“Especially when you think you’re not good at music…
music therapy is the right thing for you! “
My name is Sirik de Jong and I enjoy working as a music therapist at the Centre for Professional Therapy. I also work part-time for Stichting Pergamijn. There I provide music therapy to children, (young) adults and adults with intellectual disabilities.
Because I have worked in healthcare for several years, with people with various (and often complex) problems, I developed knowledge how to use music to the benefit of others. Music gives myself the opportunity to make contact with my own feelings and it enables me to express them. For me, music is also a way to connect with others. The therapy I provide, is mainly about experiencing, playing and doing. From relaxation and in a safe and welcoming atmosphere, I invite you to discover new directions.
In my spare time I play in a band and I like to occupy myself with philosophy and spirituality. The latter is not something woolly for me, but gives me practical handles to deal with everyday -life. Being present in the moment, and not let yourself be discouraged by setbacks, is what I think it’s all about…
○ Empathic ○ Music-technology ○ Improvisation ○ Respect ○ Deal with emotions ○ Inspiring ○
○ Neurobiology ○ Insight-full ○ Supportive ○ Research ○ Compassion ○
From my own experience I know what it is like when ‘it doesn’t happen by itself for a while’. I know the feeling of being stuck all too well. Fortunately I know also from my own experience what it is like to get out of it. I like to pass on this experience and therefore I have followed several studies to do this as effectively as possible. On the one hand I am of a pragmatic approach: doing what works! On the other hand, I stand for sincere & friendly attention, without judgment. Everyone is different and after all,
we are all human.
When you’re not feeling well, you usually ‘know’ what it’s all about. Maybe you should learn to say ‘no’ more often or listen more to your feelings. In music therapy we don’t talk too much about that, we mainly learn by doing. By improvising together you discover new possibilities and you get a different view on your thinking and acting. When you have to improvise, you come to new insights and you learn step by step to trust on what is coming. You learn and experience that things can be done differently, and especially how you can approach this in your own, unique way.
Recent insights in neurobiology teach us that trauma causes changes in our brains and bodies. From this “body/mind” model I work with people who have experienced intense experiences or grew up in an unsafe environment. After trauma it is important that you learn how to calm down your body and mind. It can also help to identify triggers that remind you of the trauma so that you have less trouble in daily life. In music therapy you can teach your body that the ‘here and now’ is safe so you can continue your life.
Nature loves rhythm. Heartbeat, breathing, day/night and the changing seasons are some examples. Rhythm also means connection. Without rhythm there is no communication possible and we would not have existed as a human species anymore. Just think about it: in a conversation you exchange information in turns.. If the interval (pause) between question and answer is too long, you probably lose interest. If the other person starts too quickly, you are interrupted and communication is not really improved. When you walk in a hallway and someone else also walks with heels on the stairs (tap tactic), you unconsciously start walking at the same pace. I make use of these basic musical principles during my workshops and therapies.
Can you be alone for a longer period of time with yourself, in silence, without distractions (smartphone, computer, music, television, friends, fantasizing etc) and then just be okay with yourself? The movement from ‘doing’ to ‘being’ is not easy. However, our body (and brain) needs time to relax and process all the stimuli that come at us. Mindfulness can help to recognize stress signals in time and how to nurture yourself with attention and compassion. Skills that are beneficial to myself as well. It helps me to be present and to listen with compassion and an ‘open mind’. With mindfulness you learn to be okay with yourself, here and now.
Music directly affect our physiology and emotions. At rest, our heart rate is about 60 beats per minute. When we hear a strong pulse/beat, our brains adjust to it. In this way music can directly influence our heartbeat. These processes mainly take place in the brain stem and the autonomic nervous system (ANS). As a result, even people with a lowered consciousness (e.g. coma) can benefit from music therapy. Research shows that music influences the production of various neurotransmitters such as dopamine and endorphin. Singing together stimulates the production of oxytocin, so we feel more connected and experience less stress.
I find it incredibly fascinating how our brains work! What we regularly do, becomes an automatism and we no longer have to think about it (cycling, driving, etc). This is called ‘neuroplasticity’. Our brains are therefore able to make new connections, even at a later age. Every experience affects our brains. Our interaction with the environment is therefore very important. During my studies I learned to investigate how our brains work and how music can influence the brain. By combining this knowledge, I help people with various problems: from dementia to depression and from parkinson’s to autism.
2017-heden | Master Muziek therapie – ArtEZ conservatorium, Enschede
2017-heden |Vervolgopleiding Mindfulness trainer (MBSR) – Centrum voor Mindfulness, Amsterdam
2017-2018 |Neurologische Muziek Therapie (NMT) – ArtEZ conservatorium, Enschede
2016-2017 | Basis opleiding Mindfulness trainer (MBSR) – Centrum voor Mindfulness, Amsterdam
2009-2013 | HBO Creatieve therapie – Zuyd Hogeschool, Heerlen
2005-2008 | Verzorgende IG – Arcus College, Heerlen
2015-heden |Muziektherapeut / eigenaar Centrum Vaktherapie
2016-heden |Muziektherapeut Stichting Pergamijn, verstandelijk gehandicaptenzorg
2017-2018 |Muziektherapeut / onderzoeksstage – Tactus verslavingszorg
2012-2013 | Muziektherapeut / stage – Zonnehuisgroep Amsterdan, geriatrie/psychiatrie
2011-2012 |Muziektherapeut / stage – RCGGZ Weert, volwassene psychiatrie
2009-2016 |Uitzendkracht begeleider / Verzorgende IG – diverse instellingen: (forensische) psychiatrie: Mondriaan, Radix / ouderenzorg: Envida, Sevagram
I started meditating with Sirik’s guidance and he motivated me so much that I instantly delved deeper into the whole topic. Especially Sirik’s authentic and easy-going style of teaching has impacted and touched me deeply. Thank you!