Pelina Evangelou, Music Therapist, Vice President and Founding Member of the Hellenic Association of Certified Professional Music Therapists
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Community music therapy aims in social inclusion by developing increased possibilities for participation and integration in the community for people with disabilities. Engagement in musical-cultural activities provides opportunities for the development of social learning, and the experience of self-esteem and self-realization. Such activities can be very significant for people’s quality of life providing them opportunities for self-expression and communication, opportunities to be active, feel accepted, be part of the community and experience life as meaningful. Community music therapy integrates goals both of therapy and performance, leading to a significant personal change and a change in society’s perceptions about people with disabilities. The presentation of the music group “Oniremata”, a community music therapy project, is a case study on my work with three young girls with severe visual impairments and additional disabilities. Since 2009 “Oniremata” has performed more than forty times at several festivals and events. In addition, they inspired the creation of and participated in a short film, which won awards in two countries.