CIMTR Public Lecture Series: The Rhythmic Breath: Music Therapy for Long COVID practice and research

Events — Online Webinar ZOOM
20 March 2023, 17:30

Speakers: Katie Bolger, Amelia Clapham, Jodie Bloska

Chair: Helen Odell-Miller

The Rhythmic Breath is an innovative music therapy project delivered by Ace Music Therapy CIC in Essex, providing group music therapy sessions for people living with Long COVID. According to the Office for National Statistics (ONS, February 2023), 2 million people in the UK are currently living with symptoms of Long COVID, which most commonly include fatigue, shortness of breath, loss of smell, and difficulty concentrating. Individuals experiencing Long COVID have reported that living with these symptoms negatively impacts on their usual daily activities, including having to decrease work schedules or stop work completely (Davis et al., 2021), as well as affecting quality of life, sleep patterns, and contributing to anxiety and low mood (Sykes et al., 2021).

In this presentation we will discuss how group music therapy sessions, co-delivered by an HCPC-registered music therapist and community musician, have been able to provide practical, physical, and psychological support for adults with Long COVID. We will discuss the aims and goals of the sessions, alongside the approach taken within the sessions illustrated by case study material. Data from the pilot service evaluation will be presented, including physiological outcomes and qualitative findings from semi-structured interviews undertaken with participants.

Katie Bolger
is a music therapist and project manager who started working for Ace Music Therapy CIC in 2019. With specialist training and experience in singing and breathing for wellbeing, Katie has led several music therapy groups in chronic health, including The Rhythmic Breath programme for long COVID. Her project management background has provided Katie with the tools to engage and work alongside stakeholders, such as the NHS. Meanwhile, her interest in the impact of music on wellbeing has fuelled her passion for supporting people in the community.

Amelia Clapham is music therapist and founder of Ace Music Therapy CIC. Amelia graduated from Anglia Ruskin University in 2015 after studying music therapy and then subsequently went on to set up social enterprise Ace Music Therapy CIC in 2017. Amelia now heads a team of 5 music therapists and 2 community musicians and also undertakes her own clinical work - working with bereaved children, children with ASD and life limited children. Amelia is passionate about the transformative power of music therapy, especially in early intervention and can often be found advocating for music therapy!

Jodie Bloska is a Clinical Research Fellow at the Cambridge Institute for Music Therapy Research. She studied music cognition and psychology at McMaster University in Canada before completing her music therapy training at Anglia Ruskin University in 2015. Since qualifying, she has worked in music therapy research and clinical practice, primarily with people with dementia and in adult neurorehabilitation.

The Jerome Booth Music Therapy Centre pictured from outside.
The Jerome Booth Music Therapy Centre pictured from outside.

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