Ceri Rawson

MHA Music Therapist - image of Ceri

Sharing understanding 

If you walked into one of Ceri’s open group MHA music therapy sessions, you might first think it was chaotic and shambolic. “But within the textured layers of music chaos, often there is much understanding, patience and acknowledgement between the therapist and residents,” says Ceri. “Music therapy seems very basic but there’s something quite sublime going on.”

In one of the hour-long sessions, you’d see around 20 to 30 people, including people with dementia, their families and MHA staff, playing an instrument, anything from small percussion, to bongos, chime bells and guitars. Ceri’s on keyboard.

“It’s an opportunity for everyone to participate in something fun and engaging which is also meaningful and helpful,” she says. “People come and go as they please, join in, or, if they prefer listen to the familiar songs. They can engage with instruments as quietly or loudly as they wish, or dance energetically to the pulse of the music. There are no rules.”

Amazing impact  

Ceri believes it’s the emotional connection we all have with music that makes her work so powerful. 

“We see profound changes in a person living with dementia when we use familiar songs and music,” says Ceri. “I’m astounded that music has such an impact, it can create highly emotive moments and remains accessible regardless of how unwell someone gets towards the end of their life.

Ceri is proud to be able to offer support and comfort to individuals affected by physical, mental, emotional or psychological injury, illness or disability.  “I feel lucky to do the job that I do,” she says.

Watch this short video to find out more about why Ceri thinks music therapy provides Moments of Joy.

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