Music Therapist / Musiek terapeut
Hermi Viljoen is a board certified music therapist working at various non-profit organizations like the Teddy Bear Clinic where she offers support groups for youth at risk. She also offers group sessions for individuals who suffered various brain injuries at Brain Life as well as group and individual sessions for infants with physical and/or intellectual disabilities at the Baby Therapy Centre. She completed her Masters Degree in music therapy in 2016 at the University of Pretoria. Music has been a passion of hers from a young age. She believes that music serves as a bridge that connects us with those around us on a deeper and personal level. This contributes towards strengthening relationships and seeks to address psycho-social and emotional needs in a safe, confidential, and creative space.
Music Therapy is a non-invasive and non-pharmaceutical medium used in everyday environments to meet the physical, emotional, cognitive, communicative, and social needs of individuals and groups. In a typical music therapy session various musical techniques that include improvisation, playing of instruments, vocalisations and music listening are implemented to ensure that personal goals are being addressed and that the music is used to the benefit of the individual or group member. The reason music is such an effective therapeutic tool is because everyone can relate to music and already is benefiting from it on a daily basis whether they know it or not. For example listening to music on the radio during peak time traffic to help time pass quicker, listening to music whilst studying to improve focus, singing your infant to sleep etc.
Music Therapy sessions can be facilitated in group and individual settings. Caretakers and family members are encouraged to attend the sessions. It is important to ensure that your music therapist is a board certified arts therapist with the Health Professions council of South Africa (HPCSA). This is to ensure you receive the highest quality music therapy services offered to you and your loved ones.
Practitioner number: 0694495
Arts Therapist AT 0001260
Treatments and Diagnosis
Initially she started off on a weekly basis for the first 6 months to secure the routine, wheatear we could reduce it to a bi-weekly session. Hermi started with a well-known instrument like guitar and gradually introduced shakers, djembe drums and tambourines. I told Hermi which type of music and songs my Mother used to enjoy and from the word go my Mother enjoyed the sessions and took part with so much enthusiasm. I have several little videos that her care worker took to share with the family showing our Mother clapping hands, tapping feet, singing with so much joy that one can keep on watching it over and over. We will always treasure those happy moments which are so precious. My Mothers’s care workers also got involved in the group sessions as well which helped them as well. Certain songs brought memories back that she did not mention in ages. Whenever she would get anxious now or feels upset, we will just start singing and all will be well again.
I am so grateful towards Hermi for the way she treated my Mother. Dementia patients are not the easiest patients to work with if you do not understand them but she always has the utmost respect, patients and empathy for my Mother and her condition. Not only is Hermi a wonderful musician but definitely well suited for a career path as a Music Therapist. I can highly recommend her.
In July 2018, I had lost a part of my child to this loneliness, spurred on by the loss of our beloved family dog, Roxy. Roxy who always seemed to know when Madi needed someone just to lie a little closer to her, or needed some extra attention because it was an “off” day – she was Madi’s number 1 companion. Madi was unable to explain to me what she was feeling. But I saw her disappearing into a world of sadness, grief and loneliness. She wasn’t talking, she just cried and completely isolated herself.
Having met Hermi a few weeks prior to this, and learning more about what she did, I decided to give music therapy a try (Madi wasn’t speaking so what would a regular therapist help?). After just a few sessions, I felt like my child had re-emerged: stronger, calmer, more in control, better able to plot her feelings and emotions, going back to what she had learnt in her sessions with Hermi for an outlet. What Hermi did for my daughter can never be applauded, praised or boasted about enough! Taking this little human’s heart, emotions and feelings, creating a safe space for her to just “feel” and let it out, I am forever thankful and I stand in complete awe of her work.
Her passion for her calling, her COMPASSION for her patients, her professionalism, her kindness, her calm – Hermi will forever be my “Madi whisperer”!
Michelle B – Madi’s mom
Ek dink die groot bydraende faktor is dat sy baie van haar jufffou Hermi hou. Sy sê wat lekker is, is dat die les altyd interessant is en dat juffrou vriendelik is, maar ook bietjie kwaai as dit nodig is.
Ek sal Hermi enige dag aanbeveel vir musieklesse. Haar passie vir musiek en haar fyn aanvoeling vir kinders maak haar 'n uitstekende keuse.
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