Music therapist Lucy May has struck a chord with young mums at Malvern Place.
Every week they meet for an hour to sing songs and interact with their children, led by Lucy on guitar.
One of 12 registered music therapists in the state, Lucy is using her qualification – and lifelong study of music, including the flute – to instil confidence and resilience in vulnerable families while on university placement for her Masters of Social Work.
“People might think music is the last thing women in crisis are thinking about, and that they have a million other things on their mind, but everyone deserves to have music in their life; it’s not just for a fortunate few,’’ Lucy says.
Music therapy is a research-based practice aimed at improving health, functioning and wellbeing.
For mothers aged 25 and under engaged in Centacare’s Young Family Support Program at Malvern Place, music therapy is used to foster child development, social skills, confidence, community capacity building and parent/child attachment.
“We hope that if they have a good experience in a playgroup setting at Malvern Place, they will take that confidence with them into the community,’’ Lucy says.
“There’s an intent behind every song we do. ‘’
Percussion instruments, ribbons and drums are used to share traditional and non-traditional songs.
“ One of the big things is seeing the mothers delighting in their children and despite everything else going on in their life, having that one hour just to be with their child,’’ says Lucy.
“Maybe they’ve never been to a playgroup before or they never went as a child. In the first 10 minutes they go from being really unsure to having fun.’’
Malvern Place provides support and accommodation for young pregnant or parenting women who are homeless or at risk of homelessness, often because of domestic violence, childhood trauma and other complex challenges.
“The stigma of homelessness and being a young mum can mean these families often miss out on certain things,’’ Lucy says.
“I hope the positive experiences they have here can translate into other parts of their life. If they can build their confidence through music, hopefully it becomes a good memory they can take forward with their children.’’
For more information about Malvern Place, phone (08) 8359 1022 or visit our website.