Music therapy is based on the fact that, in some way, everyone is attracted to and responds to music and sound. This is usually unaffected by disability, illness or injury. Music can often reach someone who is finding communication difficult. Individuals offered music therapy are not taught how to play an instrument, but invited to sing and improvise on readily accessible instruments. Through music the qualified music therapist seeks to support and develop physical, mental, social and emotional well-being.
Music Therapy in the United Kingdom has a rich and long history. From the 1950’s it has grown and been acknowledged recently as having an equal standing with clinical psychology practice.
A typical session will begin with an invitation to use a wide variety of instruments, anything from a piano or guitar to a range of tuned and untuned percussion. There will be time and space to explore the instruments. No musical skills are required and there is no pressure to play the instruments in a particular way. Therapy can operate on an individual or small group basis as appropriate. Over a series of sessions the therapist will begin to build a trusting relationship with the client through shared music and sounds rather than words. Sometimes recorded music is used for listening.