F.I.M. Federazione Italiana Musicoterapeuti

The first orchestra

Report: Sounds - Space (space-time) - Movement – The development of movement and coordination

The mother’s womb is the place where every single human being learns how to move because he is welcomed in a moving body. He learns how to live and to grow up in a body that lives and grows with him. He learns how to listen to sounds because in the mother’s womb silence does not exist. Listening allows human beings to recognise a sound already heard so that they can distinguish it from the others: this is the origin of memory. The ternary order of the heart beating and the binary order of walking and breathing are, together with the vocal and visceral tone, the bases which make the mother’s womb the First Orchestra which is included in the Big Orchestra that Earth is. The mother’s body involves the baby’s body in a game of sounds transmission. The birth marks the opening towards a world which is made of air and not of liquids. The human being has already learnt how to move and now he experiences a new way of moving, breathing and being fed. He is ready to make himself listened to, because he is able to listen to the others. Since he is welcomed, understood, listened to, he will be able to listen to the others and to himself, as well as to distinguish his voice from the other voices.
The relationship “man-world”, which is being in the world, is the essential condition to live, feel and communicate. Everything is a relationship. Every human being is the subject who lives the relationships through which he structures his way of seeing the world.
Everything that the body shows depends on the history, on the personal characteristics of everyone. To be able to understand children who do not talk, who have relational or behavioural problems, difficulties in growing up or to treat adults who are facing the consequences of these problems, it is essential that the professional (the music therapist) is well trained. A person outside appearance is one thing, a person inner thoughts and feelings is yet another. Training is essential to be able to seize the deepness of any gesture, vocal or verbal expressions, positions, banal bursts o movements, and the professional must be able to seize his own ones.
The body resonance in the reciprocity of listening and producing sounds is the protagonist of the voice, the art of singing, of reading and writing. The musical notation, commonly thought as a tradition or an agreement, is the way through which men have been representing the movements of the voice in the vibrant body. “… We have to be able to impress in our memory the differences and the properties of any sound, as well as to perform them in their ascending and descending movements. If you want to incorporate a sound in your memory…" [1]
The musical reading and writing have in themselves the idea of the vibrant body. A single note, being placed in a particular point of the stave reminds a precise intonation of the voice. Being aware of the voice means being able to understand and to use musical writing. Being aware of the voice means to listen to ourselves in regards with the others and the world. There is no interruption between the experiences had before and after the birth. On one side the history of every single person; on the other side the path which joins a child (patient) to the professional in music therapy. From this union many experiences will be created which help the child (patient) to extend his vision of the world and to recover that faith which is useful to listen to people and to dialogue.
Through the body resonance, in Humanistic Music Therapy some primary experiences are recalled. For this reason, it is possible to approach new experiences and to face the damages derived from shocks, lesions, difficulties and prenatal, perinatal or postnatal damages.

We advise you to read the texts indicated in the bibliography as to extend your knowledge on the theoretical foundations of humanistic music therapy. The authors we recommend are: Alfred Kallir, Carlo Sini, Giulia Cremaschi Trovesi, Mauro Scardovelli


[1Guido D’Arezzo, 10th century

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Translations Chiara Meloni