As Chair of the Scientific Committee for the World Congress in Brisbane, July 2005, I have had the chance to preview the paper and workshop proposals. What stood out to me immediately was the number of papers and workshops on music therapy with children and adults who have been traumatised, either through domestic violence, war, or acts of terror. We read each day about violence and terror, and see horrid images on television to verify that a large number of people in the world are living in places where they do not have security or safety.
Many music therapists are working in facilities such as the Pavarotti Centre in Bosnia, providing creative experiences through music for children who have lived through horrific situations (Sutton, 2002). And music therapists are also working with children and adults who are refugees in new countries. In Brisbane, Australia, music therapists are working with Sudanese children whose "acculturation to Australian society is complicated by a lack of English language skills, and often, a lack of formal education" (Jones, Baker & Day, 2004, p. 90). While music experiences transverse the need for spoken language, musical interplay and communication is dependent upon the music therapist providing "complementary" music cues that match the cultural idioms of the child, or adult (p. 95). Papers proposed for the World Congress will address this new area of music therapy practice, an area that is relevant to so many countries of the world.
Traditional areas of music therapy practice are also well represented on the World Congress program - particularly in palliative care, cancer, aged care and dementia, psychiatry and neurological music therapy, children with autism spectrum disorder, children with multiple disabilities, and bereavement in children and adolescents. Music therapy with hospitalised children, sick and new-born infants is also featured. Various music therapy methods will be presented, with a large number of papers and workshops related to singing and writing songs, as well as improvisation and Guided Imagery and Music.
Research papers will address a mix of quantitative and qualitative studies, and a sequence of papers will address arts-based research. And cultural and community perspectives underpin many of the presentations. Finally, the section on professional issues looks at supervision of students, and professional supervision, as well as issues in the education and training of music therapists.
All together, it is a well-rounded program, with new focus areas emerging to complement the traditional areas of practice.
I would encourage you to look at the web-site for the 11th World Congress, to be held in Brisbane, Queensland, Australia, July 19th-23rd, 2005 (http://www.musictherapy2005.com). Registration is now open, and the web site contains a wealth of exciting tours to be taken before or after the Congress (if you are a delegate). We anticipate music therapists may bring the family, and there are tours available on the Congress days for accompanying friends and families. I look forward to meeting music therapists in Brisbane in July, 2005, and learning more about how music therapy is evolving throughout the world. Based on previous experience, the World Congress is a wonderful opportunity for music therapists to net-work, to share ideas, and above all be stimulated in their work for the future. The 11th World Congress promises to be exciting and rewarding. See you there!
Jones, Carolyn, Baker, Felicity & Day, Toni (2002). From Healing Rituals to Music Therapy: Bridging the Cultural Divide Between Therapist and Young Sudanese Refugees. The Arts in Psychotherapy, vol. 31, no. 2, pp. 89-100.
Sutton, J. (Ed.) (2002). Music, Music Therapy and Trauma. London. Jessica Kingsley Publishers.
Grocke, Denise (2004). New Areas of Music Therapy Practice. Voices: A World Forum for Music Therapy. Retrieved June 11, 2013, from http://testvoices.uib.no/?q=fortnightly-columns/2004-new-areas-music-therapy-practice