German Music Therapists Share Expertise in Latvia

Photo: Jānis Rotšteins

25th-26th November 2022

Thanks to the Erasmus+ mobility scheme and the initiative of German music therapist Reiner Haus, Honorary Doctor of Music Therapy at Liepāja University and pioneer of the first Latvian training course, the Latvian Music Therapy Association had the great pleasure and honour of welcoming two certified music therapists from Germany to lead master classes in Riga at the end of November:

Karin Schumacher Prof. Dr. rer. sc. mus. has over forty years of clinical experience as a music therapist and psychotherapist with children and adolescents. Although now retired, she still teaches at the University of the Arts Music Therapy Centre in Berlin. Over her long career, she has taught on training courses in Berlin, Vienna and Zurich, developed an assessment system to analyse the quality of relationships in music therapy (AQR), and published many books and articles.

Gulsanam Sadikova works as a music therapist and psychotherapy practitioner in private practice and at the municipal music school in Recklinghausen. She is active in the German Music Therapy Society working groups for music therapy in music schools and work with refugees. She also teaches at Hamburg University of Applied Sciences and Medical University and the Protestant University of Applied Sciences.

The master classes were a wonderful opportunity for both students and practising music therapists to learn together, broadening their horizons beyond the borders of Latvia and expanding the scope of their professional practice.

Karin introduced the AQR tool for assessment of the quality of relationship during music therapy and demonstrated its use in practice, whilst Gulsanam led a session on the practical application of the voice improvisation method in the process of music therapy.

Photo: Jānis Rotšteins

At the end of her master class, Karin analyzed three video fragments from music therapy sessions with autistic spectrum patients sent in beforehand by Latvian music therapists, providing invaluable experience in the practical application of the AQR tool.

Karin explained:

“Isolation threatens everyone who has a mental or physical developmental disorder. We music therapists must be able to read the small signs that our patients show us. From these signs, music can be born that can provide the experience of relationship and reduce the threat of isolation.”

The director of the master training program at Riga Stradins University, Jana Duhovska, thanked the director of the Liepāja University program, Mirdza Paipare, for organizing the master classes, and giving students the opportunity to learn from such a world-class professional as Professor Karin Schumacher.

Photo: Jānis Rotšteins

Author: Līga Enģele

Līga was a student in the very first cohort of the music therapy training program established by Reiner Haus and led by Mirdza Paipare in Liepāja. She has worked with children and young people at the Music Therapy Centre in Liepāja since it was founded in 2004 and since 2006 has been a lecturer on the training course of which she was once a student. She serves on the board of the Confederation of Latvian Arts Therapies Associations and in 2021 was voted Music Therapy Practitioner of the Year by members of the Latvian Music Therapy Association.

Article translated from Latvian by Katie Roth.

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