Music for social and communicative development...
Integrative Musical Interaction (IMI) is a practice of musical participation which is intentionally aimed at incorporating people at any level of ability.
It works by engaging our innate cognitive and relational capacities, which are supported through an intuitively enabled developmental process.
This process shares characteristics with modes of learning in many oral musical cultures, and with another fundamental learning process – that of early childhood interaction and language acquisition.
Simply put – learning take place in an environment of nonjudgmental, success-focused safe space, combined with an experiential, imitative mode of practice. Both are cornerstones of human interaction and relationship, and rely on processes intrinsic to human development.
Through engagement with IMI, people are reconnected with their innate musicality, and are thus enabled to be confident and competent participants in group music making, regardless of their perceived skill level.
The whole trajectory of the IMI process is aimed at the direction of participants’ attention beyond self-preoccupation, and into increasing degrees of relational awareness and interaction with the group – the quality and the success of the music made arise from the quality of the relationships present within the group.
This social musicality constitutes a form of behavioural rehearsal, or social ‘exercise’ - refining, testing, and forging skills which lead to more effective human interaction. Perhaps, like the way that physical exercise affects bodily health, musical practices like IMI may not only contribute towards improving our social and mental health, but also to maintaining it through encouraging our reconnection – our tuning in to one another.
IMI engages groups in building trust, relationship, connection, belonging and cooperation, all key beneficial variables in developing both social and mental capital, which in turn, are essential to human wellbeing.