Feb 23, 2021

Sharjah City for Humanitarian Services (SCHS) is preparing to organize the International Forum for Music Therapy (remotely) on 6 and 7 March 2021 under the theme (Inspirational Steps) with the participation of (22) speakers from (12) Arab and foreign countries.  It aims at presenting working papers and presentations that clarify the importance of music therapy for people with disabilities and areas of use of music therapy, and clarify the importance of complementarity of different disciplines, strategies and ideas in this area.

The international forum also aims to identify new methods that improve the skills of specialists in using music for therapeutic purposes, and to exchange experiences in the field of music therapy for people with disabilities between different disciplines and methodologies.  Provide examples from a variety of settings where music therapy can help support and build resilience, expand capabilities for individuals and groups, and open new horizons.

The topics of the international forum would deal with developments in music therapy, music therapy for people with disabilities, music therapy in society, psychotherapy, and music therapy in the medical field. Speakers, guests of honor and chairpersons would present working papers and interventions in participating sessions from the United States of America, Canada, South Korea, Spain, France, Australia, the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, Lebanon, Algeria and Tunisia.

The cooperation with SCHS is the first for the Korean University with an Arab institution

Her Highness Sheikha Jameela bint Muhammad Al Qasimi, Director General of Sharjah City for Humanitarian Services, spoke about the importance of the International Music Therapy Forum in light of the conditions in which the world lives in. She talked about its role in developing educational and training programs provided to people with disabilities closely and remotely due to the precautionary measures that everyone knows.

She said, “Sharjah City for Humanitarian Services has started implementing a Music Therapy Program since 2013 in cooperation with the Department of Music Therapy at Iowa Women's University in South Korea to keep pace with international best practices in empowering and rehabilitating people with disabilities”.

“The existing cooperation is the first of its kind between the university and an Arab institution. It is not limited to the aspect related to serving persons with disabilities only, but also includes training SCHS’s staff in order to achieve the sustainability of the program and qualify specialists from SCHS who are able to use it in the best possible way”, added Her Highness Sheikha Jameela.

95 SCHS’s staff members and 29 students from the University of Iowa have graduated from the Music Therapy Program since its inception

Last January, the sixth batch of staff from Sharjah City for Humanitarian Services and the ninth batch of female students from Iowa University, South Korea graduated within the Music Therapy Program. This brings the number of SCHS’s employees who have graduated from the Music Therapy Program since its inception to (95). The number of graduated female students from the University of Iowa within the program has become (29).  They all participated in training 379 students with disabilities with the aim of developing their motor, social, linguistic and educational capabilities and providing opportunities to improve their quality of life, inclusion and integration into society.

Her Excellency the Director General of SCHS referred to new strategies and techniques in music therapy, which SCHS trains its staff on every year. A new batch receives training to complete the program’s mission by learning these strategies and developing them to achieve the best results.

She explained SCHS's leadership through adapting Music Therapy Program as part of its services and provided the appropriate environment for its specialists and teachers to master its skills to develop the capabilities of persons with disabilities in various fields. The program is important because it develops skills as one of the best and most advanced treatment methods.

According to the American Music Therapy Association (2015), a qualified and certified professional who has completed certified music therapy training can offer music therapy as the clinical and evidence-based use of musical interventions to achieve individual goals within a therapeutic relationship.

Music therapy deals with all different levels and forms of expertise and musical activities to the needs of the recipient, which includes expressive ability, listening to playing and singing.  It is one of the supportive treatments for other medical conditions such as health promotion, stress control, pain relief, expressing feelings, strengthening memory, improving communication, Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease and promoting physical rehabilitation.

This will be the first time for an international music therapy forum to take place in the United Arab Emirates.  The main idea of the forum is to show the effectiveness of music therapy in developing the skills and capabilities of people with disabilities by sharing, presenting the latest experiences, practices, and studies in the field locally, regionally and internationally.