Teacher of the Month – March

Teacher of the Month – March

Matt Ralph

Matt has been in the position of ACMF Music Therapist at Sydney Children’s Hospital, Randwick for almost two and a half years. He is a great advocate for Music Therapy and a warm and inviting presence around the building. It is not uncommon to come across Matt running a session on the floor in the long Hospital corridors where he has meet a child who is distressed, or a child who is elated to see him. They sit and have a jam, filling the corridors with lovely music and laughter.

Much of Matt’s day is spent working on collaborative projects with groups of patients – creating music video clips and group artworks with soundtracks. Sometimes the interventions are gentle private sessions encouraging a young person to develop their song lyrics. Other times whole bays on wards are in on the action of creating a group film project.
Matt runs regular groups with our Mental Health patients, on our Neurology and Orthopaedic ward, and runs a monthly session at our Palliative Care Play Clinic. In addition, he works closely with renal transplant patients and with our Rehabilitation team on how to help kids meet specific goals as part of their rehabilitation program after serious accidents and illness.

However, the greatest impact is seen with kids who perhaps have never viewed music as “their thing”, and who have lost capacity to do sports and other activities they love through illness and injury. Matt works with these patients to find their inner musician – many of them have gone on to learn instruments, compose songs and create music videos.
Matt’s fabulous work through the ACMF Music Therapy program is vital in encouraging courageous coping strategies for the chronically ill kids in our care, it provides them with an outlet for creativity and expression, and assists them to maintain their developmental milestones which can frequently regress in the healthcare context.
Matt is incredibly grateful for the support of the ACMF in helping him to do the work he loves and touch the lives of so much children, young people and their families.