Maria Elena Lopez Vinader is the international director of Music Therapists for Peace, and she has a radio program entitled “Imagine, Peace Is Possible” in Argentina. Invited guests express their concerns about the world, and music that validates diversity is played. Various members of the T:AP Music Project team have called in to the show, expressing their opposition to violence or, in the case of Mohammad Iqbal Behleem from Pakistan, explaining Islamic culture and its own tradition of nonviolence. Mohammad and Maria Elena have also collaborated to write a song entitled “War Is a Crime Against Humanity.”
Maria Elena plays the piano and uses sound in music therapy. She describes how being a music therapist for peace means finding ways to help people on a larger scale to be “in tune” for peace, and to become “actors” effecting social change through music.
She comments, “When we do music therapy, we are practicing consciously or unconsciously the TRANSCEND method for conflict transformation. Very simply, this is because empathy is one of the ‘techniques’ or premises of our work. We also call it a mirror, or reflection, to acknowledge and accept musically the other person’s feelings and emotions. Then we enter into a musical dialogue which is always creative and of course ‘nonviolent,’ transforming aggression into accepted musical behavior. This gives an opportunity for healing to occur and for peace to be felt.”