Four Berklee students just arrived back from Athens, Greece, where they spent spring break with two students from Lesley University, collectively doing music therapy service work in various hospitals and facilities around the city of Athens. The group was in Greece from March 16 through March 25, and visited five different sites, where they presented to staff with aims of educating professionals about what music therapy is and why it should be integrated into treatment programs.
The first day was spent at Sinouri Psychiatric Facility, located outside of Athens in Kifissia. The team of six split into smaller teams of two, and each twosome lead a morning group and an afternoon group session with approximately five adult psychiatric inpatients. The students worked together as facilitators and used music to try to achieve nonmusical goals, such as communication, socialization, reality orientation, and development of coping skills. In the evening, the team went to Tender Age Preschool, were a large group session was co-lead by all six students. Activities in this setting were geared towards basic educational goals (counting, colors, etc), sharing, turn taking and waiting, and expression and empowerment.
Tuesday and Thursday were at Onaseio Cardiac Hospital, where the team worked with adult patients who were pre or post surgery, had assistive devices, and nonresponsive and/or comatose patients. Wednesday morning we spent at the Onaseio on their pediatric unit, and Wednesday afternoon we went to Mitera Pediatric Hospital and visited the NICU, where we saw 25+ infants.
On our final day, Friday, we went to a private eating disorders clinic and conducted a group session with adult female outpatients. We did songwriting and lyric adaption exercises, aimed at providing long-term coping skills as well a means of expression and self-actualization.
The week concluded with a presentation of our experiences at Nakas Conservatory, and was attended by friends and family in addition to musicians, medical professionals, Nakas teacher and staff, and conservatory students.
We view the trip as a huge success, as we completed our goals of providing direct music therapy services to in-need clients and also of educating and familiarizing medical professionals of the benefits of using music therapy.
For more detailed reviews of each day, go to http://neramtasgreece2012.yolasite.com/the-blog.php