Health Young lady looks down while playing the guitar with a smile on her face.

Published on November 29, 2016 | by John Pattee     Photography by John Pattee


Guelph-Humber students get in tune with music therapy

Guelph-Humber has many study abroad opportunities available to students, but one international course in particular could be music to their ears.

Guelph-Humber students will travel to Vienna, Austria for 10 days on May 21, 2017. The trip will revolve around an elective course that will dive into the therapeutic and psychological effects of music.

Farrah Lutchmansingh, administrative assistant and study abroad coordinator for the school said there’s a host of activities that lie ahead in Austria.

Students will be taking walking tours showcasing the history of Mozart, Beethoven and psychologist Sigmund Freud. “We’ll go to an opera, it’ll be really beautiful,” said Lutchmansingh.

Exposing students to figures from music and therapy is the main focus of the trip.

One faculty member of Guelph-Humber has experience in the fields of both.

David Kydd, assistant program head of family & community social services has an academic background in music therapy, and provided this kind of counselling to clients at the Vaughn Counselling Centre.

“Music therapy can be used to help just about any kind of population. I often use music with teens that I talk to in counselling,” said Kydd.

Kydd finds courses like this especially important, as the people he’s used music therapy with in his workplace are the same demographic as those at the school. He even said there is a way students can practice music therapy in the comfort of their own home.

“You can practice it [music therapy] easily by yourself by figuring out what kind of music clams you down and exposing yourself to that kind of music,” said Kydd.

The power of community is another way that individuals can relax using music, he said.

“Another neat way to use music too is by getting people into ensembles, whether that’s a band or even just a drum group. And the neat thing about that is there’s this great social aspect to it, so people feel like they’re a part of something,” said Kydd.

Some students are very eager to go to Vienna, as it will provide information on the mental effects of music, and where this area of study originated.

“Mental health in music is not normally a topic that’s very broadly measured in class, therefore it’s an interesting take on the motivation behind music and the effects that music has on our society.” said kinesiology student Ashley Hutchison.

Hutchinson showed interest in the trip and said in kinesiology her professors and peers often discuss health benefits and a trip like this could add to her point of view.

Kydd said as of right now, seven students will be joining him and Lutchmansingh to Vienna for this course.

However, future students who are excited about this and other study abroad opportunities need to act fast, as Lutchmansingh said.

“We’re hoping to have the most students travelling abroad this year out of every year, and each year it increases, it just doubles,” said Lutchmansingh.

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John is an aspiring media professional who loves music, basketball, food and telling horribly cheesy puns at the expense of his friends' happiness.

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