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News and stories from McCabe

News features, stories from our guests and updates from the McCabe Educational Trust.

Bethlehem Music Therapy

Palestine’s First Music Therapist

In the summer of 2009, the McCabe Educational Trust, together with the Diocese of Rochester, became involved in Project Bethlehem, a fund-raising initiative established by music therapist Claire Tillotson and Canon Paul Miller. The project completed its initial phase at a school in Bethlehem in spring last year.

The benefits to the children were so evident that the organisers knew the good work just had to continue: children with severe emotional problems often caused or compounded by the effects of war, poverty, neglect or abuse, after receiving ongoing music therapy, discovered they could communicate again with those around them. They regained their self-esteem, their ability to concentrate, to interact as part of a group. Children who had previously been violent and disruptive were calm and focused.

The power and benefits of the music therapy were certainly unquestionable, but what was the best way to ensure that this would continue, hopefully indefinitely?


Basel Zayed, a Palestinian musician with the funding and support of the Diocese of Rochester and The McCabe Educational Trust, came from Jerusalem to London last summer. He began his two year MA in Music Therapy at the London Guildhall School of Music in September 2010.  Basel has now completed his first term and will be Palestine’s first music therapist. After completing his MA, he will return to the Holy Land and will be based at the SOS Children’s Village in Bethlehem.

For more than twenty five years, the McCabe Educational Trust has been creating partnerships with inspiring people we have met on pilgrimage.  Last year travellers to the Oberammergau Passion Play helped us reach new heights with a record breaking total for the year of  £395,287  A big THANK YOU to all of our supporters!

With your help, we will continue helping those in need we encounter on our travels.