Poetry of Departures, 2

“- Say it, no ideas, but in things…” – William Carlos Williams, Paterson Imaginative engagement of what might, through other methods of investigation, be documented… That is our aim….  Working on a longitudinal (10 year), ethnographic study of community music and mental health some years back, we took inspiration from the work and writings of the American …

I take one of the surgical masks out of the box that is placed on a little table in front of Rebecca’s room…

I take one of the surgical masks out of the box that is placed on a little table in front of Rebecca´s room, put the elastic straps behind my ears and fix the blue-white colored piece of fabric tight on my nasal bridge. During this extraordinary year with the Covid-19 pandemic, I have learned that …

Latency: what’s the problem?

A Christmas Story Doing sessions ‘down the line’ really highlights the physical distance between, in our work, the Hill House residents and staff on the one hand and Gary, music therapist, miles away, on the other. But it also reveals what it is that everyone involved – Gary, residents, staff – are doing to care for …

Disrupted Synchrony: Does it matter?

Gary’s thoughts As we reported in the last Vignette, the Skype sessions at Hill House in the last six months seem to have been – surprisingly – successful. Surprising, that is, for Gary – who feared that the famous ‘latency effect’ [aka sound delay] would make musical activity just too difficult between him and the …

The music stopped. Then it started again.

I started working as a music therapist at Hill House four years ago. Almost every week since there has been live music for a couple of hours on a Thursday afternoon. It involves anyone who’s there at the time: residents, family members, staff coming in for ten minutes, or simply dancing through to the kitchen. …

World Federation of Music Therapy

The theme of this World Federation Congress is Polyrhythms of Music Therapy. Nice. We recorded our contribution for the conference on Friday. None of us are too clued up with zoom so it’s been a learning curve. But in a way, that made it more fun – at least in the recording and we laughed …

Poetry of Departures

Health/illness experience has been a rich seam for poetry and there are some wonderful precedents – we’re thinking of Auden’s famous ‘Care Home’ poem, Larkin’s ‘The Old Fools’ or ‘The Building’ or ‘Ambulances’, Sharon Old’s The Father, and all those beautiful, bitter-sweet ‘cancer poems’ which you can read about here Cancer Poetry, by Ian Twiddy, …

The Social Value of Music

Over the last 15 years music therapists and community musicians have increasingly used the word ‘wellbeing’ to talk about their work. ‘Wellbeing’ – instead of the seemingly more ‘objective’ term, ‘health’. While the term wellbeing raises many complex issues, it also captures the multiple senses of what it means to be at ease, secure, or …