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Music therapy in Moldova

Published: 31 January 2018
music therapy moldova

Music Therapy lecturer Sarah Hodkinson has just returned from Moldova. Yesterday (Tuesday 30th January) she was featured on multiple Moldovan television channels reporting on her pioneering teaching programme.

Along with her colleague Deborah Green, once more the pair taught Music Therapy and Speech and Language Therapy skills to professionals in Moldova. The approach “Communication Through Music” helps professionals to support the development of communication skills in children with emotional and physical disabilities. This enables professionals to better understand the children’s needs and supports the children in reaching their potential abilities in many aspects of their lives.  

Historically in Moldova and many eastern European countries such as Romania, children with severe and often mild disabilities were typically homed in institutions such as Baby Homes. Due to the country’s economic struggles, it was difficult for families to keep their children at home, or send their child to a mainstream school. Many government initiatives and charities are working hard to reverse this system. This involves equipping teachers and staff in kindergartens with the skills to support a child with a disability in their classroom and provide therapeutic input for the child.

Moldova is considered the poorest country in Europe, having only established independence from the Soviet Union in 1991. The EU has given £700,000 to a 3-year project in which 40 teachers and professionals from 5 of Moldova’s regions are taught how to use “Communication Through Music”. With support from Partnership for Every Child, the British Embassy in Moldova, Healthprom and several other charities,  Sarah Hodkinson has been part of delivering training courses to 150 professionals from all over Moldova in the last 6 years. Participants continually speak of the many benefits of the programme for children with disabilities in Moldova,

“This training has provided hope in the abilities of children with disabilities that we have never recognised”

Students at the University of Southampton are able to watch footage of the music therapy work in Moldova and learn about a truly unique and positive application of music therapy. Through this Music Therapy programme, cultural and financial hurdles are challenges and addressed, so that individual lives are transformed.  

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