Opening our doors to our supporters

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Thu, 25/5/2017

Opening Our Doors to Our Supporters

Yesterday we invited some of our supporters to come and see our new home, and find out a bit more about the work we do. The sun was shining, the conversation flowing and the mood jubilant as people arrived ready to get their sneak peek at our new home.

It's always great to meet our supporters and see their enthusiasm in person. We had people of all ages represented and finding out a bit more about what we do, and why their support matters so much.

Seeing Our Work

We started with a short presentation from Simon Procter, our Director of Music Services (Education, Research & Quality Assurance). Rather than telling people about our work, and what it achieves, he decided to show them in the form of some short videos, including:

  • Alfie and Louie, twins with autism who struggle to communicate, with each other, their parents, and the wider world. You can see how music therapy helps them on our website.
  • A short video of a session itself with the wonderful Mary - the best illustration of how a session can work, how a music therapist can respond to someone with even the most limited ability to express themselves. You can see it over on our Facebook page here.
  • Lastly a short video to show how reassuring music can be, even for (or perhaps especially for) those with dementia. See a snippet on our Twitter page.

Joining In

If seeing music therapy in action is the best way to learn how it works, taking part yourself is the best way to learn why it works. So rather than sitting around listening to a talk, we split the attendees into two groups, and sent them each off to join one of our music therapists.

The first group joined John who handed out drums to each attendee. Then, without saying a word, he got them drumming in time with him, playing different tunes, getting louder and then softer. Faster and slower. Then divided the group into three smaller groups, each playing one part of a wider song, still all without speaking. It really goes to show just how naturally music comes to all of us.

The second group joined Elaine for an inpromptu choir session. After some initial nerves, everyone really got into it, singing loudly and proudly, blowing away all the mid-week cobwebs and creating some really beautiful music together.

After the sessions the atmosphere was completely different. Spirits seemed even higher as people started talking about the sessions. It might have been many years since some people last sung in public, but something about the shared experience of making music really speaks to the core of who we are, and feels like the most natural thing in the world (which, after all, it is!).

More to Come

It was an incredible night. Our supporters got to know a little bit more about us, but just as importantly we got to know more about them too. We're incredibly lucky to have such a passionate community of people looking to help make music therapy bigger and better than ever before.

Now we're in our new home we're hoping to make these events a more regular event, including regionally around the country. 

If you fancy supporting our work too, you can set up a regular gift online and help someone else find their voice with music therapy.