What is the Magic Garden?

The Philosophical and Psychotherapeutic Basis of My Practice of Music Therapy

The Magic Garden is a metaphor, symbolic of a special space... a landscape where special  children grow and blossom like flowers in a garden. 

Nourished in music through all its wondrous elements, the children are brought to a state of magical transformation towards their discovery and development of the self, the realization of their inner beauty and strength. 

The “Magic Garden” embodies the stories of each child’s personal journey, his/her struggle to grow from a “seedling” to a fully blooming flower in the garden. 

The child and the Music Therapist journeys through the path with the the “magical power” of MUSIC. 

The child in his/her journey discovers his/her own potential in the garden through the power of music. 

The music may come from the creation of his/her own music through an improvised interactive musical communication with the Music Therapist. (Nordoff-Robbins Creative Music Therapy) The music may come from the power of the voice and the pulse of rhythmic instruments that brings about evocative responses and self revelations and transformation. 

The transformation may come from the synchronization of movement to music. Synchronized movement to music is basic to human evolution and development so that any child finds so much pleasure to move to the rhythm of the music without much prompting. 

Music of different genres and cultural origin including classical music activate the primal connections in the brain thus evoking various responses and images. The individual manifests these responses through quiet reflections, relaxation and altered breathing, taking us to different stages of consciousness. (Guided Imagery in Music by Helen Bonny) Active responses may evolve in movement, vocalizations or creative and improvised instrumental renditions. 

"The power of enchantment in fairy tales is given much importance in the “Magic Garden”, as the “Magic Garden” is a fantasy place, a backdrop or space where magic happens." 
(Uses of Enchantment by Bruno Bettelheim) 

Herein lies the archetypal themes like the forces of good and evil, witches, hero, monsters and the like are symbolized. Likewise there are the good forces such as good fairies, love, courage, joy, trust and beauty, that allow the “Garden” to grow. And the evil forces try to destroy the “Garden” and prevent the “flowers” from growing. 

The child is allowed to grapple with their feelings of fear, confusion, lack of identity and self worth and apprehensions within the safe confines of “The Magic Garden”. 

The journey happens in the playful exploration of the archetypal themes and motifs integrated in the music. The children assimilate the experience and a new perspective is gained! I believe that there is a powerful existential link between music and collective unconscious in the human psyche . That is why music endures through all these years of human civilization. This link is established “in the moment” and “at the moment” that music is experienced! 

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