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How Music Therapy Can Benefit Bullying Victims and Bullies

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Bullying is a very serious issue which many children and young adults face today; whether verbal or physical, it can scar a person for life and lead to problems with socialization, as well as anger and behavioral issues. Bullying also heavily impacts life long after school, increasing risk of anxiety and depression but also physical diseases such as heart disease and other chronic illnesses.

For these reasons, it is important to work on preventing or reducing bullying as much as possible. Music therapy intervention, in particular, has been shown to be very effective in helping bullies and their victims as much as possible to eradicate bullying from schools.

What is Music Therapy? 

Music therapy is a form of therapy which utilizes music as a method to fight anxiety or to help rehabilitation, or both. Patients are asked to listen to music or play music in conjunction with other therapy methods, creating a relationship between the feelings of calmness and serenity that they experience and the act of listening or playing music. Learning to play an instrument such as the guitar, an instrument which anyone can learn, can be particularly helpful for children and young adults who have been through tough traumatic experiences or who lack communication skills.

Music Therapy Against Bullying

Music therapy can easily be applied in school settings and are particularly effective if the school establishes a collaboration with music therapists. Activities can range from listening to music to participating in music video projects, as well as activities which move from passive to active and encourage students to improvise.

Activities which provide positive reinforcement and role-playing, such as using songwriting as a tool of emotional expression, are particularly powerful. Songwriting is a way to transfer the music skills to real life bullying situation, encouraging the expression of feelings and emotions related to bullying. This way, all students can relate to a complicated situation and analyzing the meaning of song lyrics dealing with bullies can be a positive way to start a conversation with affected students. The calming effect of music therapy can also encourage bullies and victims to breathe in order to deal with a particularly frustrating situation.

The great benefit of these activities is that they can easily be adapted to children and young adults of all ages, from elementary school to high school, and can be very successful because music is easily accessible and enjoyed by many children and teenagers.

If you would like to offer music therapy to help prevent bullying as a school, be sure to choose a trained professional. In fact, in order to offer music therapy, a therapist must have completed a music therapy program. Though this type of therapy may seem uncommon, music has the power to change people and the way they look at the world, and can be a great help for children and young adults struggling with difficult situations such as bullying.


R.O.C.K. Campaign: Texas Schools Are Not Wasting Time In Bullying Battle

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Posted by Maria Mangicaro
Bullying Prevention Advocate

Keller ISD Launches Aggressive Anti-Bullying Campaign

By Annie Potasznik & Arezow Doost | CBSDFW.COM |October 7, 2013 9:05 PM

KELLER (CBSDFW.COM) – Pushing. Shoving. Derogatory slurs and gossip… whether physical or verbal, bullying can bruise a child or young adult’s ego well into adulthood. Research has shown how devastating the effects of bullying are. Children who were bullied often suffer from psychiatric troubles into adulthood compared to those who weren’t bullied. They may have difficulty holding down a job. The seeds of fear and anxiety planted by incessant humiliation may lead to poor relationship choices as adults resulting in abuse. It’s a serious issue, one that students in the Keller Independent School District want to raise awareness with an aggressive new anti-bullying campaign.

“Reaching Out With Character And Kindness” or “ROCK,” is a campaign, which includes a reality TV-style video to advocate for victims of bullies. Thirty-three-thousand students joined hands at schools across the district last month in a show of solidarity.

For more information about “ROCK” click here.

(credit: CBS 11 News)

(credit: CBS 11 News)

“It means that we are all one team together and that we are alike and we shouldn’t bully each other,” said eight grade student Morgan Gutchess.

The district is taking a stand with support from students, faculty and parents. They want to encourage respect collectively for all students. The District believes bullying, discrimination, intimidation, violence and other similar disruptive behavior are detrimental to the establishment of a safe and civil learning environment.

“It symbolizes that we are all friends. We are equal. I can’t hurt you. If I’m going to hold your hand here I’m going to say that we are friends and I’m not going to turn around and do something mean to you,” said educator Dorothy Loftin.

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October 10, 2013: Invitation to Light Up the World Purple for Amanda and the largest Mental Health & Anti-Bullying Campaign

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Posted by Maria Mangicaro

In the wake of the growing number of school shootings, the evidence of over-medicating children in foster care, the alarming incidents of the use of child restraints in schools and the shocking cases of bullycides, ISEPP’s conference organizers placed a priority on developing our annual conference around child-centered topics.

As a volunteer for ISEPP, I actively engage mental health advocates to contribute to our social networks and the topics of bullying, cyberbullying and bullycides are ones many of our past conferences have included presentations on.   It is extremely heartbreaking to hear of young children and teens who commit suicide after enduring bullying and recently it was confirmed that 12-year-old Rebecca Ann Sedwick from Lakeland, FL did commit suicide after being victimized by peer cyberbullying for almost two  years.

I am honored to share information about the extraordinary bullying prevention efforts of Carol Todd, founder of the Amanda Todd Legacy.   Below is the Facebook invitation from Carol Todd to participate in what is hoped to be, one of the world’s largest ‘official movement events’ and show of support towards World Mental Health Day on October 10th 2013 alongside a much needed Anti Bullying stance.

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Learn How to Stop Bullying: ABC News Interview of A4K, The Ambassadors for Kids Club.

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Stop Bullying! School Video as part of A4K, The Ambassador for Kids Club’s National Program

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Peer mediation: Take a Look at a Cool School

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Uploaded by on Jul 22, 2010

This is the product of a budding, young film director, Rachael Bigelow, a 3rd year student at AUT studying a Bachelor of Communication, majoring in television.

The Peace Foundation (Foundation for Peace Studies Aotearoa/New Zealand) offersinnovative and quality programmes,          services and resources that are used in many schools, homes and          communities – both in New Zealand and overseas. It helps to establish          and maintain peaceful and non-violent relationships by teaching skills          that encourage better communication, co-operation and          non-violent conflict resolution.

The Peace Foundation draws on the knowledge, skills and energy of a          team of highly qualified and experienced individuals who are committed          to meeting the aims of the organisation – a number of whom are          acknowledged both nationally and internationally for the role they have          played and are playing in creating a more peaceful world.

The Peace Foundation is a not-for-profit organisation and relies on          public support for its work. It has been a membership organisation since          it was established in 1975.


Cool Schools Peer Mediation Programme
The Cool Schools Peer Mediation Programme is a whole schools programme that was developed in 1991. It aims to train students in the skills of mediation and conflict resolution, whereby children learn to mediate conflict amongst their peers. It is now in over half of the schools throughout Aotearoa/New Zealand.

The Bullying Forum – A Serious Problem

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Uploaded by on Apr 26, 2010

PART 1 OF 5: Bullying in New Zealand schools is a serious problem and notoriously hard to detect, but there is a solution says Dr Janis Carroll-Lind of the Children’s Commission.  She also explains why it’s just as important to help the bullies as well as the victims of bullying.
For more on the Mental Health Foundation’s Bullying Forum  visit: