Music Therapy Enriches Teacher Training in Czech Republic

As music therapists we have much to offer for the enrichment of other professions. Whilst ensuring that occupational therapists, nurses, teachers, care home assistants and children’s home workers, for example, know that we are not training them to be music therapists, we can offer them musical methods and techniques for use in their daily work or for their personal and professional development.

In May, Dr. Lenka Kružíková, who works in the Department of Music Education at Palacky University Olomouc in the Czech Republic, led a workshop entitled “Me…Voice!” for Pre-school and Primary Education students  and others interested in perceptions of the voice.

The aim of the workshop was to facilitate participants’ understanding of how to support children in their educational lives with the voice, addressing two main questions:
  • How can teachers effect children’s musical and personal progress, both in groups and individually?
  • How can teachers work safely with their voices, including perception of vocal vibration and basic breathing  techniques?
The students learnt how to be authentic with their voice, not to be scared of singing and “sounding” of themselves. They played voice games, engaged in sound improvisation, and sang songs originally composed for music therapy interventions, but here with no therapeutic aspect.
The skills and knowledge acquired in the workshop can be applied directly in students’ teaching practice placements – especially for those, who will work in kindergartens. They now know that music in kindergarten or school is not just about singing and playing the piano but about making a sound all the time, being with their voice, singing with empathy, authenticity, joy, motivation and creativity. They can use the basic ideas of music therapy (with no therapeutic intention!) for educational and self-experience purposes.
Thank you, Lenka, for sharing this beautiful photograph and story!