The 2015 program of the SSI Community Music Program for refugees and asylum seekers living within the community began in the last week of February.
The sessions, which are based on creative music therapy, are facilitated by a registered music therapist (RMT) from Nordoff-Robbins Music Therapy Australia.
The therapist facilitates vocal and instrumental improvisation to help participants confront issues surrounding mistrust and social isolation that develop as a result of past traumatic experiences. The program also provides an opportunity for participants to express their creativity and individuality.
The workshops are part of the SSI Arts and Culture Program, aim to increase the social and emotional wellbeing of SSI asylum seeker and refugee clients through communal music making.
Weekly music sessions for these clients will run every Tuesday from 3 to 4:30pm at Granville Youth and Community Recreation Centre until April 28.
This year, the sessions have expanded to another SSI program; the Playtime multicultural playgroup. At SSI Playtime, the music therapist is facilitating musical activities for the pre-school-aged children of refugee and asylum seeker mums, until March 31, while the mothers take part in English lessons.
Keren David, SSI Community Engagement Practitioner who runs Playtime, said the kids loved last week’s music session. "Anna Chapman [the music therapist] facilitated an engaging and exciting session, demonstrating a few instruments and leading singalongs.
"The children responded with great interest and enthusiasm, enjoying the singing and group interaction. It was a fabulous opportunity for Playtime's children to express creativity through music."