Multicultural Music for Music Therapists

I’ll bet you’re wondering what these three things have in common…right?  These are the topics about which I learned (along with many other music therapists) at last weekend’s CMTE, Multicultural Music for Music Therapists. The event, held at The Old Town School of Folk Music in Chicago, was a fabulous collaboration between music educators and music therapists which resulted in an exchange of valuable knowledge.

Music Therapists

My favorite aspect of all three workshops we attended was that they were interactive.  We didn’t just sit and listen; we played our guitars, drummed, and sang our way through each one.  (Okay, everyone else did those things; I was videotaping the entire time.  But when I go back and watch the videos, I’ll be participating.)

Not only were the presenters full of energy and talent, but they provided us with new ideas to take into our music therapy sessions.  I can’t wait to apply some of the blues guitar techniques we learned, and I know that lots of my students will really enjoy some of the Spanish greeting and movement songs we were taught.

Music Therapist Playing Guitar

Members of the Illinois Association of Music Therapy had a chance to mingle with Old Town faculty during registration in the morning, throughout the lunch hour, and afterward at an all-participant jam session.  How cool is that?  Most of us had our guitars with us, so we joined others who were playing fiddle, piano, accordion, harmonica and many other instruments to make some pretty spectacular music.

Old Town School Jam Session

It was so neat to see such a big group of non-music therapists so interested in learning not only about what we do, but how to apply it to their teaching.  This was the first event of its kind that our association has put on, but I’m sincerely hoping that it’s not the last!