Most people will agree that music is powerful and emotive and it can influence us in many ways. It can make us feel energised or melancholy; it can calm us down or make us feel scared (think of the soundtrack of a scary movie!). We’ve always used music: at home, in the car, at weddings and funerals, sports games and for entertainment.
There is a lot of research as to how listening to music and being involved in making music influences us physiologically, cognitively and emotionally. It affects our heart beat, our mood, our brain waves and even our immune system. Making music can be an expressive outlet that exercises our creativity and helps us communicate and connect with others. So music makes for a really useful and effective therapeutic tool.
After graduating as an Occupational Therapist from the University of Stellenbosch in 2001, I worked for 4 years in the fields of neurology and elderly care both in London and Cape Town. I was accepted into the Masters in Music (Music Therapy) programme at the University of Pretoria (2006/2007). An intensive two years of clinical placements, lectures and writing a thesis provided a solid base and experience in a variety of fields in music therapy. I returned to Cape Town and began working at the MusicWorks (then known as The Music Therapy Community Clinic) where I managed several projects including Early Childhood Development and worked at a variety of hospitals and under-resourced communities.
In 2013, I opened my own private practice in the northern suburbs of Cape Town and this has grown to include work at schools, old age homes, MusicWorks and with private clients who travel to my practice. My fields of interest include special needs, trauma and elderly care.
In 2014 a colleague and I founded Drumming with a Difference which provides training, team support and recreational activities based on Djembe drumming. To date, we have trained over 25 health care professionals to use Djembe drumming in their clinical work, facilitated several workshops and team-building events, and have run a very successful workshop for budding entrepreneurs with the Raymond Ackerman Entrepreneurial Foundation.