Welcome to the Music Health Australia site!
This is a creative space where short articles related to Music Health services in Australia are posted. The articles are brief collation of thoughts and resources that are aimed at stimulating further discussion. New areas have been sketched, that might challenge people to think outside the usual borders of traditional health care and music education or therapy.
There are various facets to Music Health. One is the use of music to improve people's health and well-being. Another is providing services that promote health and well-being of people in the music industry. A third is the decision that people make to participate or not participate in music of their choice. Freedom to participate in music may be a moral imperative that leads to better health outcomes. The National Aboriginal Health Strategy states that "health encompasses the social, emotional, spiritual and cultural well-being of the whole community" - so music can be implicated in health as it has close associations with these areas. Australia is a signatory to five international treaties that establish human rights to health, so there is an argument for supporting freedom to participate in music of a person's choice as a human right. People have capacity to organise their own music agendas and activities. Let us support their right to do so.
Music Health Australia is a one-stop-shop that provides professional music and health services to support the development of better Music Health in Australia. This can involve removing barriers, advocating for people to make their own choices in music, creating/adapting environments to support people's music occupations, designing special musical equipment, modifying methods to enable better music performance, and supporting continuous quality improvement at the systemic or individual level. All the services are delivered with reference to the music heritage and culture of certain people and places of significance to them. The approach is tailored to addressing unmet need, especially for people experiencing social disadvantage.
This is a great adventure - embarking on exploration and discovery of new frontiers for Music Health Australia. Feedback is welcome, as well as suggestions of new possibilities and ideas for collaboration.
If one dream should fall and break into a thousand pieces, never be afraid to pick one of those pieces up and begin again.
HEALTH AND HUMAN RIGHTS
WHO Constitution: "the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of health is one of the fundamental rights of every human being..."
Article and photograph by Sandra Kirkwood on 3 March, 2009. Updated 16 October, 2011.
© Sandra Kirkwood, 2008