Happy New Year + Update

Happy New Year everyone! Hope you’ve all had a restful break over Christmas and have found yourselves renewed. I always quite enjoy going back to work in the New Year – even though initially responding to the alarm clock for the first time in a couple of weeks can be difficult.  I realise I haven’t blogged since August (!!) so I thought I’d better do an update…

Last term was amazing. I started the Nordoff Robbins Music Therapy Masters programme in London, and I was also on placement a day a week in a community mental health setting in London. The work is difficult emotionally, and the level of musicianship required for the programme is demanding. On top of this we must be able to reflect personally on the work – and we are guided through this by a therapist (Health Professions Council requires that trainee psychotherapists or arts therapists have a minimum 40 hours psychotherapy before they qualify).

I am feeling really positive about the coming year – my placement is a year long in a special school a little bit closer to home – and I suspect it is in the work with children I will find the different aspects of music therapy coming together for me. But probably not in any way I would expect, because if there is anything I realised after last term, it is to expect the unexpected.

In other work, I am continuing to run three Singing for the Brain groups, work on an ad hoc basis with various day centres, and another series of Sound Bites is coming up at The Warneford. I’ve now handed over all the Age UK singing groups to various people, and I hope these continue to grow – and that it gives the singing leaders who took them on a chance to stretch their wings and try out new ideas too.

And do I have any New Year’s Resolutions? Not really. I’ve tried before and they usually are over-ambitious and crumble instantly. However, now I’m commuting to London a little less I’m hoping to have more time to go swimming, which I find so beneficial for strengthening my back, and my wrists, hands and fingers (I know this sounds really specific – but when you play drums, piano, violin and guitar as much as I do – finding low-impact ways of keeping these joints strong and supple is important). I’m also going to try and blog a bit more. Last term was a strange time of transition as my identity as a community musician shook as I became a student. I won’t be able to share here any detailed reflection on my work as a trainee music therapist as of course this needs to be confidential, but I do hope to share my more general learning.

Have a wonderful 2012!


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