THERAPY and MUSIC EDUCATION FOR THE HANDICAPPED
The Fifth International Congress, entitled "Music Therapy and Music
Education for the Handicapped: Developments and Limitations in Practice and
Research," was a very balanced mix of topics covering music therapy,
psychology, music medicine, and special music education. Strategies in the
classroom as well as the clinic were emphasized, and techniques for all
populations from newborn to elderly persons were presented. The latest
technology was shown in sessions that ranged from music in early education to
the prison setting.
This was a most practical conference in which the needs of persons with
physiological as well as emotional and mental disorders were addressed in
workshops and lectures. The plenary sessions were a stimulating contrast of
theoretical and empirical research. Perhaps, one of the most outstanding
features of this conference was the unique blend of theory and practice, usually
separated in conference sessions and in publications. Researchers and clinicians
alike were satisfied by the information they received in morning lectures and
demonstrations presented in parallel workshops that continued throughout the
rest of the day. The 5 days of the conference were energetic, demanding, and, to
paraphrase Ben Gerits, left the conferees eager to carry it all back to the
The proceedings of the symposium contain the papers presented in plenary
sessions as well as summaries of workshops. The Holland conference marks the
last one sponsored by The International Association of Music for the
Handicapped. IAMH merged with IAMA (The International Arts Medicine Association)
on 16 April 1991. IAMA is an umbrella organization representing many
smaller groups within the arts medicine movement, and it will address the issues
of all the arts as they relate to healing.
The congress was made possible through the
efforts of many people, acknowledged in the Opening Address by Ben Gerits. The
co-sponsors of the symposium are especially grateful to the Stichting
Muziektherapie, Ben Gerits, President; Loek Stijlen, music therapist and board
member of the Stichting Muziektherapie; Pieter van den Berk, Madeleen de Bruijn,
and Frans Schalkwijk, all members of the Program Committee.
Above all, thanks are due to the wonderful people
of Holland, who welcomed all the conference participants with great warmth and
hospitality to their magnificent country, whose beautiful context of the week we
all shared in Noordwijkerhout.
Rosalie Rebollo Pratt.