We’ve been learning a lot about the way music changes people’s lives on our journey through the world of percussion. Some people find music as their passion, a hobby, or a career. Music can also be used as a form of clinical therapy, called Music Therapy.
As a form of creative arts therapy, music therapy is recognized in many countries around the world. Here in British Coloumbia, the practise is governed by the Music Therapy Association of British Coloumbia. This form of therapy has been successful in enhancing the health and comfort of people with both emotional and physical ailments, depression, and terminal illness. Music is common to all cultures, and does not see language as a barrier. This is particularly important for non-verbal participants. Music Therapy helps to improve gestural and verbal communication in persons with developmental and intellectual disabilities. Another group of people who greatly benefit from Music Therapy are those who have lost the ability to speak or communicate due to an illness or injury.
During our time in Germany at Tamburi Mundi we met Paolo Rossetti Murittu. Paolo is a world class percussionist and an exceptional music therapist from Central Italy. Paolo is described as vivid and expressive with a style born from the divide of modern and traditional music.
Paolo uses his skills in music to facilitate music therapy sessions. To help people find their voice, even if they are non-verbal. Paolo teaches people to distance sonority from the body, and let their music speak for them. Using ancient frame drums helps participants to connect to a simpler time and promotes the ability to share and learn.
To most of us sharing and communication is what music is all about. Music Therapy allows people to break down barriers to exceed expectations in communication, and creates a sense of belonging.