New Musical Play and Play Therapy Training Programme opens in Christchurch

Play Therapist Alex Gosteva and Musical Play Specialist Julie Wylie are currently developing an on-line based postgraduate training course in Musical Play and Play Therapy in Christchurch, New Zealand.

Alex Gosteva has been offering Play Therapy training to teachers and professionals working with children for a number of years at her Child and Family Play Therapy Centre in Christchurch. Her interest in Play Therapy began over 15 years ago when she was an early intervention teacher, and she has since devoted her career to pursuing this interest through completing her Masters and setting up a private practice in Play Therapy.

Julie Wylie has been pioneering Musical Play at the Champion Centre Early Intervention programme in Christchurch for the last twenty three years and at her own music school with parents and their children 0-8 years. Her philosophy of following the child through Musical Play has been recognised world wide and has led to invitations to present in many countries of the world. She has received music awards for her music leadership and her music resources have won international awards.

Alex and Julie believe that adding a Musical Play component to Play Therapy will make the training programme really unique. Musical play, which is a blend of music education and music therapy, is a uniquely effective tool for early intervention with young children. It activates different regions of the brain and neural imaging studies show that both listening to and making music engages all levels of the brain and body. Musical play can support developing functions such as balance and breathing, relationship and connection with others and higher cortical functions of language, thinking and decision making.

Musical play is a powerful way of helping parents and their children establish bonds of love in a secure relationship because Musical play supports the timing of interactions, thus helping parent and child to be physiologically regulated. Effective Musical Play for all very young children involves engaging them and their parents/caregivers in Musical Play activities that can regulate the children’s and the parent’s physiological systems, thus strengthening parent child relationships, building a sense of musical community within a music group and opening children’s minds to physical, social, emotional and intellectual learning and development.

The new course will help participants understand Musical Play and Play Therapy in relation to brain growth and development. Students will learn how to use the elements of music and Play Therapy effectively in their own practice.  Course film footage, research, readings and practical workshop experiences will demonstrate how to follow the child’s lead, how to draw the parents into the interaction as full partners, thus contributing to the child and parent’s sense of well-being, belonging, communication, and exploration.
If you are interested or would like more information, please contact Alex and Julie: jcwyliemusic@gmail.com


Testimonials

It is true that you can’t get enough of a good thing. My daughter fell in love with Julie Wylie’s Musical Play classes and at home she would “practise” with great gusto what she learned week to week. Her enjoyment of the songs, the actions that accompany them and the playing of instruments filled much of her time and from her bedroom we could hear her “being Julie”, in full voice!!

So naturally Julie’s DVD’s and CD’s were  a must have for Clara-Jane!!

The Julie Wylie Musical Journeys DVD quickly became the most played DVD in our home. For Clara-Jane to be able to watch, participate and learn, whenever she wanted to, in the comfort of her own home,  just added to her love of Julie’s programme.

The DVD is beautifully put together. Presented by the very tutors that the children already have a warm connection to, and featuring songs that are already familiar makes it highly accessible. The learning is in context and it beautifully complements the learning in class. Even the much-loved Oscar the clown, who opens and closes each class, is present. Clara-Jane just loves watching the children as they, so naturally, and in everyday locations  doing everyday activities, find fun and pleasure in things musical.

I have to admit that I equally enjoy the DVD. It is engaging, encouraging, and undeniably catchy. Neither Clara-Jane nor I have tired of it and we have played it literally hundreds of times.

Perhaps the best testament to just how appealing the DVD is became clear when Clara-Jane was unwell following her immunizations and she took to her bed. The only thing she wanted was to do was watch “Julie on TV”, and even feeling under the weather  she still sang the tunes!!

Julie’s CD’s also enjoy huge “play time” in our home and in our cars. It simply would not be Christmas without the “Sing Merry Christmas” CD which is a wonderful combination of children’s favourites, old and new, and rich traditional carols. To hear our daughter singing songs she had never heard before, adding her own (hilarious) actions and then creating “Christmas concerts” for us to enjoy is priceless. “When Santa Came Down The Chimney” is a favourite and like many of the songs, it captured her imagination. A great feature of Julie’s CD’s is the fact that many songs are sung by children, making them relevant and accessible for young listeners.

The joy Julie’s DVD’s and CD’s have brought into our daughter’s life is matched only by the learning they have fostered. Quite simply they bring Julie’s programme to life for any child, whether they are fortunate enough to attend Julie’s classes or not. They have played a significant role in Clara-Jane’s life and learning and they have given us huge pleasure as we watch her growing appreciation and love of music.

Sarah Long, Parent
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