Charity Recital for Chiltern Music Therapy

I will be giving a recital on Monday August 20th 2012 with soprano Jane Wilkinson to raise money for Chiltern Music Therapy. The concert will be held at The Assembly Room in Marlow, Buckinghamshire and will start at 7pm. The recital will be followed by a three course meal.

Chiltern Music Therapy was founded by Rosie Axon and Helen Bartlett. I came across Rosie on Twitter earlier this year and expressed an interest in helping raise money so that they can continue their excellent community work.

Music therapy provides vital help for many affected by serious illness. I became aware of just how useful it can be when I was faced with breast cancer a couple of years ago. Many organisations such as Chiltern Music Therapy receive little or no funding at all and are reliant on fund raising.

Music therapy classes can be either one-to-one or group sessions. They generally use different elements of music, such as tempo, melody, rhythm and harmony to encourage communication and social interaction, cognitive skills, movement and emotional expression. A session will consist of a number of different tasks or activities, all using the instruments, or our voices to work towards goals in these areas. No musical skill or experience is needed and music has the fantastic advantage of engaging people of all ages in therapy, in a non-formal environment.

 When we met, Rosie gave me food for thought:

‘Chiltern Music Therapy offers a Children and Young People’s service and an Adult and Older Peoples’ service to those people with learning disabilities, mental health problems, Autism, emotional and behavioural problems and those in palliative care. We also offer a Music for Health scheme which consists of more leisure-based music activities for the general public. In addition, we provide neurologic rehabilitation programmes for people with brain injuries or anyone suffering from neurological diseases’.

All music therapists are rigorously trained as Rosie explained:

‘Music Therapy is a registered health profession, together with Speech and Language Therapy or Physiotherapy and all Music Therapists must legally register with the Health Professions Council and adhere to national codes of practice. The minimum qualification to become a Music Therapist is a Masters Degree in Music Therapy. At Chiltern Music Therapy all Music Therapists meet this criteria and hold enhanced CRB checks as well’.

I wanted to know why Rosie and Helen decided to form Chiltern Music Therapy:

‘Throughout our training, we found that other counties in the surrounding areas all had Music Therapy services, either as part of the NHS or as part of the Council, for either Adults or Children. Buckinghamshire is the only county across the Chilterns which doesn’t have a Music Therapy service and bordering counties sometimes only have one for adults but not for children, or vice versa. Having seen the fantastic benefits that Music Therapy brings to people of all ages, we decided to fill the gap locally and make a service that is available to people of all ages and all abilities’.

Jane and I are delighted to help this wonderful cause and would really appreciate your support so if you are free please join us. We started working together earlier this year after having met whilst being auditioned and selected to be music adjudicators for the Federation of Music Festivals. After performing on a few informal occasions, we are now embarking on several tours of the US starting with recitals in the southern states early next year. Our programme for the Charity concert will consist of works by Bach/Gounod, Britten, Lehmann, Gershwin, Puccini, Dring and Parry.

Tickets are £35.00 and can be purchased by emailing  info@chilternmusictherapy.co.uk or calling 07968 395794.

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