Charity offers free music therapy training

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A new free music therapy training scheme for early years settings is being launched by an award-winning charity.

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Settings can now apply for Music as Therapy International’s new IMM Awards scheme, under which all training costs (normally £675 for a place) will be met by the charity. The Awards scheme was launched to combat challenges faced by nurseries and children’s centres, such as budget cuts preventing investment in staff training.

Music as Therapy International is a South London-based registered charity that trains staff to use simple music therapy techniques and musical activities to help children and adults overcome obstacles such as disability, trauma and mental illness. To date the charity has trained more 300 staff in seven countries and has 20 years’ experience in delivering music therapy to vulnerable people.

The charity has been running its Interactive Music Making (IMM) course since 2010. The six-month course provides staff working in early years with the skills and confidence to use music in a therapeutic way with the children in their care.

It is designed to make music-making a more integral part of all children's early development opportunities and to promote skills associated with developing social communication and positive relationships.

Applications for a place on the course through an IMM Award can only come from settings, not individuals. An Award will see all staff training costs met by the charity, the setting provided with a set of musical instruments to sustain IMM practice long term, and a contribution made towards the cover needed to release staff to be able to attend the course.

There are seven Awards places available this year. Awards will be made based on geographical location, impact and evidenced commitment.

Individual applicants can also apply for a part-subsidised place.

Alexia Quin, director of Music as Therapy International, and co-founder of IMM, said, ‘The IMM course has proven itself to be an impactful and effective way of improving care for young children. However, we know not everyone is able to access this training, largely due to budget restrictions.

‘These new IMM Awards mean early years settings can now access the course without the worry of budgets or staff cover, so more children can be supported in their development through the therapeutic and life-enhancing use of music.’

The training comprises 13 taught seminars, weekly self-directed study and eight weeks’ practical assignment for a maximum of 12 participants per year.

IMM has been shortlisted for Advancing Healthcare Awards in both 2012 (Excellence in Learning and Development) and 2013 (Supporting the Future Workforce). 

The IMM course will run from September 2017 until June 2018. The course will be held at the Clyde Early Childhood Centre, in Deptford, Lewisham. The deadline for Awards applications is 16 June 2017.

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