Best way of learning?
Hard for me sitting listening
Body needs to move
It is the start of the two main conference days and the team at CCCD have been working brilliantly to set it all up. These days sit in a context of a week of workshops and performances all focussed on Wellness and the intersection between community music and music therapy. The key two other partners are the New Life Psychiatric Rehabilitation Association and the Society for the Rehabilitation and Crime Prevention. The day begins with a song from Andrew Lui and then formal welcome speeches including a great one from Mok that sets a political context very simply and also thanks all those taking part.
Barbara from Oregon opens with a lovely presentation with music and song that tells of her journey into the mix of music therapy, social work and talk therapy that she now engages in. A few simple things resonate about the work but in particular the phrase "we think we do better work than we really do" and "you can do anything, but you can't do everything"!
There are social workers, music therapists, programme managers and musicians in the room and I am taken back a week to the conference we ran in Manchester just 7 days ago for organisations working with young people in challenging circumstances. The world is talking and reflecting and trying to improve its practice! There is hope!
My presentation is at the end of the day and I still haven't put together the slides and images or really finalised the flow and the songs. I sit out for a little and get it ready knowing that by the time it is my turn i will want to perform and keep up energy at the end of a day of listening. I am keeping my theme of the need for thinking about radical change and acting with incremental change - keeping patience and belief and remembering 'not too panic' in the face of the horrendous facing us all - wherever we are in the world.
Cat Chau speaks about the differences between CM and MT and the development of Community Music Therapy. She presents many case study stories and the influence of our work here can clearly be seen in her practice.
Step by Step - the Long Walk in Hong Kong is my title and is aimed at bringing a global perspective to the conference. It is fun to do with plenty of interaction, a good few songs and I am very happy to share the voices of young people from Georgia (where we will hold the next Community Music Conference in 2018) and from Morecambe (LYVE doing this number https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s70UuOIVOTQ ). I finish and invite 2 of my collaborators to follow.
Andrew tells stories and plays songs from his great work with songmaking projects in Hong Kong (and now also in Guangzhou at a Psychiatric Hospital) and David shares songs from the recent Rites of Passage project - such great production in the recordings.I leave the day feeling very happy at the way our Community Music programme is developing here.
And so to a mad evening session with 30 young teachers and musicians gathered by the wonderful and inspiring Monique of the Music Children Foundation. 2 years ago we met at a session I ran at the conservatore (APA) and it has resulted in all sorts of fun! Last November I did a One Man Band show for a load of the children she works with and then this summer he came over with 15 young flute players from her husband Mathews Flute Academy to have a residency at the Hothouse! and now an evening of creative play. We sing, make up songs, play rhythms and invent.
And then go to a very local congee restaurant for simple good food. Another good day.