IF GOD EXISTS HE SINGS AND PLAYS THE GUITAR
Music has been a part of my working life for all of my life and not least during the last year. Two community singing projects, Minehead Street Choir and Upton Soul Choir have brought me full circle back to the wonder of it all. The simple slideshow above features the choirs plus some colourful images from a recent Music Festival. Below is a link to a video where Upton and Minehead sang together for the first time at Dunster Music Festival last month - great fun :)
Quite separately, and purely by chance, this last year has also given me the opportunity to work on a weekly basis with adults with autism using music to encourage laughter, creativity, socializing and confidence. A very rewarding and thought provoking experience. So .....
At the ripe old age of 53 I have decided to go back to University and study music therapy. To practise in the UK as a music therapist you have to have a masters degree and the University of the West of England in Bristol (UWE) offers one of the best courses available. I have been offered an unconditional place starting September 2014. Three years part time. The qualification leads to professional registration recognised by the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC). If successful, I hope to stay in West Somerset and use my professional experience and music therapy qualification to encourage communication, self expression, relationship building, trust, creativity. A whole range of positive outcomes, in fact, academically tested and scientifically proven to be the benefits of applying music therapy techniques to the challenge of improving people's lives.
Here is a link to an example of what music therapists get up to, a particularly positive story : Caryl's Story
The course costs some £4000 a year and sadly grants are few and far between and as we all know money is hardly growing on trees at the moment. So I've been sending out begging letters to a variety of interested organisations, charities and trusts, both local and national in the hope of securing some small grants towards the costs of the course. This is where crowd funding comes in and I thought it might be an idea to go give it a go and see if I could raise 10% (£400) of the cost of the first year by contacting family, friends and fellow musicians to see if they would be happy to donate a tenner or so towards this most WORTHWHILE COMMUNITY CAUSE!
(Well, there you have it - I confess I'm not quite sure of the ethical basis of my request but I'll let you decide for yourself on that one! )
I think you can donate by Paypal which is the easiest method or you can use a credit/debit card. My Paypal account is related to my day job so the donation will show as a payment to West Street Studios. Crowdfunder take 5%. If I don't meet the target then the monies are refunded to you in full.
A very big thank you to all who get involved and part of my commitment to you will be a regular blog detailing my progression, sharing thoughts and experiences (where I can) and generally giving you an insight into how the arts, and music in particular, are used in everyday clinical situations to help improve people's lives.