MUSICWORKS (Music Therapy Community Clinic (MTCC) was founded in 2002 and builds on South Africa’s rich musical heritage by using music as a clinical tool to contribute to the psycho-social well-being of children and young people in Cape Town’s marginalised communities. In South Africa, music therapy is a recognised healthcare profession and music therapists are registered with the Today MUSICWORK’s practice consists of four key elements: clinical music therapy sessions, after-school music programmes, training of community members to use music as a social resource to strengthen their communities and the training of ECD practitioners to include the benefits of music when working with young children. Music therapy provides beneficiaries with an increased sense of self-worth and resilience. They are able to express and process hard-to-verbalise feelings of fear, isolation and disempowerment in the non-threatening environment of music making. After-school music programmes provide an alternative to life on the streets. Young people experience a sense of belonging and sense of identity within the safe and constructive environment of their music groups.
MUSICWORKS is the only organisation of its kind in South Africa. In October 2010 they were honoured with a prestigious award from the Mentor International Foundation, a non-governmental organisation that works globally to prevent drug misuse in young people. The organisation received the Innovation Award which “recognises organisations whose work indicates significant promise for achieving effective outcomes in preventing drug abuse” for our programmes in Heideveld (Music for Life). Also in 2010, the organisation received a Silver award from the Impumelelo Innovations Trust for our pioneering work in the field of Music Therapy within communities of the Cape Peninsula. Furthermore, the organisation's work has been featured in several international academic publications as an example of Community Music Therapy practice (Where Music Helps – Community Music Therapy in Action and Reflection – Stige, Ansdell, Elefant and Pavlicevic, 2010; Developments in Music Therapy Practice: Case Study Perspectives – Anthony Meadows, 2011).