What is music therapy?

7th May 2021

Music is part of all of us – in our heartbeats and movements, our laughter, crying and singing.

Music therapy uses music to help children and their families live creatively and resourcefully in the face of illness, disability and trauma.

Like other therapists you might meet in the hospital, music therapists are professionally qualified and registered with the Health and Care Professions Council and have had many years of specialist training to support children, young people and families.

Music therapists know that being in hospital or living with a long-term health condition, might bring up lots of different feelings and can sometimes be difficult or scary.

Music therapy is an amazing way to help both children and their families explore and express their feelings without having to put them into words – and it can also be lots of fun!

Music therapy sessions take place in lots of different spaces- at the bedside, in the playroom, in the sensory room or in clinic rooms.

Sometimes the Music Therapist will spend time just with one child and sometimes with their siblings, parents and other family members, or other children in hospital. Every child and family is different, so every music therapy session is different.

Music Therapy sessions follow the child’s lead as much as possible, but they usually involve:

– Making up music together
– Singing songs
– Musical games
– Song writing
– Listening to music

A music therapist understands that some days you might feel like doing lots of playing and other days you might just sit and listen. Either of these is a great way to engage in music therapy, as is everything in-between!

No musical experience at all is required and there are no right or wrong ways of being involved.

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