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KERALA TOURISM NEWSLETTER

ISSUE: 193

SEPTEMBER 2009

Music Therapy

It attempts to orient the mind towards leading a pious, gentle, harmonious and selfless life. It is a therapy that follows the traditional route and after each cycle the mind attains increased amount of purity. We are talking about music therapy as evolved and practiced in Kerala. It aims to explore the capabilities of Indian music in fine tuning the mind towards a tranquil state.

The Swathi Thirunal Kalakendram Music Therapy Foundation, based at Thiruvannur in Kozhikode district of Kerala is noted for its pioneering efforts in the field of music therapy. As a matter of fact it is the only centre of its kind in India, with over 20 years of experience.

As far as music therapy is concerned, the programs at the Swathi Thirunal Kalakendram carry and reflect certain perceptions, which have a profound effect during the course of music therapy. Here, music therapy is an interpersonal process in which the therapist uses music and all its elements like physical, emotional, social, aesthetic and spiritual to help those undergoing it to maintain good health. Sometimes, the needs of the person undergoing music therapy are addressed directly through music and sometimes through relationships developed between the receiver and the administrator.

Music therapy is made use of to alleviate many health conditions and for all ages. Psychiatric disorders, medical problems, physical challenges, sensory impairments, developmental disabilities, substance abuse, communication disorders, aging etc. Music therapy has also been effective to tackle learning disabilities, to build self-esteem, reduce stress and support physical exercise.

The Swathi Thirunal Kalakendram Music Therapy Foundation, functions from a modern, well furnished centre, catering to 20 patients at a time. The music therapy sessions held here include: Live therapy sessions by trained therapists; Blissful rejuvenation (physical and mental) through natural sound elements; Healthy mix of music, ayurveda, yoga and natural food therapy and Continuous health monitoring using latest scientific instruments.

Future programmes of the music therapy centre include the setting up of a fully residential training programme for students at subsidized cost; promotion of music therapy and creation job opportunities for therapists; Procuring musical instruments and instrumentation systems to perform medical check-ups and procuring at least ten dialysis machines and offering free dialysis procedures to poor patients.

The foundation does also benefit from the association of like-minded personalities of which the role played by Kaithapram Damodaran Namboothiri is to be specially mentioned. A well-known name among lyricists and music directors in the Malayalam film industry; Kaithapram as he is popularly known is also a researcher of folklore, Sopana music and music therapy. His involvement with the foundation enabled it to receive a decree of appreciation from the High Court following a 28-week long session with mentally challenged patients.

Practiced for centuries, music therapy has transcended a realm beyond religions, political beliefs, music schools, nationalities and culture. Its healing power benefits the poor and rich. There is no musical instrument more perfect than the human body. Indeed the human body, like all of nature, is a musical instrument

Swathi Thirunal Kalakendram Trust
Music Therapy Foundation
Thiruvannur, Kozhikode – 673029
Tel: 91-495-2324271, 2320933

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