THE SILLIMAN UNIVERSITY CULTURE AND ARTS COUNCIL as part of their Albert Faurot lecture series invited Irvin Sayoc Kalugdan, a licensed music educator, musician, and board certified music therapist based abroad, to enlighten students about music therapy in practice and research last Nov. 28 at the Audio Visual Theater 1.
Music therapy is the use of music in daily life to help cope with disabilities and problematic situations.
Kalugdan expounded on the difference between “music in therapy” and “music as a therapy.”
He stressed that these are two different things as “music in therapy” simply means playing music but “music as therapy” is a personalized use of music to help a patient cope with his or her state.
Kalugdan said that in his study on using music therapy in Filipino-American culture, he found out that many Fil-Ams were not accessing clinical therapy services and would result into seeking help from priests or advisers, trying to talk to family, or not entirely talking about their problems at all. This, however, prompted him to advocate the introduction of music therapy especially here in the Philippines since he discovered that the country has not been much exposed to therapy services.
He hopes that people would lose the taboo in going to therapy. “When you think about therapy, for a lot of people, they get scared. That it means that something is wrong with them,” Kalugdan said.
On the other hand, he wants people to think of therapy like a medicine to a cold – it is meant to relieve and make one cope with what is happening at that time.
Also present in the talk was Danielle Elise Zamar, a Sillimanian, part-time instructor at the College of Performing and Visual Arts (COPVA), and Philippines’ first resident board certified music therapist. She also has an equivalency program at Shenandoah University with credits from her bachelor’s degree in nursing, certificate in psychology, and knowledge in composition and music arranging from COPVA.
Kalugdan hopes that Silliman University would pioneer the Music Therapy program here in Visayas with the help of Zamar.
Kalugdan also conducted a workshop on music therapy last Nov. 26 here at SU.