Screening tonight: Music therapy is a gift that keeps on giving, and there are no nasty side-effects
Nancy McMaster, a Vancouver music therapist, says "music organizes us." That appears to be one of the keys to why and how music therapy is able to bring autistic children out of their sensory-overload shell. The organization of sound, of community and tangible result coming out of an effort that involves receiving (listening) and giving (making music) improves the lives of people of all ages with other cognitive or emotional challenges.
When I was researching an article on music therapy a few years ago, I saw, in every visit and interview, how music therapy works. It was powerfully inspirational to see that the tool to reach the minds of people who don't fall into our accepted patterns of cognition and socialization is one that is accessible to all -- and that there are no adverse side-effects.
The Canadian Music Therapy Trust is offering a series of glimpses into this wonderful world this evening, in the screening of The Gift of Music: Stories of Music Therapy, at the Royal cinema, 608 College St., at 7 p.m. Tickets are $10, and there will be a Q&A session afterward.
Filmmaker Scott Rondeau travelled across the country to interview a variety of therapists, academics and researchers. Most powerfully, he was able to catch children and adults in actual music therapy sessions, and the proof is in the viewing.
The gift of music is one that keeps on giving.
To give you an idea, here is a snippet of Paul Lauzon, head of the music therapy programme at Acadia University, working with music therapy group participants at the Wolfville, NS branch of L'Arche (an organization servicing developmentally disabled people):