Music is a moral law. It gives a soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination, a charm to sadness and life to everything.
Since 2006, a Music Therapy Department for children aged 2.5 to 12 years of age is in operation at ELEPAP Athens. It is available to the children of the Early Education and Therapy Intervention, the “Aunt Lena” nursery, the Elementary School children as well as to the children of the Regular External Programme.
The therapy sessions are conducted individually by specialised music therapists in a specially designed room. The therapist helps the child discover its abilities, its needs and its preferences. Through an extraordinary musical journey, the child is able to get in touch with its feelings, to relax and reduce the daily stress, while creatively finding meaning in a protected therapeutic framework.
A parallel Music Therapy programme for parents/guardians and children up to 2.5 years of age is under way at the Infant’s Department. The programme aims to strengthen:
- the parent-infant bond
- social skills
In order to provide a holistic music therapeutic approach group sessions are also organized for children attending the educational activities. Music can help:
- smooth social integration through the practice of social skills
- the child’s self-image
- recognition and expression of the child’s inner world,
- strengthen feelings and empathy
- imagination and creativity
The benefits of music therapy are manifold:
- Externalization of feelings
- Relaxation and stress reduction
- Development and promotion of the imagination
- Improved communication
- Mental balance
- A feeling of safety
- Enjoyable adjustment to their surroundings
The intervention focuses on the person’s mental and emotional development and on language acquisition. It also helps improve auditory discrimination and attention to acoustic stimuli.
Another important method which is very beneficial to the child’s development is Orff music kinetic education. This method is applied to the Nursery children in order to introduce them to rhythm, melody, voice, movement control and to promote their imagination and their creativity.
Thus, Music Therapy plays a dual role, on one hand it supports the child during its journey in daily life and on the other it accompanies it creatively, by providing safe ways of expression through music.
At the same time, the main objective is to provide support and to empower the parents to can apply at home the activities they are taught in order to occupy their children creatively. Parents of infants are also able to get to know their child again, to connect with it, to help it with its sleep, its quality of life and stress as well as to accept their new role smoothly.