The British Association of Music Therapy
We all know that music can have a profound effect on our mood: depending on what we listen to, we can feel uplifted, sad, relaxed, angry or any other emotion in between. Music can evoke memories, give us a way to connect with other people and express our feelings – it is a powerful force indeed and that’s why music therapy is used to support all sorts of people, of all different ages and in many different ways. The British Association of Music Therapy (BAMT) was set up to promote the understanding, use and development of music therapy across the UK.
What is the BAMT?
The BAMT is a professional UK body, offering training opportunities, support and information to both practitioners and non-practitioners of music therapy. In addition, it’s a charity that informs the general public of the benefits and raises awareness of how it can help.
Their objectives are to raise public awareness and the understanding of music therapy, and to show how it can help both children and adults with a range of different needs. The remit is to educate, and to act as a voice for both those who could benefit from music therapy, and those who provide it.
A brief history of the BAMT
Formed in 2011, the BAMT came about with the merging of two former bodies – the Association of Professional Music Therapists (APMT – formed in 1976) and the British Society for Music Therapy (BSMT – formed in 1958). While the former was originally set up to support and train professional music therapists, the latter was a charity that was established to promote the benefits of music therapy and how it could be used and developed in a range of circumstances. The BAMT was formed to combine the two: it’s both a charity AND a limited company, and while the merger process began in 2011, it has taken time to set out the legal framework for the new body. With the merger now being complete, there is just one single body to fulfil the needs of both music therapy professionals and the general public.
How can music therapy help?
Music can impact on our lives in a huge number of ways, whether we’re playing an instrument, singing or simply listening. It’s something that everyone can respond to, no matter their age, health or background and that’s why it’s so beneficial for those with a whole host of different medical conditions – especially in cases where communication can be an issue.
Music therapists work with their subjects to facilitate communication and emotional development through the medium of music, with all sorts of different instruments, including the voice. The number of ways in which it can be used to benefit individuals is huge: from helping babies to bond with their parents to improving palliative care, developing communication skills in autistic individuals, improving independence among those with conditions like Parkinson’s, enhancing both self-awareness and the awareness of others amongst dementia patients – the list goes on. Ultimately, it’s an incredibly special tool that is an established psychological clinical intervention, helping those with a disability or illness by supporting their many needs.
For children with special needs, music therapy can often help – as can paying special attention to the other four senses too. Kinderkey designs and manufactures safe solutions to help people with various needs to get a good night’s sleep. Contact us to find out how we can help.