Experiencing music therapy

Alice Charlton (centre) leads cochlear implantees in percussion work

Sarah Hodkinson, our Lecturer in Music Therapy, describes a workshop that allowed students to gain valuable hands-on experience to complement their year 3 music therapy lectures:

Music students Alice Charlton, Esme Phillips, and Panos Mathicolonis assisted me in a music therapy workshop at the University of Southampton Auditory Implant Service.

The students are well aware of the significance of music. Music is not only something they study, it is central in their lives. However, for adults who are profoundly deaf and have a cochlear implant, listening to and playing music can feel impossible and dissatisfying. This is specifically because of the difficulty their device has in conveying pitch.

Working with other specialists within the University, we have undertaken research to better understand what music is most easily appreciated through a cochlear implant and what aural skills and training in music perception are necessary to help cochlear implant users enjoy music to a greater degree. An online resource named the IMAP was developed to address these very issues.

The students were given a first-hand opportunity to see the results of this research as they assisted in the workshop. As part of their music therapy module, the students will be working one-to-one with cochlear implant users in the spring, allowing them to experience for themselves music being used as therapy.

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