Sing&Grow participates in Postnatal Depression Awareness Activities, NSW

 Sing&Grow plays a part in Postnatal Depression Awareness week activities

For the second year running, a Sing&Grow session has been held as part of Postnatal Depression Awareness week activities at Karitane (a service that supports families experiencing perinatal mental health issues). Each year, families affiliated with Karitane are invited to participate in a Pram Walk, followed by other activities that promote the mental health of parents and help raise awareness about Postnatal Depression. This year, families braved the 40 degree heat to go for their pram walk, then participated in a fun, interactive, relaxing music session in air conditioned comfort. Afterwards, parents were invited to reflect and share about ways in which routines, such as a song or book before bedtime, can help with settling their children.

 Sing&Grow has a wonderful ongoing collaboration with Karitane, with programs being held at the Day Service, Jade House, since 2011. Over the past two years, Sing&Grow has run in Jade House every term, with many families experiencing the benefits of shared music participation.

Collaborations: Sing&Grow and Cradle to Kinder (QEC)

Sing&Grow is excited to have recently expanded its existing collaboration with the Queen Elizabeth Centre (QEC) in Victoria to include the provision of music therapy services within the organisation’s Cradle to Kinder (C2K) program.  Introduced as a pilot program in July 2014, this one day a week Sing&Grow outreach position works closely with the highly skilled C2K team to deliver intensive music therapy sessions to the young parents and children accessing this vital service. As an integrated component of the established team, the Sing&Grow Music Therapist receives referrals from C2K staff and reports family progress back to the team to assist with case management.

Whilst still in its infancy, the Sing&Grow Music Therapy program is already establishing a set pattern of services within C2K including home visits, family access visits at child protection sites and small group work within the program’s supported playgroup.  Sessions are tailored to address each family’s specific needs and draw from the non-threatening capacity of music to engage families in a much needed therapeutic intervention. Common objectives in sessions include the addressing of developmental delays, trauma, attachment and bonding, as well as development of parental responsiveness to child cues and behaviour with the aim of supporting parents to develop meaningful play interactions during access visits. The long term nature of this weekly position allows the Sing&Grow Music Therapist to establish strong relationships with the families, working closely with them across a number of sessions over an extended period of time.  Specifically designed resources encourage and support parents to continue making meaningful change outside the therapeutic sessions and already, small but significant outcomes have been observed for some of the children participating including more smiles and relaxed presentation, new words and fine motor development through action songs. C2K staff have reported that families are enjoying sessions and enthusiastically telling them all about “music”. The Queen Elizabeth Centre is currently sourcing funding to continue the program in 2015, whilst Sing&Grow is working to secure funding to conduct a thorough evaluation of this cutting edge music therapy service.  For more information about Sing&Grow’s Facility-Based Placements, please contact us.

Sing&Grow: Off to School

Liaison with Community Workers at Jabiru Community Youth Services, Koobara Kindergarten and local Primary Schools (QLD), ascertained that some children in the Zillmere, Taigum and Bracken Ridge communities were not adequately prepared for the potential challenges faced during the  transition to prep and formal education settings.  Building on the trial of a transition to prep program initiated by Jabiru the previous year, Sing&Grow was able to offer evidence-based early intervention for families with young children to support successful transitions to school. To learn more about this program, click here.

Sing&Grow in the Tweed Valley

Tweed Valley Women's Service recently sourced funding from The Alannah and Madeline Foundation to cover the costs of a Sing&Grow program for children and their families affected by violence.  An article then appeared in the Foundation's Newsletter - a great example of what can be achieved by collaboration between funders, host organisations and Sing&Grow.  To see the whole newsletter, click here.

2013 Wrap Up

With the end of the year fast approaching, Sing&Grow takes a moment to reflect on the growth of the project in 2013:

  • New services offered (Off to School Programs and Music to Play, Praise and Protect Workshops)

  • Ongoing evaluations to ensure quality assurance and maximum benefit within services (Off to School Initial evaluation report available early 2014; Community Placement Main Study Evaluation Report due mid-2014)

  • New partnerships developed (Including a research partnership with Melbourne University)

  • Involvement in the trial of a National Online Database for the Department of Social Services Family Support Program

  • The launch of our new website

  • Continued support of our international Sing&Grow partners (Sing&Grow UK)

  • Networking and presentation of our work at numerous Australian conferences (Australian Music Therapy Conference, Sydney; Australasian Conference on Child Abuse and Neglect, Melbourne;  Infant and Early Childhood Social and Emotional Wellbeing Conference, Canberra;  and the Australasian Marce Society Conference, Melbourne)

  • And plenty of work behind the scenes towards the development of new resources and greater reach to be unveiled in 2014 - in fact you are soon to experience a whole 'NEW LOOK' Sing&Grow! 

 We are ready to hit the ground running in January and can't wait to be back sharing music with families when the start of Term 1 2014 comes round!  Until then, we extend wishes to you for a safe, joyous and music-filled festive season with your families.

The National Sing&Grow Team

Justine Clarke visits Sing&Grow

 Justine Clarke pictured with Sing&Grow VIC/TAS Manager, Rebecca Huntley (middle) and QEC CEO, Athina Georgiou (right)

Justine Clarke pictured with Sing&Grow VIC/TAS Manager, Rebecca Huntley (middle) and QEC CEO, Athina Georgiou (right)

Justine Clarke, friend of Sing&Grow, has been found participating in the odd  session this year, sharing music with families and learning more about the work we do.  This month Justine visited QEC to observe and share sessions offered by our Vic/Tas Manager, Rebecca Huntley. Rebecca provides Sing&Grow music therapy 2 days a week to families visiting the QEC Residential Stay Unit.  To learn more about our facility-based work like that offered at QEC, and other Sing&Grow services, click here.