Welcome to our Summer Newsletter
Great to be back, in therapy, in-person!
Introducing Dr Helen Odell-Miller
Garden spaces ideas for our work in dementia care - A therapy story
AGM '21 feedback
Introducing Darrell - trustee no. 5!
Beccy Read - FRSA
Save the date!
INTRODUCING our Patron...
Jim Squire, Key Changes Chairman, invited Helen to become our first Patron:
Some of our team who have known you and respected your work over many years in the development of music therapy teaching and research, have recommended you as an ideal first Patron for Key Changes. Many witnessed your key note presentation to the Key Changes Annual Music Therapy Conference a few years back. We are also aware of your local links. As Acting Chair of Trustees, I'd therefore like to take this opportunity to formally invite you to become a Patron for our charity.
I am very honoured to be asked, I admire and respect all the work Key Changes is doing, and I watch closely your organisation-it must be hard in these difficult times.
Our highly acclaimed Facebook live gigs resume in early July with a duo of piano and violin, led by Susannah Wettone.
Please check Key Changes Facebook page for updates.
Hoping you can join us!
Creating spaces for our work in dementia care...
Sessions in the garden...
As COVID restrictions continue to ease in the community, we are very much looking forward to resuming our therapy provision at dementia care homes.
Music therapy enables sharing and relating, and its proven mental health benefits can impact those who find communication challenging and who have become isolated during lockdown.
There are still many issues around COVID-safety to consider, so, until such time as sessions can be accommodated once again indoors, we are keen to explore the possibility of providing sessions in outdoor spaces. Once the weather begins to improve, outdoor sessions pose minimal COVID-19 risk.
PLEASE GET IN TOUCH if you are interested in exploring this approach for your care home or for a relative. We would love to hear from you.
A therapy story...
Despite interruptions due to COVID-19, two autistic teenagers progress from individual to small group work.
Steph Fiford has been providing music therapy at a special school in Portsmouth since January 2020. During this time there have been some long breaks in therapy due to the Covid-19 pandemic. We are grateful to the Eight Foundation, which provides funding for this work. Part of her work is with two individual students with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). The following describes the music therapy process with these two young students, and its impact.
Joseph (aged 12) can become anxious and overwhelmed and is sometimes unable to regulate his emotional state. Socially he can find it hard to let go of resources and to share.
Jack (aged 12) is often highly anxious and frustrated. This is linked to obsessive behaviour around water, food and cleanliness. Jack has little social interaction with his peers and can miss out on creative and play opportunities because of his anxieties.
Joseph and Jack were referred to individual music therapy by their class teacher. The agreed goals were:
To develop communication skills
To express themselves through music and sound
To regulate their emotions
To develop social skills through play
Both students were initially seen individually, Steph spending much time observing and listening. Musically, sessions began with a welcome song and ended with a goodbye song on the keyboard, providing clear musical boundaries. Behaviour, movement and vocalisations were musically mirrored back to the students, helping them to develop a sense of self. Child-led musical improvisation also featured.
To begin with, Joseph was shy in sessions and covered his face with his hands. He was reluctant to play instruments and would copy Steph, rather than initiate any interactions. As time passed, Joseph’s confidence grew and he became more inclined to explore and experiment with different sounds. He began to use his voice more and to engage in musical turn-taking games with Steph. Joseph was playful in sessions and interacted positively.
Jack began sessions hiding beneath larger instruments; curling up and facing away from Steph. Very gradually, he became more open and was willing to touch an instrument with his foot, or to play the underside of a large drum whilst curled underneath. He would display repetitive behaviours, seeming anxious to engage. As trust developed, Jack became more willing to play instruments and to laugh at Steph, matching his body movements. He began to use language more purposefully, rather than echoing Steph's words, able to ask her to perform certain musical motifs he found funny (“Steph whoosh!”), or to ask for his favourite music on the iPad (“Aladdin”).
Towards a small group:
After some significant disruption from the Covid-19 pandemic and a 5 month break in therapy, Steph was able to return to her therapy work at the school. Staff shortages and timetabling issues meant that seeing Joseph and Jack individually left them with a shorter 15-20 minute session each. With cleaning instruments in-between their sessions and lunchtime moved to earlier, it became difficult to give them the quality of time and interaction they had individually received prior to the pandemic.
After careful consideration and in discussion with their class teacher, it was decided that perhaps Joseph and Jack could transition from seeing Steph individually to being in a small group together. This would enable them to have a longer session and would give opportunities for social and communication development through peer interaction. Steph prepared them for this change over 3 individual sessions, using photographs and talking about being in a group together. Their responses were observed carefully and they were asked whether this change felt alright for them. Both students responded positively each time they were asked, nodding and pointing to the photographs or saying: yes.
The small group:
Joseph and Jack had two sessions in their small group with Steph prior to the Christmas break. There were moments of musical unity between them all, with Jack confident to ask for: Steph whoosh! on the keyboard and Joseph laughing at this choice. Joseph was also willing to share and pass the iPad to Jack, making eye contact and smiling.
This new group has the potential to further support these students in the development of social and communication skills, through positive and safe experiences of peer interaction.
Our AGM... was held on-line on 10th March, with 18 attendees, including our 5 trustees, patron, and members.
Jim Squire, Chairman, set out the Board's Vision for Key Changes:
Helpful discussions followed amongst the membership. Those attending included therapists, trustees, our Patron, and those joining us from outside the world of music therapy.
After the meeting were invited to submit their comments on a selection of potential logo designs, co-ordinated by Jordan, trustee.
From the responses received, it was decided to make improvements to the current logo - the final version of which can be seen at the top of this newsletter.
This will be used on our new website, currently under construction.
Our Membership Scheme is still open for new registrants.
Join us, to help plan the future for Key Changes.
And now there are 5!...
Introducing Darrell Porter, Finance Trustee:
My name is Darrell Porter and music has been a part of my life since I was press ganged into the local church choir at the age of ten. I quickly learned to love this new world and in the coming years was fortunate to sing in many of England’s finest cathedrals, most of the major London venues, and memorably with Glyndebourne opera, touring the UK and Hong Kong. In recent years I’ve been a member of the Royal Choral Society, relishing our annual performance of Handel’s Messiah each Easter at the Royal Albert Hall and more unusual events such as Beating Retreat at Horse Guards Parade.
When our sons joined the St Paul’s Cathedral choir, my wife and I became members of the Cathedral Chorus, giving us the incredible experience of singing together under the Cathedral dome. We were far more worried than the boys when they were required to sing solos!
Perhaps more relevant for Key Changes, I have over 25 years’ experience in finance, primarily focused on the development of bespoke risk management and financing solutions for corporate clients. Having held senior positions at Barclays, Deutsche Bank and Nomura, I’m currently on the Finance Committee of Southern Housing Group, one of southern England's largest housing associations, and Chair of the Resources, Audit and Risk Committees of Inspire Partnership Academy Trust, a family of nine primary schools working collaboratively in Greenwich, Croydon and Medway.
I’ve been privileged to experience a lot of joy from my time as a singer and am delighted to have the opportunity to assist Key Changes as it continues to grow, becoming an increasingly valuable provider of music therapy to the community.
Key Changes founder, Beccy Read - Co-ordinator, has been welcomed as a
Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts - for her commitment towards social change through the arts.
The nomination, by Jordan Mullineaux, FRSA, included:
Beccy is the executive director of a thriving organisation at a pivotal moment of change and trajectory for growth. She runs a highly dedicated team of music therapists who, like her, are registered with the Health and Care Professions Council and the BAMT. She has considerable influence and strong leadership skills in the organisation, whilst also working as a Music therapist. To quote Beccy, as found on the Key Changes website 'It's not about the teaching of music...It's the using of music to help people progress in life.’ and thus Beccy uses the platform and medium of music to instil great change in people. I am currently the Vice Chair of the organisation and have worked as a consultant in the arts for many years whilst also working primarily with Pegasus Opera Company as the Senior Producer and Agency Director. Beccy is a hard working, charitable and tenacious woman who has accomplished much with not enough praise and so in her efforts to change the lives of many using music therapy, I believe she should be awarded fellowship in the Royal Society of Arts.
In addition, founded by Beccy in 2014, is the Martin Read Foundation set up in the name of her late husband who died suddenly much too young. Martin was an accomplished composer and educator who lived and worked in Hampshire and Beccy leads this foundation as Chair. The Foundation is a platform on which his passions for contemporary music and the teaching of composition to young people continue. Despite her busy schedule, I was so pleased to see that she led a volunteer carol service ,digitally due to the pandemic - something she has done for many years to raise awareness and funds for Key Changes where she has been changing the lives of vulnerable people for more than 12 years.
I have only known Beccy a short time and yet her amazing work ethic and considerable amount of support in her local community has been a joy to see and be included in. I am glad to offer this statement of support to nominate her as a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts.
Save the date...
Key Changes Annual Conference
Saturday Nov 27th
Music therapy - Opportunity from CRISIS
That's all, folks!
Registered charity no.: 1124102 ∙ keychanges.org