Music Time Twist @ The Shepherd Centre

In term 2 we have been facilitating our 8-week Music Time Twist program with The Shepherd Centre, across their NSW sites. We have been particularly interested in “Theory of Mind” and have been focusing some of the activities towards this goal. Most of all, we have been having ‘fun and creative time’ together! Here is our wonderful “Rox” with the team and families at the North Ryde Shepherd Centre.


"Big School Boogie"... Bigger Boogie!

From: Lauren Bortolazzo, Music Therapy Facilitator

"Big School Boogie" is our weekly group for parents and children aged 4-5 who are preparing to start school in the following year. Last term MusicConnect collaborated with Granville South SaCCS to bring "Big School Boogie" to the more 'grown up children' in the community and their parents.


The MusicConnect “Big School Boogie” program provides an ideal opportunity for children involved in this program to prepare for school through the engaging medium of music!  Big School Boogie focuses on the core developmental areas of social and cognitive development such as basic counting, colour recognition, sharing/turn taking and developing confidence being in front of a group. Over the six week program a range of families were engaged and children participated in a wide variety of musical activities.  Caregivers commented on being able to see their child's positive interactions in activities and their growing confidence grow week to week. In addition to this there was a noted appreciation for the opportunity to spend quality time with their child before they head off to school. 

MusicConnect Collaboration "Music Time Twist"

This term one of our collaborating partners has been CatholicCare. CatholicCare collaborated with a Sydney based women's refuge to deliver our "Music Time Twist" weekly program to families experiencing complex situations. Families engaged enthusiastically in a range of activities including singing and percussion instrument playing, with therapeutic goals as the basis of the session programming. Al observed that families seemed to particularly benefit from the face-to-face activities and the reflection/discussion time after the music making had ended. One of the children requested "Life is a Highway" from the movie CARS. Al included this song in the sessions each week, and the child who requested it joined in with the singing, while Mum smiled proudly. 

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MusicConnect in Brisbane @ the Australian Music Therapy Association!

What a big weekend our MusicConnect facilitators had up in sunny Brisbane at the Australian National Music Therapy conference in September! You might recognise Lauren if your child has attended any of the South Granville SaCCs programs this year - she presented on the MusicConnect and SaCCs collaboration and the positive benefits this has for the organisations MusicConnect works with!

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Music Time Twist at SaCC South Granville

SaCC South Granville held back to back Music Time Twist sessions during Term 2 - a group for bubs, and one for older children!  It was wonderful to see the improvements in each group and the progress that was made by each child by the end of the 8 week program.  

SaCC is now holding a Big School Boogie school readiness program this term and we can't wait to share how it goes!

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MusicConnect at Auburn Diversity Services Inc

In November Rox and Al facilitated a workshop at the ADSi Beralla Playgroup. Auburn Diversity Services Inc. (ADSi) is a community based, non-profit organisation established to promote the principles of multiculturalism, access, equity and social justice.

The families engaged wonderfully in our 'Workshop Wiggle' program, singing and following the actions to many of the songs. 

Thank you to ADSi for welcoming MusicConnect to your Beralla Playgroup! We look forward to collaborating together soon! 

Shepherd Centre in all 5 centres – plus a tele-intervention! 

MusicConnect is excited to have partnered with The Shepherd Centre in all 5 of their centres for Term 1, 2017!! This includes centres throughout Sydney, Wollongong and Canberra, and a Tele-intervention where families throughout the country engage in Music Therapy via video conference!!

The Shepherd Centre works with children who are deaf and hearing impaired to help them learn to speak and communicate in the hearing world.  Music Therapy can be a beneficial complementary therapy to enhance listening and communication skills in a creative way! 

Thank you to The Shepherd Centre for welcoming our therapists into your centres – we look forward to continuing to partner with your wonderful organisation!


Neurologic Music Therapy Training

In November Al Fuller completed the Neurologic Music Therapy Training with Dr Michael Thaut and Dr Corene Hurt-Taut.  Al completed training in the 20 key NMT techniques aimed at assisting clients from a range of populations including: people with acquired brain injury, people with dementia, people experiencing trauma and people with developmental disabilities.

The training was held in sunny Brisbane, with each day being in the high twenties - beautiful!   

"Big School Boogie" at Wesley Family Centre Riverstone

From: Kim Tu'ua, Family & Community Worker, Wesley Family Centre

Wesley Family Centre Riverstone is a not for profit charity operating in the North West of Sydney, the centre provides free support to families living in the local area with children 0-17. This includes Families NSW targeted early intervention programs, youth casework, family support and counselling services.

This term the Families NSW team  was fortunate enough to secure funding to bring the “Big School Boogie” program to the centre. A key aspect of the FNSW Riverstone team service delivery is to support families through the transition to school process.

The Music Connect “Big School Boogie” program provided the perfect opportunity help children prepare for school by focusing on the on the key developmental areas of social and cognitive development; as well as emotional learning; all through the medium of music.

The program successfully engaged 10 families; who over the course of the six weeks have participated in a variety of musical activities which for example aim to promote counting, colour recognition, sharing /turn taking and being in front of a group. Centre staff have observed very positive interactions between the children and the activities; and have noted how much the confidence has grown in many of the children throughout the program. Feedback received from families has also been very positive with many not only seeing the benefits of the program but also appreciating the opportunity to spend quality time with their little one before they head off to school.’

From: Cynthia Cheng, Registered Music Therapist, Musicconnect

Tom (pictured right) loves doing his "homework". During the MusicConnect "Big School Boogie" program we have theme each week including: numbers, alphabet, colours, shapes and animals. Children are asked to bring something according to the week's theme for a quick "show & tell" after Big School Boogie. According to his mum, Tom put in a lot of effort in preparing his masterpiece for each week. Mum reports that Tom is "very ready for school and is going to do very well".