Music Therapy is a psychological clinical intervention, delivered by HCPC registered Music Therapists to help support children and young people’s psychological, emotional, cognitive, physical, communicative and social needs.
Music Therapists draw upon the innate qualities of music to support people of all ages and abilities and at all stages of life; from helping new born babies develop healthy bonds with their parents, to offering vital, sensitive and compassionate palliative care at the end of life.
Central to how Music Therapy works is the therapeutic relationship that is established and developed, through engagement in live musical interaction and play between a therapist and client. A wide range of musical styles and instruments can be used, including the voice, and the music is often improvised. Using music in this way enables clients to create their own unique musical language in which to explore and connect with the world and express themselves.
Because musical participation and response does not depend solely on the ability to speak, Music Therapy is a particularly effective clinical intervention for children and young people who have difficulty communicating verbally. For individuals affected by disability, illness or injury, working with music therapists can be life-changing. Autistic children and young peopl can develop emotional, social and communication skills. Someone with an acquired brain injury as the result of an accident can be helped to regain their speech.
How do sessions work?
Music Therapists use sound making and music to help their clients achieve therapeutic goals through the development of the musical and therapeutic relationship. There is no pre-requisite to ‘be musical’ or know how to play a specific instrument in order to engage in Music Therapy. Music Therapists work with the natural musicality of each client to offer appropriate, sensitive and meaningful interactions.
The work of a Music Therapist takes place not only in sessions but also around the sessions. In thinking about a client and their needs, Music Therapists will liaise with parents and other professionals working with the child or young person to provide a holistic, joined-up approach to their therapy.