Hey Zuffalonians and on-lookers! This is Kim, the keys player/vocalist in Zuffalo. Perhaps something you don’t know is that I also happen to be a Certified Music Therapist. In light of the fact that March is music therapy awareness month, I would love to share a little bit about the field, as well as who benefits from music therapy and why you might wanna know about it!
You are reading this because you already know that music is awesome! It is a creative and colourful language that allows us to express ourselves beyond words, while sometimes also using lyrics and poetry. This makes music a powerful communication tool! We also know that music is a powerful motivator. It makes us move in big ways and small -- sometimes dancing, sometimes tapping a toe, maybe it helps you get moving while you clean up your house or do your workout. Music has no doubt at some point in your life moved you in an emotional way, as well. In other words, you know music has made a difference in your life, and it may not surprise you to learn that it is a wonderful therapeutic medium.
Music therapists are professionals with extensive music training as well as clinical training, and have practical experience using different types of musical techniques with their clients. Just like how Zuffalo and other jam bands and music improvisers communicate through playing live music together, music therapists are trained in effective ways of improvising live music with and for clients. The key difference here is that in a live performance setting, the audience and band are working together to create a shared experience that is equal for everyone; or, in other performance settings, the audience is simply receiving an experience. Uniquely, in the music therapy setting, the music therapist is always communicating in a way that is conscious of the needs and vulnerabilities of the client(s), and is providing a supportive, safe and therapeutic environment in which the client(s) can work toward particular healthy goals. Music therapists work with all kinds of clients including individuals with: mental health disorders and concerns, developmental disabilities, physical disabilities, medical complications, chronic pain, brain injuries, stroke recovery and memory loss to name a few.
It is an important goal of mine to help promote music and the arts in our communities as much as possible, as well as to promote health and wellness for all ages and abilities whenever possible. Music therapy is an arts-based, extremely adaptable, non-invasive form of therapy that can reach people of all ages and ability levels, and can in fact go deeper than words. It is a therapeutic medium with proven results, and there are people in this country and in the city of Toronto whose lives would benefit greatly from being able to access music therapy services.
How can you help? Spread the word about music therapy! Learn more about it! But first, please visit our team fundraising page as we help raise money with The Canadian Music Therapy Trust Fund, since March is Music Therapy Awareness Month! To attend the March for Music Therapy on March 26th, OR to make a donation to our Zuffalo team fundraising page, please visit the link below. Even a small contribution can help us reach our goal, and can make a difference in someone’s life!
Thanks and keep groovin’ down!