is for all!
Listeners of the Appeal will hear Dorothy during a one-to-one session, singing 'Somewhere Over the Rainbow' with the support of her music therapist, Chris Wilson.
Her daughter, Carolien Daybell said, "I think music therapy really helps her mood. It's a way of helping her to express her emotions. I'd love for everyone who has dementia to benefit from music therapy like my mother has."
Chris added, "Music therapy is empowering. It brings people with dementia into the here and now, even when words aren't possible."
The Appeal will air on Sunday 6 July on BBC Radio 4 at 7.55am and 9.26pm, then again on Thursday 10 July at 3.27pm.
For more information about music therapy and making a donation, please click here
Music Therapy Research Steps onto World Stage - June 2014
London will become the centre of international music therapy research this week at the inaugural meeting of MANDARI, a pioneering research collaboration for Music and the Neuro-Developmentally At-Risk Infant.
Leading music therapists and neuro-scientists from around the world will meet with composers, parents and other stakeholders at Goldsmiths University of London to develop a music therapy research agenda for fragile infants.
MANDARI has been established by a small group of neo-natal intensive care specialists headed by Australian music therapy researcher and clinician, Dr Helen Shoemark.
Dr Shoemark, from Australia’s world-renowned Murdoch Childrens Research Institute (MCRI) in Melbourne, has created MANDARI over the past year with a core group of British and American collaborators.
MANDARI Core Group members include neuro-scientist Dr Lauren Stewart from Goldsmiths, researcher and clinician Dr Deanna Hanson-Abromeit from the University of Kansas, and leading British music therapy researchers.
Dr Shoemark said music was used with babies in neo-natal intensive care units (NICUs) as a multisensory tool to trigger the senses of hearing, feeling, balance and movement.
"Music can support development outcomes such as self-regulation, feeding and transitions from the sleep to wake cycle," she said.
"MANDARI combines these clinical applications of music therapy with the latest research in the area to help give a better start in life to our most fragile little citizens.
"British music therapy is building a research agenda on long clinical experience, while Europe, Australia and the USA
lead the global research into music therapy for fragile infants.
"The UK is the ideal place to bring together the world’s foremost researchers and clinicians to create powerful international research collaborations."
MANDARI will include a professional development seminar to outline the latest research-based clinical music therapy practices for fragile hospitalised infants, while the workshop will set future research priorities.
Dr Helen Shoemark & Dr Lauren Stewart
020 7919 7195 0044 7545 173 755 firstname.lastname@example.org
British Association for Music Therapy 020 7837 6100 email@example.com
Exciting Research findings into the Beneficial Effect of Music Therapy on the Health and Care of People with Dementia
Methodist Homes (MHA) in collaboration with Anglia Ruskin University have recently completed a pilot study looking at the impact of music therapy on the health and care of people with dementia.
The study sought to find out:
1. Is music therapy an effective intervention for people with dementia in care homes?
Does music therapy improve a person's wellbeing - mood, alertness and engagement, and does it reduce negative behaviours such as agitation, depression, anxiety and aggression?
2. Can the therapy also have an impact outside the sessions on the quality of care provided?
Does the therapy help staff to engage with residents, and influence their perception of residents' negative behaviours?
Conducted over seven months in two MHA care homes, the study has found that quite dramatically music therapy had a beneficial effect on the symptoms of dementia both during the therapy and afterwards, as well as having an impact on the quality of care provided with staff feeling more informed, skilled and motivated.
The study was also successful in its aim to test the methodology that could be used in a large-scale clinical trial. It has also demonstrated that future research using the techniques employed in this study, with a larger sample of participants over a longer period is now shown to be feasible and needed.
To read the full executive summary of the study please download the link on the right hand side of this page.
For more information about the study, please see the MHA website
This draft summary is intended for review and comments only. It is not intended for citation, quotation, or other use in any form.
Dementia Awareness Week 2014, 19th - 25th May
It's National Dementia Awareness Week - Don't bottle it up
If you're worried that you, or someone close to you, may have dementia, it can be difficult to talk about it.
Music therapy can play a valuable role in supporting people with dementia and those around them. These wonderful and moving accounts describe how music therapy can make a difference for those living with dementia.
Thank you to James for giving his permission for this article and video to be shared and thanks also to Morag. If you would like to contact Pemma Spencer Chapman (music therapist) about her work you can email her by clicking here
Watch James find his voice at:http://www.mediafire.com/watch/96q1y2rddqafg83/Jon-edit_2008.wmv
‘Where words fail, music speaks.’ Hans Christian Anderson
A music therapist reflects on her work with people living with dementia
Pemma Spencer Chapman 2013
‘I’m playing this the way I am. I can’t use the word ‘magic’ but it (the music) has a moving tone that is like part of me and talking to me.’
James (not his real name) was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease in his mid-fifties and soon had to give up the work he loved. Now in his late fifties he would lie in bed at home after his wife had gone to work until a carer or support worker came to help him. He didn’t have insight into his illness.
When James was first brought into the music therapy room, I pointed out the range of tuned and untuned percussion instruments in the room and asked if he felt drawn to try any of them. He dismissed the drum and cymbal saying he would never play anything loud as he was a gentle person who didn’t get upset by things in life. He then picked up the small lyre and stood gently sounding the strings. After listening for a while I played a gentle, low repeating pattern on the guitar to support and give a musical ‘container’ to his sounds.
As he played James reflected on what he was experiencing. He said the music made him think of his grandmother and mother. It made him feel alive. He spoke the words quoted above, that the music seemed to be part of him and talking to him. He brushed away tears. He kept repeating that he was a gentle person, never angry, accepting life as it came, and then he spoke of the hole he felt where his work used to be.
For James the music was putting him in touch with his feelings of distress (even while he denied them verbally), and with his need for comfort. The sound of the lyre held close to his heart, the low, supporting guitar music and my presence as listener, brought up memories of strong early attachment figures, his grandmother and mother. He couldn’t acknowledge the anger and pain he found the courage to explore in later sessions, but in this first session, he found comfort.
One role of the music in music therapy is to help people get in touch with their feelings. Music can by-pass our defences.
Music also offers huge scope for expressing emotions. Humans are innately musical beings. A music therapist finds the musical potential that people have and harnesses it to the task of addressing their difficulties. Where one person may have a strong sense of rhythm, another may have a great sense of melody; where one has good motor skills useful for playing instruments another may love to use their voice. The music used might be well known, (one client’s needs were met through using songs from musicals), or it may be improvised, as with James.
Musical improvisation in response to a client is core to the role of the therapist and is one of the main skills a student music therapist must develop. The relationship between client and therapist often includes a point where the therapist improvises in response to the client. To take one extreme, if a client was in a coma, the therapist would take the only musical element the person was exhibiting, the tempo of the rise and fall of their chest as they breathed. The therapist would improvise music using that tempo in the hope that at some level the person would become aware of something outside themselves that was tuning in to them. In contrast, a client may pick up a drum stick and beat a drum, to which the therapist responds musically. In James’s case it was the lyre.
But music, while being an emotional experience, is also a language with ‘grammatical’ components. Beats, patterns, phrases, harmonies, all can be analysed and cognitively known. And this structured, language element can help shape and organise the sounds a client makes into music. The language of music continues to makes sense to most people who have serious cognitive impairment and they can engage and interact with it; it isn’t just noise.
‘I wanted to do more!’
Morag (not her real name) was in her early sixties and like James, her illness had started in her early fifties (‘early onset’ dementia). She now lived in a care home for people with advanced dementia.
Despite suffering abuse in her early life from her father and later from her first husband, Morag had raised a family and finally made a happy marriage in her middle age. Her daughters were devoted to her and visited regularly as did her husband.
Morag was dependent for all care. She only had movement in one arm, and the ability to turn her head a little. She couldn’t feed herself or direct any purposeful movements. Her speech was limited to occasional short words like yes or no. She hardly ever made eye contact.
Staff had a problem because for part of each day Morag emitted loud cries and didn’t respond to their efforts to calm her. These were so distressing to other residents that they were forced to put her in an empty room away from others at these times. When I first heard the cries my instinctive thought was that I must go and pick up the baby.
The music therapy sessions
In sessions I improvised on the piano using the same pitch and length of phrase that Morag used for her cries. I was trying to let her know she was being heard and also offering a musical shape and form to embrace and partner her sounds. After a few sessions I thought that Morag was responding to my music. She seemed to anticipate where the pitch was leading and her next cry would start on that note. The quality of the cry was becoming slightly more song-like. It made me think of the early twentieth century German term ‘sprechstimme’, describing an experimental way of half singing, half speaking.
Was Morag aware of the musical relationship or were her increasingly interactive and song-like sounds purely evoked by the music itself, like foot tapping often is?
In the next session, (session nine), Morag’s music was even more interactive. We went on beyond the half-hour allotted to the session and eventually I decided I should bring the session to an end. Turning to Morag I put a hand on her rug covered knee and told her it had been wonderful. After a moment she gave a choked little cry and then, in a strange speech-song voice I heard the clear words, ‘I wanted to do more!’ I was so surprised and moved that I immediately said we could continue and the minute my hands sounded the keys she launched back into the music.
Morag’s words of protest probably referred as much to her life as a whole as to the music making but perhaps it did make her feel alive and so was symbolic of her life. But I had my answer. She was aware! Music had provided Morag with a language that made sense to her and through which her cries, her only source of self-expression could find ‘stability, organisation and focus’ (Sachs, 2007) in a creative partnership.
Music speaks for us, to us and through us. It puts us in touch with our emotions, gives us a means of self-expression through both improvised and previously known music, and offers a language our brains, even when damaged, can in most cases make sense of and use to interact with another person.
Music fires the connections in our brains. Many clients are more articulate verbally after making music. The reasons may be complex, but referring back to the Hans Christian Anderson quote, ‘When words fail, music speaks,’ it is encouraging to think that the reverse may be true –‘after music has spoken, words flow’.
This article was originally published in the Oxford Psychotherapy Society Bulletin 2013
Nordoff P, Robbins C (1971) Therapy in Music for Handicapped Children: Gollancz
Stern D. (1977) The First Relationship: London, Open Books
Schore A. (1994) Affect Regulation and the Origin of the Self: The Neuro-Biology of Emotional Development: Laurence Erlbaum Assoc. Inc.
Sachs O. (2007) Musicophilia: Knopf Publishing Group
Do you know how to get in touch with your local music therapist?
Contact us at BAMT or click Find a Therapist
Hold a public conversation with your MP on the significance of sound and music to the wellbeing of our private and social lives
Sussex Symphony Orchestra interviews Brighton MP Caroline Lucas May 24th Hove Town Hall, Brighton, UK 7.30pm
This event will follow the format of an interview in which orchestral pieces are woven into a discussion with the UK's only Green Party member of parliament, Caroline Lucas.
Caroline Lucas reflects on the significance of music and sound in her own life as well as its importance to the wellbeing of local communities and society at large. She will share her reflections on sound and music in relation to politics, food and the environment amongst others.
What pressing and pertinent question do you think your MP should be asked in relation to Sound and Music ?Please forward your question to firstname.lastname@example.org<mailto:email@example.com
Tickets : http://ssomusic.co.uk/box-office/buy-tickets/
Academic Programme Leader Performance and Visual Art Music and Visual Art Faculty of Arts Grand Parade University of Brighton BN2 0JY Tel: 01273 643205 http://arts.brighton.ac.uk
BAMT egg shakers playing a role in the 'Sounds of Palestine' project
Some of you may have noticed Liz Coombes Music Therapist and MA Music Therapy Course Leader collecting BAMT eggs at our conference in February. Liz was intending to distribute these as gifts to music workshop trainees in Palestine as she was giving some training input for Musicians Without Borders in April. Liz also offered supervision for workshop leaders on the project "Sounds of Palestine"
. Based on the El Sistema project in Venezuela, therapeutic music groups for kindergarten and Grade 1 children, and instrumental lessons in violin, cello, arabic drumming and singing are provided twice weekly in two refugee camps near Bethlehem. When Liz realised that lack of musical instruments was a real issue, she decided to give the eggs to this project so the children could use them.
As soon as the kids saw the eggs, they all wanted the same, so it was great that she had around 25 eggs! The workshop leader improvised a game where the social worker who assists in sessions collected the eggs, and they had to be given back very, very quietly so as not to wake the egg thief! Liz was incredibly moved by the impact of these workshops and lessons. You can follow Sounds of Palestine on Facebook. If you would like to find out more, or donate instruments/skills, please contact Fabienne Van Eck
, project leader.
New Big Lottery social investment fund
BIG Potential is a new £10m grant fund designed to help small community organisations to find social investment to support their activity. Along with a grant programme, there will be toolkits and training for organisations in the principles of social investment. The scheme is designed to help voluntary and community organisations build the business case as to be able to approach investors.
Community Investment Fund
A new £20m fund has been established to support community based, locally led organisations which are providing essential support and services to improve the wellbeing of local residents. The Fund aims to improve the quality of life of local individuals, particularly those who are vulnerable and disadvantaged, and to enhance community engagement and cohesion by empowering people to develop locally-determined solutions to challenges and opportunities. To be eligible, organisations must be a community led social sector organisation with a neighbourhood focus based in England with a plan for activity and strong governance and financial plans.