Last week’s colour issue of Eesti Elu introduced us in greater detail to a leading light in music therapy. Dr. Eve Lukk who works as developer-researcher-teacher as well as a practising therapist in her field in Eesti is coming to Toronto the end of March. While visiting various smaller
groups and presenting extended ideas on the use of music therapy in front of active choirs, children and retirees, she is making her principal presentation Wed., Mar. 29 at 7.00 pm in Tartu College.
My own communications with Dr. Lukk over the past three years have convinced me that she should be Estonian of the Year, - well, at least of the month, because of the various ways that has developed elements in her chosen profession, an area that is undergoing dynamic global development. This very much involves Canada which is taking steps to include psychotherapy for qualification purposes in music therapy education. We look forward to witnessing Eve’s inventive „häälejooga“ (voice yoga) and forms of vocalization at choir practices. Among her interests she lists overtone singing which sounds either like primitive vocalization or a technique for the next century.
Next to this splendid array of possibilities we must maintain our focus, Dr. Lukk reminds us, on helping individual patients or clients suffering from disabilities, some of which are incurred at the workplace while others may be neurological problems or part of a person’s psychological development.
While last week’s article might have left the reader with the impression of a solitary, albeit smiling, academic from Tallinn University coming to make a presentation to a roomful of strangers, I wish at this point to draw some actual connections that Eve Lukk has already made with Estonians in Canada.
Music therapy has has been most prominently represented in the local Esto community by Ellen Lindau, a name well known in local music circles. In fact, it was Ellen’s earlier activity in the field that initially piqued my own interest. In this small world of ours it just happens that Eve Lukk met with Ellen in Eesti
about 10 years ago when studies leading to bachelor’s and master’s degrees were installed in creative arts therapy at Tallinn University. As a result, Ellen was invited to give lectures based on her knowledge and experience.
Readers of this paper may be aware of Ellen’s story but I wish to draw their attention once more to her heart-stopping online article, Music Therapist Without Borders, covering her experiences in Bosnia-Herzegovina beginning 2001. During Ellen’s years in Eesti I managed to seek her out in Tallinn,
where, besides lecturing at the university, she worked as a music therapist at the Astangu occupational rehabilitation centre. This did not stop her from singing in a major metropolitan church choir in Tallinn.
Eve’s other Canadian connections involve both an event as well as individuals from Canada who attended it. About four years ago a German colleague of Eve’s inquired about the late folksinger and part-time music educator Reet Hendrikson wondering about a possible followup CD of her prized LP
produced many years ago in Toronto. This set Eve off in search of information from Canada particularly since other acquaintances in Tallinn had been asking questions about the singer. The upshot of all this curiosity was a memorial evening in Tallinn dedicated to Reet on her 70th birthday. In fact, a CD had been produced six years earlier in Canada and it made its appearance at the mentioned event.
To this day Eve Lukk claims that Reet Hendrikson’s methods hark back to music therapy a decade before its initial development at Tallinn’s pedagogical Institute (later Tallinn University).
The memorial event in July, 2014 left Eve with a list of names of those attending. Quite a few were from Toronto. It is her wish to personally meet these fellow-Estonians from Canada during her upcoming visit since she was quite touched by the atmosphere of the event.
As music therapy forges ahead on the world scene, we’ll meet the future at the lecture in Tartu College in the form of another connection. The newly minted music therapist, Elena Lepik, a performer as well like Ellen Lindau, will be introducing our guest from Tallinn. Elena has played flute in two university symphony orchestras and sings in her family ensemble. Having received her Master’s degree in Music Therapy from Wilfrid Laurier University, she works as a therapist in the Kitchener-Waterloo area.
Dr. Eve Lukk, during the course of our current mutual correspondence, has expressed her excitement at meeting musicians, singers and therapists from the Estonian community in Canada. These connections only serve to strengthen global Estonian activity in valued medical and cultural fields.