MT Philosophy- My basic philosophy in terms of music therapy is that music is a natural and essential part of human life, human expression, human health. Music can be life transforming given half a chance, so if actual musical expression, or our connectedness through music and rhythm, is simply allowed to be experienced by someone, they will be the better for it. For someone otherwise unable to communicate to fellowmen, or express themselves emotionally or spiritually, this can truly be life transforming. I have witnessed it many times, and am happy if I have served well as a facilitator.
Geriatrics- I was somehow thrown into the world of Extended Care geriatrics, and found myself loving it. People suffering with Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, and other debilitating conditions are often very responsive to music, and retain this instinct well into the progressed stages of the condition. I have worked with many who were relatively shy and inhibited before the onset of their ailment, who become improvising, singing, drumming virtuosos. I find this inspiring, and the gift music brings to otherwise often unhappy people is wonderful to be a pasrt of. Working in the institutions themselves, surrounded by the very real difficulties and sorrows of people in various states of decay and invariable loneliness, is often a challenge, as it is for all of the staff. I was generally amazed by the positivity in the face of such hardship many staff members brought to their work, and was appreciated for bringing cheer and healing into the building.