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Music Therapy Project for Children with Special Educational Needs: Introduction and Practical Knowledge

10:00-10:05 Greetings-Introduction, Ms. Olga Soulachaki, Imagine Heritage NPO Board member

Ms. Katerina Maistrali, International Relations Imagine Heritage NPO, Translator - coordinator

10:05-10:30 Mr. Frode Barth from Culture Break Borders, Guitarist, Composer, Producer and Music Educator. He is one of the first persons in Norway to create projects related to music therapy on TV- Topic: Music as a life-giving tool

Summary: Mr. Barth works with all generations & people that face either psychological or physical challenges. He demonstrates how, when people work with music, they have to have something big to express so that it touches people. It is important to look into one’s resources and figure out why we play the way we do. We do not have to talk a lot about music, as we can not define it and the music perfectly justifies itself. In music therapy, we do not have to use any special tool or exercise and it is not needed to focus on disability or time. Music itself is the therapy and that, along with great decisions, can do many great things on their own.

10:30-11:00 Ms. Daphne Economou, Philologist, Honorary Chairman of the Board of Cerebral Palsy Greece / Open Door - Topic: Art builds communication bridges

Summary: Nothing bridges the gap of prejudice and enhances communication between people like art. Through the presentation of the goals and the mission of Cerebral Palsy Greece/Open Door, it is underlined that education, culture and art are decisive factors in the life of all people. Through a historical retrospection, it is revealed that the most absolute art that unites us all, which is a universal language, is music, and this becomes even more evident from the very old practices of people related to music and rhythmicity. People with disabilities still have many prejudices to face, regarding their abilities and capabilities. The opportunities given to them are important and artistic activities can play the most decisive role in eliminating the prejudice. Creativity plays a major role in the development of personality, identity, self confidence, and equal social relationships. Even though disability has never threatened the creative genius of individuals, thisis not the case with talent, which needs favorable conditions to flourish. Art can bridge all the gaps between people and create human relationships and inclusion in everyday life.

11:00-11:30 Ms. Sofia Tsanaka, Musician-Specialist Music Educator – Topic: Music as a means of social empowerment of people with disabilities

Summary: Nothing bridges the gap of prejudice and enhances communication between people like art. Through the presentation of the goals and the mission of Cerebral Palsy Greece/Open Door, it is underlined that education, culture and art are decisive factors in the life of all people. Through a historical retrospection, it is revealed that the most absolute art that unites us all, which is a universal language, is music, and this becomes even more evident from the very old practices of people related to music and rhythmicity. People with disabilities still have many prejudices to face, regarding their abilities and capabilities. The opportunities given to them are important and artistic activities can play the most decisive role in eliminating the prejudice. Creativity plays a major role in the development of personality, identity, self confidence, and equal social relationships. Even though disability has never threatened the creative genius of individuals, thisis not the case with talent, which needs favorable conditions to flourish. Art can bridge all the gaps between people and create human relationships and inclusion in everyday life.

11:30-11:40 Mr. Kostas Saravakos, a teenager with disability – Topic: Theater in my life

Summary: Mr. Saravakos displays the great impact of theater in his life as a teenager with disability. Theater has played a major role in his socialization and social interaction with other people as well as in the way he speaks and express himself. Art can help people with disabilities integrate in groups and that expands in other aspects of his life, like in school, where theatre & the arts have helped him be more social and have a bigger sense of belonging with his peers.

11:40-12:00 Ms. Katerina Spyridaki, Physiotherapist – Topic: Music in the hands of the therapists

Working Group: Ms. Katerina Spyridaki, Ms. Vicky Anastasopoulou, Ms. Maria Angelidou, Ms. Sofia-Maria Antonaki, Ms. Lydia Lentzari, Ms. Dimitra Papaefthymiou

Summary: Of all the arts, music has been used extensively and throughout time as a therapeutic tool: “Every disease is a musical problem, and every cure is a musical solution”. Taking also into account that hearing is the first sense to appear and the last to leave, our first sound memories start from intrauterine life: Music assists certain brain structures and growth. The collaboration of the physical therapist with the music therapist is essential for the selection of music and their combination has spectacular results during the treatment: The ultimate goal of music in our therapy is to improve memory, speech, movement, fine and gross mobility, synchronization of movements, walking and balance and enable the child or adult to develop emotional communication and social skills.

12:00-12:30 Ms. Despina Georgakopoulou Early Childhood Special Education Teacher, Ms. Eleni Gravani Early Childhood Special Education Teacher & Ms. Christa Beke Special Education Teacher - Topic: Music as a learning tool for children with special educational needs

Working Group: Ms. Christa Beeke, Ms. Eleni Gravani, Ms. Maria Karamanli, Ms. Despina Georgakopoulou

Summary: The use of music has a reinforcing effect on the development, stimulation and functioning of the brain and it helps with developing interpersonal relationships and social contacts. Furthermore, it is a flexible means of education as it can be modified and adapted to the particular needs of each student. Music is included as a subject in the Analytical Curriculum for children with Special Educational Needs and Physical Disabilities. The objectives are to use music as a tool for children to face their problems and improve their skills and to build their personal identity, cultivate their creativity and participation in social activities. The functional stages of music education are: song, music practice, music activities and movement. Through properly designed activities, the use of music aims at awakening motor expressive abilities and promoting skills, improving physical and perceptual abilities and better neuromuscular coordination. By following and adapting the Principles of the Analytical Curriculum for children with Physical Disabilities to the particularities of each group, all kinds of art, such as music, painting, imitation, dance are the most ideal choice for the all round development of a child, physically and mentally.

12:30-13:00 Ms. Athena Kritikou, President of SKEP – Association of Social Responsibility for Children and Youth & Ms. Dimitra Kontova, Inclusion & Accessibility Educational Programs Consultant SKEP, Topic: Art opens the door to empathy and inclusion

Summary: One of the biggest challenges for people with disabilities is ignorance. It is very important to acquire an inclusive and open mind-set. Art is an amazing vehicle of co-existence and co-creation and a tool that enables us to bring people together and give them the opportunity to co-exist. Ms Kontova then explains her personal experience with dancing and issues she faced like accessibility, acceptance and the issue of inclusivity which is of highest importance. Artistic activities provide a fertile ground for interaction, well-being & socialization and it gives people the opportunity to discover things about themselves, to evolve and to liberate. It also provides the chance to surpass obstacles and to unfold many new and different ways of expressions. Art enables people not only to discover new things within themselves but also new ways to express them and communicate with other people, find common ground and ways to infiltrate to another world.

13:00-13:30 Ms. Evdoxia Deropoulou–Nterou, Associate Professor, Department of Education and Early Childhood Education, National And Kapodistrian University of Athens - Topic: Inclusive thinking and inclusive educational practices: music as a means of promoting inclusive education

Summary: At the end of the 1970s, the dialogue on the inclusive perspective of education emerged. The social perception of disability also affected the way of approaching the education of disabled students and in particular the special education offered. Music education can support the inclusive education of people with disabilities through cultural inclusion, improving the quality of education and life of people with disabilities, and reshaping social values about acceptance of disability. By participatory ethos we mean the active participation of people with disabilities in obtaining results in the context of planning, organizing, implementing and evaluating activities. In particular, in the new curriculum for kindergarten, music aims at sound recognition, familiarity with musical writing & rhythm systems and the development of musical culture.

13:30 Closing by Imagine Heritage Non-Profit

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