ZAMEK Culture Centre

Dominika Dopierała – “Where does music lead us? On pleasures and difficulties in music therapy”

Workshop in Polish with a possibility of English translation

Community Music Therapy is an anti-model that encourages therapists to resist one-size-fits-all-anywhere models [...], and instead to follow where the needs of clients, contexts and music leads. (Ansdell, 2003. Community Music Therapy: big British balloon or future international trend?' In Community, Relationship and Spirit: Continuing the Dialogue and Debate. London: BSMT Publications)

The workshop will be an opportunity to create a music group with regular music therapy participants. During an opening discussion the therapy participants will share their memories of particularly pleasurable and difficult moments of the therapy process. The participants’ stories will serve as an introduction to group workshopping and music making.

Joining in musical activities will not require any prior experience of playing an instrument or singing. Songs and musical arrangements will be accessible to people of various abilities and musical experiences. During group music making we will explore contrasting ways of playing:

playing in groups, duets and playing solo;creating a song based on a clear structure and improvising without any prior formal directions;playing regularly with a steady pulse and playing irregularly without any distinct rhythm;creating an arrangement based on a well-known song and playing a newly learned piece of music.

Musical arrangements and activities will be an invitation to observing our responses to music (physical and emotional) and our way of playing resulting from those responses.

Participants will take part in a closing discussion on music as a source of pleasure which can be interwoven with challenges. We will explore the interspersing between play and work in music therapy. The discussion will also refer to music as a ‘guide’ in developing the players’ potential, awareness of their personal boundaries and their teamwork abilities.

Attendees are invited to bring any portable instrument – and their own performing instrument(s) if they wish. Drums, piano, accordion, shruti box, metallophone, didgeridoo, steel drums, guitars, ukuleles and small percussive instruments are available at venue.


Dominika Dopierała is a musician and a certified music therapist. She has completed undergraduate studies at the piano department at the Royal College of Music and masters studies at Nordoff-Robbins Music Therapy Center in London. After returning to Poland for three years she taught music therapy students at the Academy of Music in Katowice. She has been working therapeutically with various social and age groups: session participants with neurological diseases and injuries, people with multiple disabilities, with refugee or homelessness experience and people with mental health problems. In 2016 Dominika founded Nordoff Robbins Polska Charity which organizes music therapy sessions for various social groups. She runs Mobile Music Center which serves as a mobile individual music therapy room and also an outdoor music scene. Through organising community music therapy events Dominika wants to promote active music-making as an applied art – performed every day and available to everyone.


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