Members of the UPCM Community Flock to St. Paul University Manila for Music Therapy Workshop

By Cristina Morabe (Class 2023)

Members of the UPCM community flock to the College of Music and Performing Arts of St. Paul University Manila to participate in a music therapy session by Ms. Bing Morado

On Thursday, October 25, 2018, after a long day of classes and work, students of the UP College of Medicine traversed Pedro Gil Street to unwind in “Hear. Feel. Heal.” a music therapy workshop held by the College of Music and Performing Arts of St. Paul University Manila.

The affair, organized by the UP Medicine Student Council (MSC) was conducted in partnership with the UPCM Office for Resiliency, Diversity, Gender Sensitivity and Community, as part of a week-long series of events in celebration of Mental Health Week 2018.

The workshop revolved around the participants making use of different musical instruments to express themselves and interact with each other. This was done through the different activities prepared by Ms. Bing Morado, a music therapist who served as the facilitator for the occasion.

Different segments involved musical relays, in which participants sat in a circle and created a series of different sounds and movements, which were “passed” around the circle. Another similar activity involved the use of drums, in which attendees were asked to play simultaneously with their eyes closed, allowing participants to find a complementary rhythm with each other. Other parts of the program also involved blowing bubbles, deep breathing exercises, and dancing, all while creating or listening to soothing music.

In between segments, the facilitator went around the room, asking attendees to share their reflections, as well as how they think the tasks were taking effect. Participants were quick to agree that the activities were enjoyable, and many expressed that they felt calmer and more relaxed after the session.

The workshop ended with a short talk on the history and basic concepts of music therapy, which was described as “a discipline dedicated to improving the quality of life through the skilful use of music and its traditional medical interventions as designed by a music therapist,” (Nishihata, 1993). According to Ms. Morado, the Music Therapy Program of St. Paul University Manila is the first of its kind in the country, and one only of two in Southeast Asia, with the other being offered in the Mahidol University of Thailand. Ms. Morado also emphasized the ubiquity of music therapy, and shared that the workshops are regularly held for students, the elderly, terminally ill patients, prisoners, or any individuals with special needs or even emotional or behavioral disorders.

“Music therapy is for everyone, and we encourage you to make use of it and hopefully also recommend it in the future when you become doctors,” says Ms. Morado.

This project was proposed by MSC member Jessa Malipot of Class 2023, and was brought to fruition by co-organizers and fellow MSC members Aira Kue, Philippe Mamaril, Christian Masangkay, and Fenny Quinto, who are all from the same class. According to Ms. Malipot, the project is “in line with the MSC Culture & Arts Committee’s responsibility to provide projects related to the arts that will help promote the wellbeing of the students.”

Participants try out various instruments.
Ms. Bing Morado smiles, as she plays her guitar for the group, inviting them to chime in.
As part of the session, participants were invited to blow bubbles.

Note: The College of Music and Performing Arts of St. Paul University Manila holds an Introduction to Music Therapy workshop every last Thursday of each month. Workshops are open to everyone, and registration is done online via email or the SPU Manila Music Therapy Facebook Page.


Photos by UPCM Collective

Leave a Reply