What’s this, why dis (ability)?

This post is based on a tweet I wrote this week:

I was describing interactive music sessions, singing songs, and engaging with people who have a learning disability.  The last word in that sentence seemed to be noted as the key word. I suppose we all tend to categorise things we hear. Still, it stood out to me, and got me thinking how people may see the work I do in this area.

The thing is, I’d never thought of it like that before. In music therapy sessions, we know each other by our first names, we make music together, we interact in particular ways. Each person brings something of themselves to the creation of music, which is the focus in the room, rather than what diagnosis a person has.

Most of my music therapy work so far has been with adults who have a learning disability – and I’m looking forward to hearing more about this kind of work next week at a symposium on this very topic at QMU, with speakers from all over the UK and beyond.

Meantime I’ll continue trying to work in a person-centred way, focusing on each person and their sounds, listening, responding, supporting, and sometimes challenging them in the music we make together.



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