2014 DTA Pre-Conference Workshop 2

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Introduction to Music Therapy By Dr Loretta Quinn
Submitted by Katrina Vuori, QLD

This session was outstanding. My only complaint – it finished far too soon! Loretta really knows her stuff and presents it in a very professional manner. She comes from a nursing background, so knows firsthand how often Diversional Therapy “skills” and “activities” are overlooked as being frivolous and unimportant. Loretta learned, when studying Music Therapy, how important our profession really is, especially for reaching Dementia specific clients/residents. She has created a C.D. and “Music Activity Workbook “

Some of the points I learnt today about Music Therapy:
1. It needs to be structured. You need to plan the activity really well, especially paying attention to where your Dementia specific clients will sit in the room. Know your clients.
2. It will only really work if you engage with the clients. You can’t just put the music on and walk away.
3. “What goes in the brain first, is the last to come out!” Loretta mentioned this point often and said it was the most important thing to remember when working with Clients with Dementia. They will relate the most to the music they heard first in their lives. This may very well be their parent’s music.

Loretta is currently working on her new book called “Bridging the Gap”. The gap she talks about is the one between Nursing Staff and Diversional Therapists. She hopes her book and upcoming workshops will finally help to unify us and bring about better outcomes in the workplace.

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