by Music Therapist Matt Davis
The CMTT funded a half-day per week pilot project to provide music therapy at Little Harbour Children’s Hospice in Cornwall. This work is now continuing through Children’s Hospice South West’s own music therapy provision.
The work undertaken at the hospice is different to that which I normally do – for many reasons. One of which being the fact that families are not in regular attendance on a weekly basis so the work done with the children is not the week-by-week process a music therapist would normally do. Rather you see different children every visit and usually get to see them again a few months or weeks later. This means the work is not so evolutionary by nature but can function in slightly different ways. I also get to work with siblings and other family members.
Having been there for a significant period of time I have found it’s still possible to build relationships with the children and I enjoy the flexibility of working in a wide range of contexts both individually and in groups – sometimes very large ones!
‘Like a memento from a journey… We approximate ourselves to a situation, a meeting, and then, through reflection, try to bring something back’
The writer John Berger was asked once how he might describe his writing and method of working. He replied that to him it felt like he goes very close into a situation, person, character or place – to a degree of intimacy – to find something close to an essence, and then to ‘bring it back’, like a memento from a journey.
It struck me this is very similar to what we do as therapists. We approximate ourselves to a situation, a meeting, and then, through reflection, try to ‘bring something back’. Something we can apply to our understanding of it. Not a truth, but something which might illuminate the chaotic, hesitant or unpredictable present.