Another edition of Lublin Music Therapy Days took place on 3–4 July 2021 and were organised by the Polish Association of Music Therapists under the leadership of Krzysztof Stachyra and Ludwika Konieczna-Nowak. This year’s edition included an ‘Interactive Concert’, a meeting with the pioneers of music therapy in Poland: Dr Elżbieta Galińska and Dr Maciej Kierył, as well as the presentation of Community Music Therapy undertakings.

In the heart of Lublin, in Litewski Square, passers-by could experience this unusual form of music therapy by participating in a meeting conducted by Dominika Dopierała, the president of the Nordoff-Robbins Poland Foundation, who came to Lublin with her Mobile Music Centre.

The Mobile Music Centre is a specially created bus which is a mobile music therapy room. This vehicle was created to provide a space for individual sessions with people of limited mobility who, for health reasons, are unable to attend group meetings.

In addition, it has a second very important function: when the side wall is opened, the bus becomes a real Music Stage. This function fitted in perfectly with the community music therapy meeting in which I had the opportunity to take part during the music therapy festivity.

Thanks to this mobile stage, concerts can be organised on the streets of cities and smaller towns, in the woods, in an open field.

As Dominika Dopierała (Nordoff-Robbins Poland) says:

‘From isolation to integration, this is our way!’

All of this serves to make musical events accessible to wider communities. Thanks to the Mobile Music Centre, it was possible to create a music therapy stage for all interested citizens of Lublin and to create the experience of community music therapy. In this way, a singing and playing musical family was established. The leader was supported by music therapists from Lublin, Katowice and Łódź. The meeting incorporated elements of neurological music therapy: the interaction with the audience was led by Dr Ludwika Konieczna-Nowak (head of the Music Therapy Department at the Academy of Music in Katowice).

The almost two-hour-long meeting aroused joy and united groups of random onlookers, who stopped for a moment and became one thanks to music and its universal power.

But it is hardly surprising, since Dopierała herself says:

‘(...) we take music where people are in need of relations, cordiality, attention and mental strength: to social welfare homes, city squares, village fetes, hospices and to homes for people with disabilities. We want to be where music can support people in their personal and social development, to move the body and strengthen the spirit. (...) Public concerts on the Mobile Music Centre’s stage are an opportunity to order your favourite songs and pieces and, if you feel like it, to perform them spontaneously together with musicians and music therapists.’

The open sessions of joint music making invite everyone: regardless of physical or intellectual ability. This is important in overcoming stereotypes among the public related to people with disabilities.

Once again: music has helped to move the less mobile and to give a sense of community to those who are excluded from it.


Kinga Majchrzak

WFMT Student Delegate for Europe

Photos: Dominik Śmiałowski
The photos were taken as part of "All hope in the arts" project carried out thanks to the Minister of Culture and National Heritage scholarship.