Music therapy uses shared music making as a way of supporting children who may have communication, social, physical or emotional difficulties. Sessions offer children experiences of shared play, interaction, movement and learning, whatever their level of ability. Children are seen initially for assessment to determine, with parents and carers, how music therapy might support them with their specific needs.
Music therapy takes place individually or in groups, and consideration of the parents/carers needs is a key part of planning intervention to determine the best ways to support and maximise the benefits to the child. In sessions, shared music making, using improvised or familiar music, allows children to build musical relationships which may contribute to their development across a range of areas.
Music therapists are part of the multi-disciplinary team, and work closely with other professionals to support the child’s development. The service also provides advice and training to parents and professionals to increase awareness of the benefits of music making within child health and education settings, and how music can support wellbeing in everyday life. The service is known internationally for its research and development work.