January 29, 2023

THE NINTH ANNUAL WORKSHOP FOR MUSIC THERAPY & THE GRADUATION

Her Excellency Sheikha Jamila bint Muhammad Al Qasimi, President of Sharjah City for Humanitarian Services (SCHS), was so proud of SCHS’s teachers and specialists who were able, through the Music Therapy Program, to develop their educational and rehabilitative skills, according to the best and latest international practices.

Her Excellency has confirmed that improving the capabilities of students with disabilities in various fields contributes to improving their quality of life and integration into society. SCHS is keen to achieve this goal through organizing a Music Therapy Program and training its staff to master its techniques at the hands of the most skilled experts and specialists from the University of Iowa in South Korea.

She directed her sincerest thanks to the experts and specialists of the University of Iowa who participated in the program since its inception. They provided their experiences in working with persons with disabilities and SCHS staff to develop the skills of students with disabilities. Consequently, SCHS made the program sustainable.

This came during the graduation of the eighth batch of SCHS’s cadre, which consisted nine male and female teachers, within the Music Therapy Program. The ninth annual workshop for music therapy was organized by SCHS in cooperation with the Korean Iowa University and the Korean Association for Music Therapy, on Monday, January 16. The ceremony included handing over of certificates, presentation of a set of best practices and special methodologies presented by Professor Gaw Eul Yo, Professor Hyun Jung Lee, and Professor Byun Kim, in the presence and participation of graduates of SCHS’s staff in the Music Therapy Program.

The workshop has witnessed the displaying of “videos” of music therapy sessions that graduates from SCHS’s staff presented to students with disabilities. Specialized experts from the University of Iowa and the Korean Association for Music Therapy discussed these sessions. They highlighted the positives and opportunities for improvement in order to raise the efficiency and develop the capabilities of the staff, as their suggestions and their recommendations had a positive impact on the graduates.

Ms. Khadija Ahmed Bamakhramah, the General Supervisor of the Music Therapy Program and Planning and Follow-up Officer of SCHS, said that today’s workshop also included the application of many exercises in various social, linguistic, motor, cognitive, psychological and sensory fields. This was to identify ways to deal with the abilities of students with different disabilities.

She added, “SCHS is proud to establish a supportive structure of its professional staff who are qualified to provide services for the Music Therapy Program. The number of SCHS graduates in the program since its inception in 2013 has reached “116” employees. They contributed to the training of 876 students with disabilities. The experience, which SCHS staff gained within the program, led to a variety of services provided to SCHS students, which developed their skills in accordance with the best international practices”.

She pointed to the graduation of 34 female students from the University of Iowa, with 11 batches within Master’s Degree of the program so far. She has confirmed the great role of the trust and support provided to the work team by Her Excellency Sheikha Jamila bint Muhammad Al Qasimi, President of SCHS, which achieved the continuity of the program throughout this period.

Bamakhramah also referred to field visits by specialized experts from the University of Iowa and the Korean Music Therapy Association to the departments and branches of SCHS during the next two days. These visits aim at reviewing the implementation of the sessions in reality and providing the necessary instructions.

For her part, Professor Gao Ol Yu praised the capabilities of SCHS staff in the field of music therapy. She believes they have great passion to learn more in order to provide the best for students with disabilities. She admires and appreciate SCHS’s keenness to continue the program and to provide its staff with the best practices in this field.

She drew attention to her participation in the first annual workshop of the Music Therapy Program that SCHS organized in 2013. She expressed her pride in this constructive and distinguished relationship between SCHS and the university. She concluded by saying that the cooperation of the University of Iowa with SCHS is the first of its kind. However, it is not limited to the aspect related to serving people with disabilities only; it also includes training SCHS’s staff with the aim of achieving sustainability of the program and qualifying specialists from SCHS to be able to use it in the best way.

SCHS graduate teachers emphasized the importance of the program in acquiring new skills and strategies in educating persons with disabilities and its role in developing the capabilities of students with disabilities in various fields and providing them with opportunities to improve their quality of life.

The graduates directed their sincerest thanks to Her Excellency Sheikha Jamila bint Muhammad Al Qasimi, who has been and still the main supporter of all meaningful work benefiting persons with disabilities and the development of the cadres working with them. They also directed their sincerest thanks to the University of Iowa and Mrs. Khadija Bamakhramah. They expressed their hopes for the sustainability of the application of the program to achieve the greatest benefit for SCHS students.

Source: Sharjah City for Humanitarian Services