​​Action around Bethlehem Children with Disability

Improving the quality of life of children with disabilities across the West Bank

Music Therapy

What is Music Therapy?

Music therapy is an interactive, primarily non-verbal intervention. It provides a process through which children can express themselves, become aware of their feelings and interact more easily. Music therapy can provide insights into a child’s functioning and can help in all areas including:-

  • Communication disorders
  • Learning disabilities
  • Mental health problems
  • Physical difficulties
  • Emotional problems
  • Challenging behaviour

ABCD’s latest venture is the introduction of a Music Therapy programme establishing its success first with the BASR and then expanding this therapy to the refugee camps.  ABCD Trustee Canon Claire Tillotson, herself a music therapist has been instrumental in starting this programme, and is now managing the project working closely with BASR’s Paediatric Psychiatrist Dr Souha Shehadeh. 

Since the summer of 2015, we have been sponsoring newly qualified Music Therapists from the UK to run 8 to 10 week programmes with the BASR, and with groups in the local region most likely to benefit from this kind of therapy.  ABCD purchases intsruments locally for this project which has proved a huge success, bringing much joy and therapeutic benefit to these traumatised and disabled children.  We will continue to provide this annual programme, and hope to expand to support two, rather than one, 10 week programmes a year. 
To ensure the sustainability of this project, ABCD sponsors the salary of one the therapists at the BASR to continue to use music therapy through the year. She receives guidance from Canon Claire Tillotson and the previous music therapist students who have been on placement there. 

Following this success our plans are to expand and establish a regular on going music therapy programme  helping the disadvantaged children in  Jalazone and Nour Shams refugee camps, training local staff how to work musically with children suffering from the effects of stress and trauma.

The plan is to run a six week intensive training programme by a Qualified Music Therapist and an assistant. ABCD would set up each camp with the necessary instruments, which we would purchase locally. Trustee Claire Tillotson would  project manage to ensure the sustainability of the programme organising appropriate and necessary refresher courses. Our Field Advisory Team will visit twice a year to check on progress.