Music Therapy has historically been at Rivendell since the late 1980’s and has had a place in the school day of students attending Rivendell since that time. Currently sessions are held for Paterson and Sulman on a Thursday during school term. These sessions include both group and individual times and are flexible according to the students needs on any given day.
The group sessions usually have up to eight students attending and the individual or small group sessions can have one or two students attending. The young people are given the opportunity first thing on Thursday morning to elect to come to either the group time or individual time. During a typical Music Therapy session, there is an opportunity to play a variety of instruments including electric guitar, acoustic guitar, drum kit, bass guitar, ukulele, piano, cello, djembe and various percussion instruments.
The participant doesn’t not need any prior knowledge of the instrument as there will always be some instruction on how to play and what to play if needed. Improvisation (making music up in the moment) is a large part of the music making during session times. Often the players are surprised at the music they play together. This type of playing, encourages relationships to develop on a musical level and also gives the young person an opportunity for non verbal self expression.
The individual sessions can give the participant more opportunity to delve deeper into the process and therapeutic value of Music Therapy. Improvisation also has a major part in these sessions along with song writing, song sharing and verbal discussion.
Many young people at Rivendell have voiced their opinion on Music Therapy and its value/ importance to their school experience. Some of these benefits may include:
- A safe space for self expression
- An opportunity to have fun
- The facilitation of their relationships in a musical environment
- Assisting in discovering music abilities that they may not have known about
- Developing both musical and non musical skills
- Assisting in mood and behaviour regulation
Some students even say that, after Music Therapy, they find it easier to engage in school work.
So… DON’T STOP THE MUSIC!!