An amazing music therapy opportunity in India!

As the Global Music Therapy Project gears up for a journey to India and Nepal this November, we’ve been coordinating with Dr. Margaret Lobo, Director of  The Music Therapy Trust (India/Nepal) and Otakar Kraus Music Trust (UK). She invited us to share this awesome music therapy opportunity:

The Music Therapy Trust, India, is beginning its sixth year of postgraduate music therapy training in India, starting at the beginning of January 2017 and is looking for a Music Therapy Course Tutor to run the program, living and working in New Delhi for a full year, with the opportunity to continue for a further year.

One month of preparation prior to coming to India and one month at the end to wrap up the program may be needed and will be negotiated with the successful applicant.

Job Description

We are looking for a course tutor to run the Postgraduate Music Therapy Diploma, which has been running in Delhi since 2006.  The tutor will have responsibility for delivering lectures, running an experiential group for students, supervising placements and organizing visiting lecturers. 

The post-holder will work in conjunction with the TMTT team to oversee the development of the course, and to further the awareness of music therapy in India.  The course is the first of its kind in India and aims to offer a substantial and meaningful training to Indian & Nepalese music therapy students; with a strong theoretical and practical foundation in clinical improvisation skills, music therapy theory, clinical experience, and an embedded consideration of the factors impacting on music therapy in the Indian context.

Person Specification

The post holder should have:

  • A Master’s degree in Music Therapy or equivalent
  • The person should be someone who works to a music-centred / Community Music Therapy model but is open to using aspects of psychological, medical and social theory when appropriate.
  • A strong interest and commitment to understanding cross-cultural practice in music therapy and the implications of this on the course tutor role, willingness to consider and incorporate multicultural perspectives into the core training being offered to students at TMTT
  • Capability of assessing individual student needs and addressing them through clear student teaching methodology
  • Flexibility and maturity in handling students with diverse skills and educational backgrounds, along with ability to introduce music therapy concepts to students who have a variety of Indian and Western musical training
  • Experience of supervising newly qualified or current students
  • An ability to work independently and flexibly within an established team in Delhi, made up of one music therapist, a small administration team, and volunteers from a variety of clinical backgrounds
  • Be comfortable with running workshops and lectures for a wider audience to promote the work of music therapy and its potential in this context
  • Good administration skills
  • Either experience of living and working in another country or a willingness to show resilience when dealing with the challenges that this can engender.

Fully furnished excellent lodging facilities, in a safe, well located area are provided, along with one return air ticket from your area to Delhi and working visa.  The salary is based on an adequate India monthly rate.

Further details can be given on request.  Please review our websites for more information.  Applicants to apply by end of October 2016. 

The Music Therapy Trust website is currently under construction, but should be up and running again soon. Meanwhile, you can check out the UK’s website for more information:

 Please contact: Dr. Margaret Lobo – 020 8894 2007


Skype:  Margaret.lobo1

Check out these newsletters for inspiration!

Read More →
Replies: 0 / Share:

Helping Carlos Rebuild After the Earthquake: The GoFund Me Campaign

After the earthquake struck Ecuador on April 16, 2016, Carlos Oyarvide and his mother, Judith Coba, were devastated to discover that their home had suffered severe damage.  A major portion of the roof collapsed along with two external walls that crumbled into the interior of their home, destroying portions of the floor.  Their kitchen had been reduced to rubble.

Thankfully, Carlos and his mother survived the earthquake unscathed. Their home was not as fortunate. Carlos launched a campaign in his hometown of Guayaquil to raise money to rebuild his home.  The family’s friends and Carlos’ classmates have donated supplies and money to get the rebuilding started, but they are still $7,500.00 short of completing the rebuilding process.

We met Carlos while filming in Ecuador last year. He shared his story with us; a boy born with Asperger’s who used music as a way to connect to the world around him.  Despite having a hard time adjusting to his academic and social situations as a young man, Carlos used his musical talents to earn a scholarship to Catholic University of Santiago de Guayaquil. He now studies and performs music with many of his friends.

Below is a video produced by Terra Rising Films in support of rebuilding Carlos’ home.  They have already started rebuilding their home, but Carlos and his mom still need to raise $7,500.  Please take a couple of minutes and get to know Carlos and his mother as they work to complete the last part of the rebuilding process.  If you would like to contribute and help a family in desperate need, please visit Carlos’ GoFund Me Page to donate.

Follow the progress online with the hashtag #Rebuild4Carlos.

Read More →
Replies: 0 / Share:

Unshakeable Carlos Oyarvide shares his passion for music and what life is like after a major earthquake

We met Carlos Oyarvide in Guayaquil, Ecuador on our first leg of the Global Music Therapy Project. Initially, Carlos caught our attention as an enthusiastic participant during  the music therapy symposium Angie Kopshy was providing at Catholic University of Santiago de Guayaquil. During this symposium, Carlos shared part of his incredible story. We had the pleasure of learning about his deep passion for music, his family, and the joy with which he approaches each day. After learning that Carlos’ home was severely damaged by the earthquake that rocked Ecuador in April, we asked him to share his story with our audience.

He was raised by his mother and did not have access to traditional therapies. Although he began to speak Spanish at age 2 and English at age 6, he had trouble communicating and establishing relationships. He could not understand people, nor could not understand him. Music  became the way in which he could express himself. His mother discovered that music was the one motivating factor that pushed Carlos to create relationships with others and establish strong friendships.

Please visit ‘Rebuild for Carlos’ if you would like to help Carlos rebuild his home.

My name is Carlos Oyarvide. I am a 27-year-old English and Music teacher, musician and translator. I suffered Asperger Syndrome when I was a child and I was raised by my mom my whole life. Currently, I study music in Guayaquil Catholic University thanks to a government scholarship.

1.  What was your first experience with music?

Since I was a child, I have felt very attracted to music, especially the drums. I have shown manifestations of music skills my whole life. These skills sometimes got me into trouble because most of my teachers thought it was an attention deficit.Carlos Oyarvide with record producer in Guayaquil, Ecuador

2.  When did you begin playing music?

 I began singing when I was six and playing drums when I was 13, playing guitar at the age of 15 and playing piano at the age of 25.

Carlos Oyarvide playing the drums


3.  What makes the music in Ecuador unique?

It is a way of expression of our ancient traditions from the Incan  times and the fusion with other contemporary music styles.

4.  When you first felt the earthquake, what was your initial reaction? Were you with your mom?

I was not with my mom. She was up the block at a neighbors house. When we felt the ground shaking a little bit, we were not so worried. Ecuador experiences many earthquakes, this was not new. But the shaking became stronger. I went back home to find my mom and that’s when we saw the destruction to our home. We hugged each other, thankful to God that we were alive.  But we could not find our pets. Our walls had crashed to the floor. It was a total devastation.  Thankfully we found all of our pets. 


5.  How was your community affected by the recent earthquake in Ecuador?

In the case of Guayaquil, 288 houses were destroyed by earthquake. Guayaquil is a very big city and that amount of houses would represent only a 3% of houses of the total number of houses that exits nowadays. Unfortunately, my house was one of them and in my neighborhood it was  the only one destroyed.

Carlos Oyarvide's home after the earthquake in Ecuador April 2016


6.  What can people do to help?

People could give a donation. Thanks to some donations already received,  we are rebuilding my house, but the collected money is not enough. I have to think about doing many activities to collect money to rebuild my house. Collecting and exchanging recyclable items is one of the ways we are trying to bring in extra money to pay for the repairs.

7.  Has music played a role in helping rebuild the community?

Music is going to play an important role in achieving this goal. My university classmates  are thinking about organizing a performance to collect money and help me in that way. I’m also doing other performances, along with a garage sale, to help reach my goal (rebuild).

Carlos Oyarvide with his mom

8. If you had the chance to say one thing about music, to the entire world, what would you say?

Music is my life, my dream, my lifestyle and the reason that I go ahead in life and overcome difficulties.




Read More →
Replies: 0 / Share:

Kedar Gandhari’s Journey to Working as a Music Therapist in Nepal

Kedar Gandhari studied through the Music Therapy Academy. His journey has taken him around the world and he is now working in Nepal. Here is a small portion of his story.

  1. How did you hear about music therapy? Where did you study? Can you say more about that experience?

I first heard about music therapy by word of mouth from a journalist in Nepal. I worked as a street musician in Nepal at the time. I took it seriously and was advancing in my quest, but it was not easy for me to go abroad to study music therapy. I searched the internet for scholarships so that I could enroll in a program in the U.S. or Europe, but I could not find support anywhere. I was growing weary, but did not lose hope. At the time, my friend Mr. Raj Kumar Gandharba, who works for JUP-Nepal and was passing through while researching music therapy, went to the UK to get his award. He attended a music therapy talk by Dr. Margaret Lobo in London. He’d spoken with Margaret about our Gandharba (also written as Gandharva) tradition and music. Margaret was impressed and keen on providing scholarships for music therapy students. Ultimately, I was selected as a scholarship recipient by The Music Therapy Trust Alliance at The Music Therapy Academy. I found a God in search of stone when I got that opportunity and successfully completed a one year post-graduate diploma in music therapy in India. Then my music therapy journey to Nepal began. It was not easy  to establish music therapy in Nepal and deliver services to a community in such great need. With the help of Margaret and our tireless efforts, we were able to register The Music Therapy Trust Nepal in 2010.

Kedar, a music therapist working in Nepal, is at the piano with a client.
Kedar is a music therapist working in Nepal.

2. What kind of role has music played in your life?

As I was born into a musical family, I did not get an opportunity to play music during my childhood as a musician, especially from our community, is considered as a beggar. There is a lot of discrimination against being a musician from the Gandharba caste. One of the many ways in which we are excluded is by lack of education. Although the constitution does not allow caste-based discrimination, there is much social injustice in Nepal. I always found this discrimination intolerable. This kind of caste-based discrimination and injustice in the community is a primary source of inspiration on my musical journey. I knew music embodied power and was a  source of transformation. I am always trying to find different ways to use music for more than only a means of entertainment. Music is the source of my education, the source of my livelihood, the source of inspiration and motivation. Music always provides me with an enormous  sense of space and relaxation. Ultimately, music established me as the first clinical music therapist in Nepal. I feel proud to be the first clinical music therapist in Nepal and to introduce myself as a music therapist on the National and International level.

3. Can you describe one of your favorite music therapy sessions or groups to give readers an idea of what you do and with whom your work?

I work with different populations in Nepal, but primarily children with autism. I run groups and individual music therapy sessions. One example is my work with a 14 year old boy with autism. He has auditory hypersensitivity and engages in self-harming behavior. Initially, he threw everything at the beginning of our music therapy sessions. He cries, puts his finger in his ears while banging his head on the wall and instruments and I started out by just observing him. I gave him a wider space and played very soft music. Sometimes he maintained eye contact, flapped his hands and clapped in a high pitch. As our therapeutic relationship grew, he picked up the flute and blew it. That was a moment for me to create a dialogue with him. We took turns blowing the flute and began to build a nurturing environment that would allow for further development in social and communication goals.

Music therapy in Nepal

4. What is the greatest need for music therapists in your community?

Music therapy is very new in Nepal. There is not much awareness about music therapy within the Nepali community. People are more believing in medicine and doctors. Community based awareness is the most integral part of establishing music therapy here. Currently, music therapy is based as urban adventure and needs to be extended to the communities in need in the more remote areas of Nepal. The people of Nepal are not expressing their sorrows, agony, sadness, feelings or their problems. The cultural and social stigmas lead people into psychological distress and trauma. Music therapy can play a vital role in their lives by helping them become more open.

5. How can others help?

As Nepal is considered a developing country, there are many ways to help music therapy become more developed in Nepal. People’s love, support and care will help to foster and develop music therapy in Nepal.

6. What have you learned from your work as a music therapist?

Music has the power to communicate with people. Musical language is the expressive universal language. I am able to apply nonthreatening and nonjudgmental elements of music to develop inter-social communication and provide an open space for my clients.


7. Can you describe one or two incredible music therapy experiences that we can share – like a magical moment with a client or even a moment that enlightened your perspective?

I work with a 21 year old adult with diagnoses of intellectual disability and autism. Initially, he was shy and depressed. He did not want to talk to people and had limited verbal communication. He had weak strength in his fingers, made no eye contact and had a short attention span. Although his age is 21, his intellectual developmental level was low and decreasing. He neither spoke nor participated in any musical activities. I offered him the guitar, drum and other instruments which he refused to touch. He listened, maintained eye contact and express his emotions through facial expressions. During our recent music therapy sessions, he turned towards the keyboard and pressed the keys. He has been developing his therapeutic relationship with me. He began to hum and imitate singing on keyboard. His fine motor movement has been improving through the keyboard and he is actively participating and communicating during our music therapy session.

Read More →
Replies: 1 / Share:

The incredible work of music therapist, Shreeti Pradhan, in Nepal

Shreeti Pradhan is a certified music therapist with a post graduate diploma in Clinical Music Therapy from TMTT, India. Currently, she is working at two autism care centers in Kathmandu under The Music Therapy Trust of Nepal and in the burn ward of Kanti Children’s Hospital under Luniva Music Therapy. Her main instrument is voice and she has been professionally trained as a Western vocal coach. Shreeti has a deep interest in working for community based music therapy program. She, along with her co-therapist Verena C. Jones, visited a village in Gorkha, which was badly affected by the earthquake that hit Nepal in April, 2015. One of the main reasons for this visit was to explore music therapy in a post traumatic scenario and build musical dialogue with the native community.  Check out the video of their work at the bottom of this blog. Shreeti is also a theater actor and a singer/songwriter.

Shreeti 2

1. How did you hear about music therapy?

One of my vocal coaches is a music therapist whom I had met in late 2009. I had also heard about music therapy through my peer and researched it myself. I had received partial funding in 2013 to study music therapy in the US but due to financial limitations, I was unable to afford my education there. The founder of Otakar Kraus Music Trust, London and The Music Therapy Trust in India and Nepal, Dr. Margaret Lobo, and music therapist, Ruth Oreshnick, were visiting my work place in Nepal for a Music Therapy workshop/presentation. After attending their workshop, I came to know that a post graduate diploma course is run in Clinical Music Therapy in New Delhi of India. So, I applied for the course and received full scholarship to pursue my further education in the field that deeply interested me. Taking up music therapy has been life changing for me on both personal and professional fronts.

2. What kind of role has music played in your life?

Music has always been an integral part of my life. I started singing from a very young age and as I grew up, my interest in different musical instruments also grew stronger. Currently, I play guitar, keys, melodica and other hand held percussions. Music allows me to relax and destress. It also provides me with a safe space where I can express myself. Music can cater to any mood and has great health benefits for both mental and physical wellbeing. Music is everywhere, we just need to have our ears open.

3. Can you describe one of your favorite music therapy sessions or groups to give readers an idea of what you do and with whom your work?

For children with autism, it can be challenging to focus on one activity for a longer time or even tolerate being in a room with five other people. Through music, these children learn to enjoy different activities, anticipate, participate and engage socially with their peers. I run seven of such group sessions every week at two different centers in Kathmandu. It has been helpful and productive for the children who have developmental delay issues because music therapy provides a safe space for them to express, explore and learn. This also boosts their cognitive capacity and motivates them to share the musical space within a group.

4. What is the greatest need for music therapists in your community?

Music is a widely relatable subject in our community. Music therapy is a new approach that has recently entered into the Nepali scenario. However, people are open to know about how music therapy can provide health benefits to those in need. I feel that gradually, our community is also willing to experience such detailed work of music that has ample therapeutic purpose behind it. As much as music is a source of entertainment, music is also much more than just that. For example, when we are listening to our favorite songs, we are also de-stressing, relaxing and having a fun time. It is very simple to understand the therapeutic usage of music in music therapy. Having said that, I personally feel that people should have more opportunities to access this therapy. More music therapy training for Nepali musicians should be generated because our community is musically progressive and are always ready to reach out to people in need. It would be a boon for the Nepali community to experience music therapy in a larger scale.

5. How can others help?

Nepal has rich musical culture beginning from folk traditions in villages, from the hills to Terai and to the neo-Indie music scene among the younger generation. The diverse musical root shows that music therapy can be extremely beneficial in a country like ours where an outpouring of expression through lyrics and melodies in people’s songs can be seen. However, affording such therapy work is very crucial in a country like Nepal where the majority of people are still struggling for basic needs. The Nepali community requires inclusion of music therapy in its health care practicum. For this, proper funding, awareness and resources are integral.

6. What have you learned from your work as a music therapist?

Working with the Nepalese community has made me realize how music is also a fundamental aspect of their everyday life. Through music, one can easily express, communicate, relax and have fun. Music therapy provides such a space for individuals, thus allowing them to feel safe. I have learned that music is one of the simplest yet most effective ways that allow us to share our differences and also become accepting towards them. We can utilize music as a bridge to better our physical, emotional, mental and spiritual health.

7. Can you describe one or two incredible music therapy experiences that we can share – like a magical moment with a client or even a moment that enlightened your perspective?

I have a fourteen year old client who loves to sing songs and also imitate voices. Even though he has limited verbal communication while speaking, he easily catches up on lyrics, songs and communicates through music. Singing is one of his strengths and it also helps him to reduce stress and anxiety situations. During one of our recent music therapy sessions, he was engaging with music by listening to improvisations but was hesitant about engaging verbally. Since he is so used to singing songs that he already knows, participating through improvisation was a new approach for him. However, towards the end of that session, he sang his own melodies and was very happy about that. Now, he was expressing himself not only through the songs that he knew, but also in the tunes that came from within him. He was musically exploring and bravely expressing through his melodies. He was communicating, sharing and acknowledging through his musical voice.

Read More →
Replies: 0 / Share:

Music therapist, Anna van Eck, and her wonderful work in Nepal

1. How did you hear about music therapy? 

The moment I heard about music therapy, I was studying theatre and as a side job, I gave vocal classes at the school of music in my neighborhood. During my final year, I had doubts about further studies. My dream to become an actress slowly faded away and the study of music education was not exactly what I was looking for. I did not only want to entertain or teach people. I wanted to use my creativity to help them. One of my teachers mentioned music therapy. I started searching for some more information on the internet and I visited some open houses at universities. The combination of psychology and music was exactly what I was looking for. So after graduation, I started studying music therapy at the University of Applied Science, Nijmegen. Finally, I could do what I was looking for; using my strengths to help people.

2.  What kind of role has music played in your life?

From a very young age, I like to entertain people. Not only by playing music and singing, but also by acting and dancing. As a young girl, I was very shy and because of my dyslexia and ADD, I always had to work hard to achieve the same goals as my classmates. This made me very eager to learn, but also uncertain and frustrated. Standing on the stage gave me a feeling of power. It gave me confidence. I found a way to express myself and I could finally show the world what I was good at.

3. Can you describe one of your favorite music therapy sessions or groups to give readers an idea of what you do and with whom your work?

I work on the burn unit of Kanti Children’s Hospital twice a week. It is a pediatric hospital in Kathmandu and provides treatment for children through fourteen years of age. I provide music therapy support during burn dressings (individual sessions). I foster a positive and creative environment for the families and staff of patients through group music therapy sessions.

Music therapists, Anna and Verena, on the burn unit of Kanti Children's Hospital in Kathmandu, NepalOne of my client’s, a toddler of 5 years old with 40% burns, entered the dressing room with fear. He immediately started screaming and crying. As soon as I started playing ‘’Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star’’ on the guitar he made eye-contact and there were small breaks in his crying. I noticed that his mother was also crying, so I put my guitar aside and with a hand on her shoulder, I gently began to hum. I integrated his name and the sounds he was making into the melody of the song. His mom also started humming along with me and there was a musical conversation. Slowly, his heartbeat entrained to the rhythm of the music and changed it into a calmer rhythm. It seemed that he started to relax; his breathing slowed down and there were moments when his eyes were closed. He left the treatment room while sleeping.

4. What is the greatest need for music therapists in your community?

Music therapy is something new in Nepal and a lot of Nepalese do not yet know what it is or they think it is just for entertainment. Therefore, I often provide presentations on music therapy at local schools or other organizations to raise more awareness. But only this is not enough. As clinicians we should cooperate more with each other by using each others strengths and referring to one another. In Nepal, there is actually a lot of demand for therapeutic help, but most of the Nepalese are not aware of music therapy so they search for other more familiar forms of treatment like medication. But this is not always the right treatment. Psychiatrists, psychologists and therapists should work more closely together, not only to raise more awareness but also to use each others strengths and specialism for the best possible treatment.

At Luniva, my own private practice at home, I am working closely with psychologists and school counselors. This is a great enrichment. Recently, all the music therapists of Nepal established a monthly intervision group in which we can share our experiences and discuss case studies, which is great!

5. How can others help?

By simply spreading the words to raise more awareness about music therapy.

6. What have you learned from your work as a music therapist?

There is plenty of work in Nepal when it comes to social projects. When I started working as a music therapist in Nepal two years ago, I grabbed every opportunity I got and I wanted to help as many people as I could. As I was working full-time at different locations, with different target groups and with all kind of ages, I missed the focus. I could not delve into the different target groups and because I worked at all the places only once a week, I did not really feel involved in the different organizations. This year I started realizing that I cannot help all these people myself and that it’s ok to hand work over to others. I no longer see this as a failure, but as professionalism.

Currently, in addition to the private clients I see in my own practice at home, I am doing only two more social projects: Kanti Children’s Hospital and Koshish, a mental health self-help organization.

I have also learned to be patient. It takes time to achieve your goals, but especially in Nepal where people are more laid back and I have to deal with many cultural differences. When I started working at Kanti Children’s Hospital, during my sessions I often thought, ‘’What am I doing here?’’ The TV was mostly on full volume during sessions, a flow of people walked in and out the treatment room and nurses often stood right in front of me. Together with my colleague, Verena Clemencic-Jones, I prepared a presentation about music therapy for all the staff of the burn ward. Finally, only two showed up. Even though we were thinking that it was useless, one of them spread the word to other hospital staff over the weeks following the presentation. More then a year later, I finally see positive changes. I have learned not to give up, but to be patient when all seems to go wrong sometimes.

7. Can you describe one or two incredible music therapy experiences that we can share – like a magical moment with a client or even a moment that enlightened your perspective?

At Koshish, I am working with adults who are suffering from different mental health illnesses. I provide music therapy sessions in two different departments. One is the transit home, a closed department, called House of Hope. The transit home provides shelter and treatment for women who are usually rescued from the street and have a history of domestic violence, abuse or prostitution. They are all traumatized and suffering from different mental health illnesses. Most of these women are not yet capable of making music, so I sing or play guitar or flute for them while they listen. I have seen that just listening to music helps them relax and escape their sorrow for a moment. As they say, “It feels like meditation.’’ Listening to the songs that they request also helps them to express their emotions. Some of the woman start to cry and others laugh and start to dance.

Music therapist, Anna van Eck, at Koshish in Nepal

The other department is the Peer Support Group. This is a free, walk-in self-help group, for people with mental health problems to share their experiences. As there are no instruments at Koshish, I am working with body percussion. Physical movements gives them the opportunity to ground themselves and make contact with their bodies instead of being stuck in their heads. It also helps them to make contact with their surrounding and increase their concentration span. I am very proud when I see their progress and when I hear how much they appreciate the music therapy. A year ago, following a simple rhythm was very difficult. Now they are able to take the lead and come up with their own rhythms. The smiles that appear on their faces are priceless!

Saishree Chettri is one of my client’s at Luniva, my private practice at home. Saishree is 5 years old and diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder. When she entered the music therapy room for the first time a year ago, her concentration span was low and she barely made contact with her surroundings. Saishree hardly spoke and could not express herself to the outside world, with behavioral problems as a result. Saishree loves to sing and I use her preferred and familiar songs within the sessions to create joint attention, to increase her concentration and to improve her speech and language skills.

Anna van Eck with a little girl receiving music therapy in Nepal.

One of these songs was a Nepali song called ‘’Phool ko aanka ma’’. I recorded the song and edited it with a background and a picture that Saishree had chosen. Saishree often asks about the movie and when we watch it she smiles. It looks like she finally found a way to express herself! 

Read More →
Replies: 0 / Share:

Maud Van de Worp’s Music Therapy Work in Nepal

The Global Music Therapy Project is really looking forward to meeting Maud van de Worp. Maud is from The Netherlands and lives in Nepal. Together with her Nepali husband, she runs INSPIREnepal. Maud works at different placements in Nepal as a music therapist. She works at a placement where they really need more help, at a special needs school and just recently stopped working at a disabled center for adults. She is also part of an inclusive education training that teaches and shows schools/centers the importance of having music therapy for their people.  And she supervises interns. After the earthquake, Maud has done some songwriting with children’s homes about their feelings and wishes after the earthquake.

  1. How did you hear about music therapy? Where did you study? Can you say more about that experience?

I heard about music therapy when I was in rehab myself and, coincidentally, my music teacher was about to study music therapy as well. For me, it seemed like the perfect combination: music and psychology. I studied music therapy in The Netherlands at the University of Applied Science in Nijmegen. When I started my studies, it felt as if I was finally doing what I was meant to be doing. But even then, it also felt therapeutic for myself.  I learned how to accept my pain, embrace my emotions and learned how to express my emotions other than only in music.

  1. What kind of role has music played in your life?

I have always enjoyed music, to play but also to dance to. When I was younger, I wanted to be a tap dancer and I started playing the flute as well. Then when I was 12, I got an injury because of dancing and because of bad doctor’s advice it evolved into post-traumatic dystrophy. This left me chained to my wheelchair for two years. For years, I had all sorts of therapy and I was in rehab for quite some time instead of  high school. So whenever I had a bad therapy day or I was in a lot of pain, I took my flute and started playing. You could always hear in my play in which mood I was. And after playing I always felt better; as if I was able to release all of the pain or emotions.  Or when I felt lonely being in rehab, music helped me to feel happy again. Music has helped me a lot during that time of period. I also had to change my future plans and getting to know music therapy helped me to leave the dream of becoming a dancer behind. Because of my experiences, I feel how powerful music is and it is a plus point to have experienced the ‘other (client)  side’ while working as a therapist.

Maud 2

  1. Can you describe one of your favorite music therapy sessions or groups to give readers an idea of what you do and with whom your work?

I work in a special needs school in Nepal where mostly autistic children. One of my clients is a autistic girl, about the age of 9. She doesn’t talk and she doesn’t show any facial expressions or emotions. Most of the time she just sits in the classroom and passes the time by sitting and waiting to go home.  When I started seeing her in therapy she first was afraid of the instruments and the sounds were pretty overwhelming. But by not forcing her and to give her the space and time she needs,  she started to allow me to play. She would take my hand and bring it to the instrument. This one day, I introduced the melodica and started playing on a low note. I imitated the rhythm she always plays and all of the sudden she started to laugh. She was laughing really loud. She took the melodica and started playing herself and kept laughing. Now every time she comes to my therapy, she laughs and is able to enjoy and experiment. Her behavior has changed a lot and is now slowly discovering her emotions.

  1. What is the greatest need for music therapists in your community?

I work especially with children, Kathmandu, Nepal. In Nepal, there is not much knowledge about disabilities. The centers that take kids with disabilities do not even know what to do with them most of the time. There experience lack of staff, lack of funds and lack of knowledge to give the best education and therapies for their kids. Even though they love them very much, the children do not get the opportunity to develop. Most of the kids are just sitting and waiting in their classroom to go home. Also, the Nepali culture treats kids differently. Teachers do a lot for the kids, sometimes forcing or just not having the patience or time to wait and let the children do it themselves. Therefore, there is a great need for music therapy. In therapy, the children get a real self-esteem boost  by seeing that they are able to do things themselves. Just by giving them some special attention and the space to explore, these children are able to develop socially, emotionally, physically and cognitive.

I am now part of a inclusive education training course. In this course I show what the impact of music therapy is and why every school/center should have a therapist. But we are also able to show what their children are capable of.

  1. How can others help?

In Nepal, the word still needs to be spread!

Maud Van de Worp facilitating a music therapy session in Nepal.

  1. What have you learned from your work as a music therapist?

I have learned to always have patience and not judge people by their cover. Sometimes during therapy I am thinking; what am I doing? I have been singing the same song for ages and the client doesn’t seem to be listening. But it is always then when all of the sudden your clients starts to sing the song you have been singing. Some people just need more time. And that is very important to remember in your personal life as well. And it is sometimes hard to keep singing the same song if you do not see any improvements but you have to keep believing in your interventions and yourself and the improvements will follow.  And that is the same for many situations in life!

  1. Can you describe one or two incredible music therapy experiences with a client or even a moment that enlightened your perspective?

Of course the situation that I have described previously.

There is a little boy who is depending upon others throughout the whole day because of his disability. We have been singing lots of songs together and he just adores the guitar. He is very slow in his thinking and in his movements, so during a song he stops many times. He always wanted me to play the guitar and only played for a few seconds himself and handed it to me again. By playing games which he had to tell me what to play, I encouraged him to trust his own abilities. This gave him the strength and courage to explore and not to be depending on others so much. The process in the therapies were already amazing, he now calls himself a rock star on the guitar but the best things was with World Autism Day, this last 2nd of April. He dared to sing for a big audience and he sang without any interruptions. But it was his smile and when he said afterwards to his parents and teachers: Look, I can sing, did you see what I did?! and it’s the emphasizing on “I”, that made it a magical moment for me.

Follow INSPIREnepal’s work on youtube. Follow INSPIREnepal on facebook.

Read More →
Replies: 0 / Share:

Autism Awareness Month Around the World

April is Autism Awareness Month. For Music Therapy Services of Portland, that means we  attend the Autism Society of Oregon’s 2016 Walk this Saturday, unite with autism advocates and families and strive to educate the community on how music therapy can help with autism.

But did you know that last Saturday, April 2nd, was the eighth annual World Autism Awareness Day? Support could be seen around the world as #LIUB (Light it up blue) was seen on the Israeli Parliament Building in Jerusalem, Israel, The Panama Canal in Panama, The Orlando Eye in Orlando, Florida, Christ the Redeemer in Rio de Janero, Brazil, and The Great Buddha of Hyogi  in  Kobe, Japan, and the Nepali music therapists that we’re meeting very soon, Amrit and Shreeti. Where did you see #LIUB in action? The photos that have been shared from around the world are spectacular as we unite to advocate and educate about autism.Amrit Gandhari and Shreeti Pradhan

How does music therapy help with autism? The fundamental elements of music like rhythm, timbre, harmonic structure, and the ability to evoke emotions, are typically able to activate more of the brain. Music therapy uses clinical and evidenced based interventions to enhance communication, improve emotional regulation, reduce anxiety, improve motor planning and increase social skills. Here is our more animated definition…

Read More →
Replies: 0 / Share:

Join Our Video Campaign to Support The University of North Dakota Music Therapy Program

The University of North Dakota has postponed the ruling date for the music therapy program until April 26, 2016, so we will continue accepting video submissions through Sunday, April 11, 2016, 7pm EDT.

From the words on a chalkboard at The Eden School, an orphanage in Kabale, Uganda, to the beautiful songs from the music community of Centro Integral de Equinoterapia in Guayaquil, Ecuador, the support for The University of North Dakota’s music therapy program continues to grow around the world.

Since we announced our video campaign in support of the University of North Dakota music therapy program, we have received over 100 videos from 5 different continents! The response has been amazing and we thank each of you who has taken the time to retweet, film a video for our campaign, and/or sign the PETITION  created by UND music therapy student, Miranda Eckert, in support of making music therapy a priority at the University of North Dakota.

Our video will include comprehensive footage of the music therapy community and many of the people affected today by the University’s decision. Along with this footage, we are including shoutouts from people all over the world, like the one you see above. If you would like to still submit video to our film project, follow these instructions and become a part of a message delivered from around the globe.

What you need to do:

  1.  State your name
  2.  Tell us where you are from 
  3.  Say, “I support the University of North Dakota’s Music Therapy Program”
  4.  Hold a sign that reads “#SaveUNDMT”
  5.  Give a personal message
  6.   Speak in the language you prefer
  7.  Video need to be between 5 – 20 seconds (we can edit anything over) 

Send videos to or through google drive at the same email address.  Let your creativity flow and have fun giving some love to the University of North Dakota Music Therapy Department.

While this is a local issue to the Grand Forks, North Dakota community, the world is watching and we hope that everyone will continue to support the music therapy community in North Dakota.  We look forward to hearing from you and seeing your videos!


Read More →
Replies: 0 / Share:

Real Talk: Radio Show Gives Platform to North Dakota Music Therapy Program

Wednesday, April 6 at 6pm EDT, we will be one of several guests on the Palm Beach Music Therapy Connections Radio Show, including University of North Dakota Music Therapy Department Director, Dr. Meganne Masko, and music therapy student, Miranda Eckert.

Bree Beynon, board certified music therapist, managing partner of Palm Beach Music Therapy Institute, and host of Palm Beach Music Therapy Connections will be dedicating her show tomorrow night to the situation surrounding the University of North Dakota’s music therapy program. The show starts at 6pm EDT.

Locally, the show is broadcast on  WNN 1470. If you aren’t in the listening area, video streaming will be available.  I-Heart radio WNN 1470 will also provide an audio stream for the show.

On the show, music therapy student and the author of the PETITION to make music therapy a priority at UND, Miranda Eckert, will be calling in to talk about the impact of the University’s decision on the students. The Director of Music Therapy at the University of North Dakota, Dr. Meganne Masko, will also be calling in to discuss the University’s decision to suspend the music therapy program.

It is a privilege to receive an invitation to join this conversation and lend our support to those most affected by the University of North Dakota’s decision to dismantle its music therapy department. This will be a powerful show providing the audience an opportunity to hear from both a music therapy student and professor who are directly engaged with the situation.

Their battle is real and we are asking everyone to tune in tomorrow night to learn how we all can stand with the students, professors and clients of the University of North Dakota Music Therapy program in their effort to reinstate this vital department.

Please share this information with your friends and family and tune in with us tomorrow night as we continue to build a stronger foundation of support both inside and outside of North Dakota.

This will be our second time on the show. If you would like to find out what the format is like, check out the first time we joined Bree on Palm Beach Music Therapy Connections Radio Show.



Read More →
Replies: 0 / Share: