Music Group

16Jul10

This is the highlight of my week at the moment. Five of us getting together every Friday afternoon at one of the services to play music. I can’t play but I am starting to sing a bit. I’ve decided next time I will sing. One of the lads undoubtedly knows this and they’re all good enough to just pick it up from one another…so this is what I will be singing…a song I can’t get out of my head just now…which is apt.

This is one of the better things I’ve seen done, by the by….a music group that isn’t set up as anything but having a laugh. With none of the usual pressure to perform, with people just getting into the music, ordinarily anxious and withdrawn people are laughing and chatting and telling each other off for being out of tune. Its not therapy, its just people getting together without any distinctions between them to share an experience. It also shows what occupational therapists can do if they stop infantilising the people they are trying to help- this particular OT stands in stark contrast to the only other I have worked with in the past who seemed more intent on pointing out weaknesses and giving people pointless tasks like colouring in. What could be more infantilising than that? not even painting, expressing themselves, creating…but keeping inside the predetermined lines; that may be a statement of the kind of mh system I have been exposed to so far. It reminds me again of a wee passage in Deleuze and Guattari about what they call, quite unnecessarily, chaoids. Essentially the concept simply describes a process wherein chaos becomes ordered through creation. Art is a chaoid when it takes a chaos and gives it form, renders it sensory and external. Music isn’t therapy, it’s creation. So is the real therapy just allowing people to simply express their creativity?

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