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General News of Monday, 20 September 2021

Source: Elizabeth Jemaneh, Contributor

African American intern highlights on the essence of music therapy

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African American intern by name Elizabeth Jemaneh, on Monday 13 Sept 2021, in partnership with The Music Therapy Association of Ghana (MTAG) and The Institute of Music Therapy Ghana (IMT), at Accra, held a seminar highlighting on the essence of music therapy, detailing how it can be used to transform lives.

Elizabeth, the Ethiopian descent whose parents migrated to America in the mid-'80s, is a product of Dallas Baptist University (USA), with a Bachelor of Arts in Music; and currently doing her Masters of Arts in Music Therapy, at the SRH Hochschule Heidelberg (Germany).

As part of the requirements for the completion of her MA program, at the latter university, Jemaneh is undergoing a three-month internship overseas (Ghana).

Despite her Ethiopian lineage, she will choose Ghana, coming to Africa for her internship.

"I chose Ghana because it’s English speaking and there is already an established Music Therapist here that I could study under". She said.

In music therapy, where music is clinically or primarily used to accomplish individualized goals such as reducing stress, improving mood and self-expression, Elizabeth focuses on children.

In other words, children (babies) are her population or area of interest; thus she uses her expertise to help pre-term babies bond with their parents, lower stress, and improve overall health; and also improving children in their social skills, mood, communication, and more.

Adding that, her primary musical instrument is her voice, hence with or without any other instrument, she will use her voice for the healing process; however, should she go for any other instrument apart from the aforementioned, she will always pick the guitar due to its mobility feature and also because she can play it. Nevertheless, she plays the keyboard; another thing that serves as an accompaniment to her voice.

Talking at the seminar, she emphatically stated that, it's always important to have a population and also identifying whether or not your specific target gravitates to music, that way it becomes easier.

As an intern, she has already worked with institutions such as the Music Therapy Association of Ghana, UGMC and LEKMA hospital - where she was able to use her expertise to make a pre-term baby move its body for the first time.

The presentation which was held on the premises of Ghana Music Therapy and streamed via zoom, received many attendees and applauds.

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