Music therapy over the weekends, anyone?

Music therapy over the weekends, anyone?

While Indians have always revelled in the power of classical music, it is only now that we are beginning to apply the potential of Indian classical music to therapeutic use — in a structured, treatment-specific manner.

The Chennai School of Music Therapy, in association with IMC University of Applied Sciences, Krems, Austria has launched a certified programme in music therapy that can be availed on four hours over the weekends. The course is spread over six months, amounting to 100 hours of training in total.

Confluence of western and eastern concepts
The certificate course will address music therapy basics, principles, and procedures. The most interesting aspect is perhaps the fact that the course will focus on how the healing aspect of classical music can be incorporated into contemporary music therapy procedures and programmes. The programme includes modules like traditional healing systems, music therapy foundations, music therapy applications, therapeutic communication, research and evidence.

“The course integrates Indian music traditions with western musical therapy concepts,” says Dr Sumathy Sundar, a clinician music therapist researcher in India, and the founding members of International Association of Music and Medicine. Dr Sundar, who trained at the Austria Institute of Ethno-music Therapy, later obtained a PhD in Comprehensive Pain Management through music therapy in cancer patients working from the Adyar Cancer Institute, Chennai.

Following successful completion of this certificate programme, those interested may also take up the one-year, postgraduate diploma programme in music therapy offered by the centre. This course will provide students with internships in clinics and hospitals. The course will have visiting faculty from Austria and other places.

“We are working towards accreditation of our programmes and job placements  for our students. We’re also keen on collaborating with hospitals,” says Dr Sundar. Dr Sundar, who has a Masters’ in Applied Psychology and Indian classical music, is the programme director for the course. Academic support will be provided by Dr Gehard Tucek, a socio-cultural anthropologist and programme director of Music Therapy in the Department of Health Sciences at the IMC University of Applied Sciences in Krems, Austria.

How to apply
Medical professionals, special educators, physiotherapists, occupational therapists, psychologists, alternative and complementary therapists, persons with a Bachelor’s degree in Science and an interest in music, musicians, musicologists and music educators are eligible to take up the course. The cost of the course is Rs 30,000. For application forms, contact: Dr Sumathy Sundar at 87544 24770, or download application forms from

The last date of receipt of filled-in application forms is December 15, 2011. For more details, e-mail or contact: Chennai School of Music Therapy, Plot No.11/25, Jyothi Ramalingam Street, Madipakkam, Chennai 600 091.

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