For years, music in Amimoni has been a channel of communication, a means of expression and connection for the beneficiaries. Music therapy can have benefits in psychological, emotional, physical, communicative, social and cognitive aspects of the personality of the beneficiaries, depending on the needs. These goals are set and implemented in individual and group music therapy sessions where the therapeutic relationship is built with the beneficiaries, as well as in the context of Community Music Therapy.
In 2009, in the context of group music therapy sessions at the “Iris” Day Center in Amimoni, with the music therapist Pelina Evangelou, the idea was born for some beneficiaries to participate in events with various contexts along with the wider community. Thus, the musical group of Amimoni was formed consisting of Maria Pothou, Marialena Theofanidou and Kallio Martyridou, who have excellent voices and a great love for music and singing.
In 2015 the musical group was named “Dreams” and since 2009 it has performed over 40 performances, with Greek and foreign repertoire, inside and outside Attica, as indicatively at the opening ceremony of the 5th European Conference of the International Association for the Scientific Study of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities, at the 1st European Art Festival for Mental Health, at the 1st Festival of Special Education Agencies in Technopolis of the Municipality of Athens, in schools, hospitals, theater stages, etc.
The music group and the positive effect of music therapy on the lives of the girls, inspired the upcoming director Yiannis Pothos, brother of one of the members of the group, Maria, who created a documentary (lasting 8 minutes) with the title “When the song starts “, starring his sister. The documentary deals with the importance of discovering the inner voice and talent for singing for a young woman with visual impairments on the autism spectrum. During the documentary, Maria performs the song of the same name, which was created by Amimoni’s beneficiary, Antonis (lyrics: Antonis Kotakis, music: Pelina Evangelou). In 2014 “When the Song Begins” won the Documentary Award at the Drama Short Film Festival and in 2015 won the Best Documentary Award at the Adana Film Festival in Turkey. It was also successfully screened at the International Film Festivals of New York, Los Angeles and Montenegro, at the Athens International Film Festival (on Premiere Nights) and at other Festivals in Greece and abroad. Watch the award-winning documentary “When a song begins” at the link: https://vimeo.com/93350540
Throughout all these years, music has contributed to creating a bridge between the beneficiaries of Amimoni and the wider community, opening a dialogue for reflection on issues such as social inclusion, inclusion in art and social change on issues concerning children and adults with visual impairments and additional disabilities.
The musical group of Amimoni, since October 2020, continues its musical activities with the music therapist Konstantina Katostaris. Music will continue to be the crossroads where people, communities, values and ideals meet.