A music therapist at the University of South Wales USW has been training people in Palestine in how to use music making as a therapy with young children.
Liz Coombes, course leader in the MA Music Therapy, has worked with the charity Music as Therapy International for over a decade, and regularly visits Palestine to deliver training sessions there.
Trainees range from those in education, social work and psychology, often working in rehabilitation services for children and their families. Others work for Sounds of Palestine, a project bringing the benefits of music making and orchestral playing to local children.
Liz said: “I’m passionate about everyone’s right to receive education, and look upon this work as a form of giving back. It is a human right to have access to education and training, and as an academic and practitioner, I consider myself very fortunate to have been able to access a multitude of different training opportunities. I feel I am trying to pass on knowledge and skills that can impact on the children, teachers and social workers I work with.
“Music therapy techniques can help children develop their ability to emotionally regulate. When children live in stressful situations, this ability can become impaired. Research shows that engaging in therapeutic music activities, alone or in small groups, can help this to develop, meaning the children achieve better emotional health.”
This work forms part of Liz’s PhD, and she has had several peer reviewed publications in journals and presented internationally about this subject in Japan and Denmark.