What is Music Therapy?
Music therapy is an established psychological, clinical intervention where the essential element is the development of a trusting relationship between the child/young person (client) and therapist. Music therapy is a unique method of creative communication based on the fact that everyone has the capacity to respond musically and develop a shared musical experience leading to physical, mental, social, emotional and spiritual well-being.
Music therapy in schools has been recognised by Ofsted as addressing the educational and pastoral needs of children and young people. It is featured on the ‘Good Practice’ website in relation to music education and special needs.
Music therapists are highly proficient musicians professionally trained to Masters Level. Music therapy is a state-registered profession and governed by the Health & Care Professions Council. The British Association for Music Therapy (BAMT) is the professional body for music therapy in the UK, providing information, professional support and training.
What are the aims of music therapy and who can benefit?
Music therapy differs from a music lesson in that the aims are primarily non-musical and include:
Increasing communication, interaction, self-expression, confidence and self-esteem
Developing increased personal insight, awareness of others and social skills
Developing sensory integration, coordination, motor control and self-regulation of behaviour
Increasing independence, motivation and emotional well-being
Music therapists work with children, young people and adults, who have a wide range of needs. These could include:
Social, emotional and behaviour difficulties
Communication difficulties including autism or profound and multiple learning difficulties
Children/young people who have been affected by trauma, bereavement, family dysfunction, adoption, illness, visual/hearing impairment or school exclusion
Referrals for music therapy come from all areas of Herefordshire Council, schools, health providers, voluntary sector agencies and other professionals. Referrals can now be made using the Single Agency Referral Form (SARF).