Friday, November 09, 2007

Expressive Arts Therapy

Where do I even begin to talk about the Expressive Arts Therapy program that I've started? Participating in this program has been on my mind for a couple of years but this year I decided to take the leap. And once I did, I felt immediately at home. My hope is to combine interaction with the arts with coaching to create something my friend and colleague Jenn has dubbed Expressive Arts Coaching.

I'm learning so much about this discipline and also about myself. I've had the opportunity to explore plasticene, clay, storytelling and music. In our last class, we created music together with instruments ranging from drums to toy guitars. I played the maracas. We played solos, duets and as a group, and it was amazing. It wasn't about being a musician. It was about experiencing each other, our selves and the music. It was powerful and intimate, challenging and joyful.

One of my deepest held beliefs is that art is for everybody. If you've been reading this blog a while, you know I take a particular stand about that and dance. Nia has helped give me a way of creating a space for others to discover their joy in dance. And now I believe this program is going to open up so many possibilities and opportunities with other arts, and I can't wait. Because as grand as it may sound, I really believe that having and sharing our selves and our stories through art can change the world.


Thursday's Child said...

That sounds like tons of fun! In fact, it reminds me of the music teacher from Bridge to Terabithia.

I don't know if you've seen the new movie or read the book (I've done both, and while the movie was different, I still really liked it.), but basically, she gives each student an instrument, and they just play and sing. It's a cathartic moment for everyone involved.

Emotional release seems facilitated through music much more readily than other forms of entertainment, or maybe that's just me.

Sacred Suzie said...

Yayayayayay! I love the sound of this and man, does it have "Jamie" written all over it. What fun and freedom! To just make music together for fun like that is awesome. I can totally see you there with the maracas!

I wish I could play with you Jamie.

Jana B said...

I wish I could be there too. I don't suppose Expressive Art Coaching can be done long-distance. *sigh*

I need to finish looking for Art Therapists around here. I started too, and then was distracted by something shiny.

Shannon said...

Art and dance are for everybody! I am so with you on that. Sounds like the experience for the expressive arts therapy is going well so far which is really really exciting! Way to go for doing it!

Jenn said...

Oh, I always love hearing about your classes and what you're learning. Sounds like such fun! It's interesting, I don't really consider myself musically inclined, but I have had lots of fun doing drum circles and seeing what rhythm and sounds get co-created. Very powerful!