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World Music Therapy Week 2024: April 10 – 15th

The Bugle App

Veronica Bardsley

28 March 2024, 9:15 PM

World Music Therapy Week 2024: April 10 – 15th

From April 10th to 15th each year, World Music Therapy Week spotlights the profound impact of music on healing and wellness. But what exactly is music therapy? Simply put, it's the use of music-based activities to achieve non-musical health goals.

Dr. Kath Lawson, Kiama’s dedicated music therapist, explains, "Registered Music Therapists are university-trained allied health professionals who work with people of all ages and stages of life. Each session is tailored to the individual or group, and it’s usually heaps of fun."

Music therapy is more than just entertainment. "There’s a lot of processing and development going on through the music-making," Dr. Kath emphasises. "Anyone can participate in music therapy, regardless of musical ability. It’s not necessarily about performance, though that can happen if it’s someone’s particular interest."

Dr. Kath's experiences highlight the breadth of music therapy's impact. "I’ve worked with pre-school children, families, young adults, and older people,” she says. “I’ve even been part of a research project focusing on songwriting for people with dementia and their care partners. Over a 10-week program, they managed to write 36 songs together!"

Music therapy's beauty lies in its therapeutic essence, addressing needs across various life circumstances. Whether supporting individuals with disabilities, aiding rehabilitation, navigating trauma or mental health challenges, or enhancing quality of life in chronic health conditions or palliative care, music therapy offers a versatile approach to enrichment.

"It’s incredibly special to work with people in this way. Your brain just works differently on music," Dr. Kath says. 

Today, music therapy is integrated into numerous hospitals, aged care facilities, and community health hubs.

Participants in the NDIS scheme often access music therapy as part of their individual plans.

To learn more about music therapy's potential to support you or someone you know, visit the Australian Music Therapy Association’s website, or contact Dr. Kath at 0402 101 312.