Gota de Leche, Manila: Earlier today, a group of music therapists form the St. Paul University College of Music and Performing Arts launched the orientation with a demonstration of what would be a monthly music therapy program for Gota’s children with disabilities, along with their mothers and guardians. It was headed by Sr. Maria Anunciata Sta. Ana, SPC. A Sister of St. Paul of Chartres (SPC), Sr. Anunciata has been the Dean of the College of Music and the Performing Arts at St. Paul University Manila since 2003. She is also the niece of Nicanor Abelardo, the renowned Filipino composer of Kundimans.
The CWDs and their parents were in full attendance, enjoying the musical demo while holding and playing the instruments that were loaned to them by the therapists. Sr. Anunciata explained the benefits of music therapy to the audience, mentioning that only Saint Paul University in Manila offers this kind of therapy (though private practices offer them for a steep fee). She said that this kind of therapy has helped children with disabilities communicate better, perform school tasks, form a closer bond with their parents, and become generally more expressive.
“The service is free,” she tells the mothers and guardians in Tagalog. “All I ask is that you come on time for the sessions.”
Today, with the song “Paa, Ulo, Balikat, Tuhod”, the kids hopefully learned about body parts because music has been proven to be an effective memory booster, according to one of the music therapists. The sessions will be held every third Thursday of each month at the Gota de Leche building. There will be three groups, with a maximum of seven members per group. Parents and guardians are encouraged to attend and monitor the sessions so that they can continue the therapy by themselves at home.
Afterwards, there was a MOA signing between Gota de Leche (represented by Managing Director Anna Leah Sarabia and Dr. Mimi Maranan), and the Dean and music therapists of St. Paul University College of Music and Performing Arts (Sr. Anunciata, Conrado Ong III, Janine Marie Flores, and Sherry Karen Martinez).