The topics? Neurodiversity and SensoryFriendly Concerts of course!
Many of our Neurodiversity friends probably do not realize what an nice open niche there is for our SF Concert concept, within the field of music therapy. On the same token, many of our Music Therapist friends may not realize how well connected we are in the Autism and Disability Rights Community, and how much we want to enable music therapists EVERYWHERE, to facilitate their OWN SensoryFriendly Concerts.
SensoryFriendly Concerts have been awesomely successful, since we started a year and a half ago, and our mission is for the idea to grow everywhere. At the same time, we want to secure a strong foundation for these events to be utilized by and for the field of music therapy. For SensoryFriendly Concerts to simply display the OUTCOME of the therapeutic setting, to celebrate the goals reached by music therapy clients, while giving respect and acceptance to the autism community at large. (Equal rights to the fine arts!)
Going to a SensoryFriendly Concert is NOT receiving music therapy services. But by trademarking the name “SensoryFriendly Concerts,” these public events can fall securely within the category of “Community Music Therapy.” This means that only trained, credentialed music therapists will be allowed to facilitate such events, because it takes this type of highly trained skill to make SensoryFriendly Concerts what they are intended to be.
At the risk of being redundant, we repeat, going to a SensoryFriendly Concert is NOT receiving music therapy. But when you go to such an event, you will get to see for yourself the magic HAPPENS in music therapy, AND you will get to hear performances from top jazz and classical artists as well.
To further explain what what we are talking about, here is one of our favorite quotes on Community Music Therapy. Gary Ansdell, Music Therapist with the Nordoff Robbins Centre in London since 1987, is one of our favorite authors on the topic.
Community Music Therapy is an approach to working musically with people in context: acknowledging the social and cultural factors of their health, illness, relationships and musics. It reflects the essentially communal reality of musicing and is a response both to overly individualized treatment models and to the isolation people often experience within society.
In practice Community Music Therapy encourages Music Therapists to think of their work as taking place along a continuum ranging from the individual to the communal. The aim is to help clients access a variety of musical situations, and to accompany them as they move between ‘therapy’ and wider social contexts of musicing.
As such, Community Music Therapy involves extending the role, aims and possible sites of work for music therapists – not just transporting conventional Music Therapy approaches into communal settings. This will involve re-thinking not only the relationship between the individual and the communal in Music Therapy, but also taking into account how physical surroundings, client preferences and cultural contexts shape the work.
Ansdell, G. (2002). Community music therapy & the winds of change. Voices: A World Forum for Music Therapy, 2 (2).
Physical surroundings, client preferences, cultural contexts, shaping our work.