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13th World Congress of Music Therapy Opens in Seoul Updated: 2011-07-06 12:00:00 KST

13th World Congress of Music Therapy Opens in Seoul
Music therapists from across the globe came together at Sookmyung Women's University in Seoul on Tuesday for the opening day of the 13th World Congress of Music Therapy.
One of the highlights of the congress is the opportunity for participants to try their hand at learning practical, clinical techniques.
And one of the speakers, Dr. Alan Turry of New York University, discussed musical improvisation techniques, which he demonstrated to the audience while saying that they are mainly used in treatment for children with autism.
Through these interactive musical sessions, patients begin to develop their abilities to relate with others and it also appears to help relieve psychological and physical tension through the heartfelt communication.

[Interview : Dr. Alan Turry, Professor
New York University] "When we improvise in music, the things that are defended, the things that we don't know about ourselves, the things that we the potential that we haven't allowed ourselves to do can come forward, can become realized, because of something that we've never allowed ourselves to do before."

[Interview : Kim Bo-kyung, Student
Sookmyung Women's Univ.] "While I played, I could express myself freely, beyond language, through the instrument."

Some doctors and scholars believe that music has therapeutic effects on cancer by bringing joy and connectedness, and also empowering seriously ill patients.

[Interview : Dr. Petra Kern, President
World Federation of Music Therapy ] "Music therapy is not a cure of illnesses, but it can help to improve the quality of lives of our clients and patients. And it also can help to improve the lives of people with disabilities. So, we work with people with disabilities, with certain illnesses from all age ranges."

It has only been 15 years now that Korea has been introduced to music therapy, but it is a leading country in Asia for music therapy.

[Reporter : Park Ji-won] "This is the first time that an Asian country has hosted the World Congress of Music Therapy, an international event that is held every three years."

Organizers hope that it will raise more awareness in Asia about the special consoling power of music.

[Interview : Dr. Choi Byung-chuel, Committee Chair
13th World Congress of Music Therapy
] "Asia's long history and legacies, as well as its music, will create a new model of music therapy."

Music is in important aspect of almost every culture and this special form of non-verbal language with its melodies and rhythms is proving to have positive effects in healing people.
Park Ji-won, Arirang News.
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