Have you every come across people that don't want to make music with you? >> Of course. [LAUGH] >> Ah-ha. >> Of course. Yeah. >> That's interesting. >> I think music is, like anything else, it's one possibility. >> Yeah. >> It's something you offer to people. Music, I think, also, it offers itself. So from the Nordoff-Robbins background, one of our kind of key ideas is that music is a phenomenon that is motivational to people. It offers something through our agency as people. But also, there's something which attracts people, it motivates people, people want to make music in very unlikely circumstances, now, that's the good thing. But sometimes people don't want to as well. I think we need to kind of also respect that, and sometimes understanding as well. And that's where the music therapy knowledge, and the music therapy school come in, because sometimes people do want to make music, it's just that for reasons of either their illness or their social situation, actually the implications for them of making music are difficult. And that's when music therapy specialists comes in. >> Yeah, because I can imagine that if I was at a very difficult time in my life, and somebody wanted me to play an instrument, then I might find that too scary, or too stressful. >> So, it's not about pushing people to participate in music. >> No, it's never about pushing. >> Right. >> It's always about giving the opportunity. >> Right. >> And importantly, from a music therapist's point of view >> It's about accepting whatever then is in that room or in that place, and whatever happens. So, an interesting idea that comes from Nordoff and Robbins's pioneering work which they did with quite severely autistic children in the late 50s, 60s. >> They treated resistance within this therapeutic space as important as participation. While there's also a midpoint where perhaps a child does want to, and is drawn towards music, but what they can't do is relate to a person at that point. So in fact, they relate to the music, and they resist a personal relationship. Now, the great thing about music is that it can accommodate all of those things. So, it can accommodate a complex situation where there's both musical participation. And there's musical resistance, as well. So, Nordoff-Robbins famously said, resistance is a form of participation. >> I love that. >> That is a very good equation. >> So, what you're saying is that if there's a group of people, sitting around, but not everybody chooses to play or not everybody chooses to sing. That that choice is actually a form of participation. The right to choose to simply listen, or to not participate. And that's a critical piece in working with community, or with groups? >> Absolutely, absolutely. And I'll give you a nice concrete example of that. >> Great. >> So, one of the pieces of work we are going to talk about is some work I did in the last ten years, it was a research project in the mental health social centre for people who have continuing mental health problems. And we set up music therapy in the cafe space there. Now, rather than being in a music therapy room, a cafe space has a number of different spacial areas. All right? So if you're very keen to make music, you can sit in the front row, and you can participate and an immediate air where it's become very explicitly, yes, we're doing music together. But also people in this place would sit halfway back in the cafe and just listen. And some people would hang around right in the doorway, or in the little garden outside. And then gradually over the years of doing this project, we found that people moved around a space. So, in sense, they kind of, they manage their relationship to what was going on and their ability to cope with it to tolerate what was going on. They could actually manage it themselves. Wasn't the music therapist was saying, you have to sit there, or you have to do this. >> So, for me, that's part of the luxury of working in a fairly kind of broad and easy way in music therapy. >> And what I like about what you're saying is this isn't some miracle that happens that you bring music into the room, and people either participate, or they sit there. You're talking about 10 years, and the ways that people chose to participate differently at different times, and how that was actually intentional. You wanted that, you didn't want to walk in and demand that within two sessions, two weeks, they began to do what they wanted to do. That's very special. >> It's very often a long game. >> Yeah. I don't think that that's always apparent, because we often see the end product in music, don't we? We might see a performance and it's always very hard to imagine all of the, in the case of musicians, the years of practice that behind any performance is a lot of work. Not that we need to go there. But, so how do you know if it's worked, Gary? So if this is a ten year project, and people sometimes come in and they sometimes hang at the back, how do you know if it's been helpful? >> Helpful is a better word than works. I think we do have a problem with always saying up about our work and projects, is there a defined thing that's going to say it worked? >> Yeah. >> And from my perspective, there is some problem with setting out very clear aims, and then defining when the end point is of the project, or your experimental investigation or something. And said, okay, now, in terms of parameters we've set, that means it's worked. Because people are messy, and situations are messy, and you can impose a very clear framework, doesn't always give you a very good answer. >> Yeah. >> So instead, I think, is it helpful is a good question. >> Yeah. >> And then you ask to whom. So in an environment like a social centre for mental health care, who might it be helpful for? It might be helpful for the clients who are coming there every day, it might be helpful for the staff who also need to tolerate being in a stressful situation sometimes, need to see signs of hope that people are moving through. It might be helpful to the environment as a whole. The place might be something that's helped by having musical music therapy there. >> And I think that in terms of using music to support communities, and to enhance connectedness, I can hear that that's not about an individual improving in some way. But that's actually about a group of people coming to know one another better, and relate to one another perhaps in more authentic ways through music. Is that one of the things that happens? >> To see each other differently. >> Yeah. >> So, for instance, the very first session we did in this place. A man who had been in the centre for a couple of years, or, up to that point, brought along a violin, took out the violin from a violin case. People came out with the usual jokes. Is that a sawed-off shotgun? >> [LAUGH] >> Played the violin beautifully, because he'd been an ex professional player. But no one knew that. So after he played, he became the man who plays the violin. So people's perceptions was then different. >> Yeah. >> And then you get, and you sense this, any complex social situation, you get people who begin to relate to each other differently. To see each other differently, to support each other in different ways. And what's the role of music in that? Well, it's just that music helps. Music gives something very concrete for people to do. >> To do, to play music together, to sing a song together, to support someone else with instruments, to work towards a small performance. All those things are very concrete to do, even when there's difference, even when there's problems between people. For all kinds of reasons. They might be to do with illness, they might be to do with social difference, they might be to do with all kinds of cultural differences. In cities like London or Melbourne, there are so many things that divide people. The question is how does music actually help to work the other way to help people work together, to help people to hear each other differently?