Published: 31 March 2006 at 10:55
Anglia Ruskin University's post-graduate music therapy course is one of the 'best in its class' according to a recent review by the Health Professions Council (HPC); which is published at a time when The Cambridge Music Therapy Clinic, situated within the Cambridge Campus, has become fully-functional for private individuals, local groups, voluntary organisations and charities from the region.
The Master of Arts (MA) Music Therapy course offered by the University's Department of Music & Performing Arts - within the Faculty of Arts, Law and Social Sciences - is outstanding in that it is the only HPC-regulated course in England to receive unconditional approval of its course content out of the 100 so far inspected.
The HPC commended the course on a number of points, including the high standard of approval documentation, clinical placements, the new clinic (opened during 2005), the student experience and the multi-cultural aspects of the course.
A tightening of training regulations by the HPC, which requires all arts therapy training courses to be set at MA level, means that there will be only a handful of higher level institutions at which music therapists can obtain practitioner level status within the UK, and Anglia Ruskin University is one of the few to be approved to provide this specialist training.
The Anglia Ruskin MA course provides professional training in music therapy with an emphasis on clinical placements and an introduction to various music therapy approaches. The course aims to train suitably experienced musicians as professional music therapists, adhering to the general clinical definition of music therapy within the UK.
Paul Jackson, Head of Music and the Performing Arts at Anglia Ruskin University, said:
"We are justifiably proud of our expertise in music therapy for two reasons.
"Firstly, we have one of the most highly-acclaimed MAs in music therapy courses available; and, secondly, because we now boast one of the best music therapy clinics available anywhere in the UK - the Cambridge Music Therapy Clinic which opened in 2005 as a result of the collaboration between the University's Music Therapy Department and the nationally and internationally-supported Cambridge Music Therapy Appeal.
"This facility is the jewel in the crown of the Eastern Region. Clients and practitioners alike now have unlimited access to this fabulous resource for learning, teaching and research."
The Cambridge Music Therapy Clinic, contained within Anglia Ruskin University's flagship Helmore Building, is playing a key role in helping people from the region with medical or psychological difficulties.
Music Therapy is a form of treatment where live, mainly improvised, music is used to work towards therapeutic aims. It can help people suffering from autism, learning difficulties, senile dementia, physical disability, schizophrenia and depression and many other conditions affecting children and adults from all sectors of society.
Said Anglia Ruskin University's Music Therapy Clinic Co-Ordinator Helen Loth:
"The original campaign was set up almost ten years ago in 1996 when the music and performing arts team decided to work towards incorporating a music therapy clinic within the University.
?The Clinic is not only linked to the all-important Music Therapy MA on offer here but provides essential opportunities for collaboration with local health and social organisations including NHS Trusts, in addition to supporting plans for supporting and facilitating a Music Therapy Research Centre of Excellence."
Explaining the need for the Music Therapy Clinic, Music Therapy Course Leader and music therapy practitioner Helen Odell-Miller said:
"Private sector therapists and state sector organisations are now benefiting from a properly equipped city centre facility for clinical music therapy.
"There are local music therapists who have waiting lists for patients because they do not have access to a suitable venue within the Cambridgeshire area, and there are clients who have to travel to sessions out of the area to attend appointments at locations that are not ideal for this essential therapy experience.
"The new clinic is becoming one of the foremost venues for music therapy in East Anglia."
There are very few clinics in the UK that are dedicated to music therapy. The Cambridge Music Therapy Clinic is allowing more people to receive therapy and treatment closer to their homes.