Music therapy utilises the fact that physiological and psychological musical patterns are integral to all human life. Every individual, regardless of any disability or illness, responds to music in a unique way.
For many people who are at elevated risk and feeling isolated and vulnerable, the use of music in therapy can help to make connections and enable the exploration and expression of individuality, personality and social and cultural diversity.
Music therapy sessions involve live music making. Well-known pieces and pre-recorded music may be used but often free improvisation is a key element. Clients are encouraged to use percussion and other instruments in order to explore the world of sound. The music therapist supports the client’s sounds through improvising with them. In this way clients quickly realise that musical ability is not relevant as all sounds are incorporated within the music they make together. The confidence and engagement this engenders means that over time a trusting relationship can evolve and through which emotions can be expressed and issues explored within a safe environment.
Music therapists work within the multi-agency team to assess emotional well-being, physical health, social functioning, communication abilities and cognitive skills through musical responses. Clients do not need to have a musical background in order to benefit from music therapy. The therapeutic process enables growth and development.