What is Music Therapy?

Music appeals to us all and music therapy can be accessed by anyone. It is a proven clinical intervention that enhances quality of life by offering opportunity for meaningful relationship building, self-expression, creativity and communication.

The therapist works either individually with a client, or with a number of clients, in a music therapy group, and the aims are to meet social, emotional, cognitive, physical, learning and communication needs.

All of the music is improvised and our therapist uses their own music to encourage play, self-expression and communication.

We use a variety of instruments such as the piano, guitar, xylophones, drums and other percussion, all of which are available to be freely used by our clients. 

The Evidence

It is essential that we are accountable and can prove the efficacy of our practice. British Music Therapists are working hard to compile a bank of evidence to support our work.  This helps us to communicate the process of our practice with other professionals, to engage further referrers and develop our work.

We share the most up-to-date music therapy research via our blogs and social media and we also publish the findings of our projects.  Our most recent work entitled ‘An exploration in to the efficacy of music therapy with Deaf populations’ in collaboration with Action for Deafness can be shared upon request.  Following every collaboration, pilot and project we review, collate and make public our findings.  Please contact us for any further information or click on the icons to link to the NHS, British Medical Journal, British Association of Music Therapy or the Cochrane Library.

‘Music Therapist’ is a protected title and all music therapists are allied health professionals who must be registered with the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC).  British music therapists have Masters degrees and throughout their career engage in monthly supervision and continued CPD.

How can music therapy help?

Develop skills such as turn-takingEnhance fine and gross motor skills

Explore challenging behaviourFacilitate communicationReduce stress and anxiety

Enable the release of feelingsEncourage vocalising and verbal skillsProvide a creative space

How can music therapy help?

Music therapy can

Reduce stress and anxiety. Facilitate communication. Build relationships and develop interactions. Enable an individual to experience and process difficult feelings non-verbally.
Provide a space where the client can be freely creative. Increase awareness of self and others. Practise social skills. Provide an opportunity to build confidence and a sense of agency.
Enhance motor skills, fine and gross. Encourage vocalising and verbal skills. Develop skills such as turn-taking. Explore challenging behaviour.
Support aspects of stages of development, including non-verbal interaction, play and language. Provide a safe and cathartic space for the release of feelings.

Music therapy can

  • Reduce stress and anxiety.
  • Facilitate communication.
  • Build relationships and develop interactions.
  • Enable an individual to experience and process difficult feelings non-verbally.
  • Provide a space where the client can be freely creative.
  • Increase awareness of self and others.
  • Practise social skills.
  • Provide an opportunity to build confidence and a sense of agency.
  • Enhance motor skills, fine and gross.
  • Encourage vocalising and verbal skills.
  • Develop skills such as turn-taking.
  • Explore challenging behaviour.
  • Support aspects of stages of development, including non-verbal interaction, play and language.
  • Provide a safe and cathartic space for the release of feelings.

Who We Help

At Waves we aim to ensure that there are no barriers to accessing our service and we aim to reach the most vulnerable and isolated people in our community and offer meaningful, therapeutic connection.

We work in settings that range from neonatal work to end-of-life care and we support people with mental health, learning, physical, social, emotional and communication needs.  

Our areas of speciality

Our areas of speciality include

  • Pregnant women
  • Children (from early-years onwards)
  • Persons with autism
  • Families
  • Palliative Care
  • Persons with emotional & behavioural disorders
  • Persons with profound needs
  • Persons with complex trauma & attachment
  • Forensic scientists
  • Hospital ward patients
  • Dementia suffers
  • Persons in addiction rehabilitation
  • Clients with COVID-19 related issues
  • Persons with sensory impairment
  • Persons with anxiety and depression

Testimonials

I have worked with Victoria for many years and have co-run sessions with her. Music Therapy is an amazing way for us to reach our profoundly autistic children. Music therapy does not place demands upon the child, they make music and play because they want to, because Victoria draws them out. They are working on their social, their emotional, their communication skills. Music therapy is essential for our children here.

Christelle Fornier, Clinical Child Psychotherapist

Music therapy is an essential part of school life for our children. Our children need a way to express themselves and explore their emotions. Music therapy meets these needs.

Head Teacher, SEN school

There is no other time in the week where I see … relax.  He comes into the therapy room, sees Victoria and immediately settles.  He knows, he understands this is his time and he chooses to communicate and play.

Support Staff

I have supported ‘Lucy’ for 4 years. I have never heard her make the sounds she does like when she is in music therapy. It is like she is really motivated to sing, to communicate. I am usually in tears.

Amy, Support Staff
Sienna is so enjoying her sessions with Gabrielle – a small taste of normality
Sue, Parent

Music therapy is a special time for our students. The session is totally child-led, every sound develops from the sounds and movements our students make. It is incredibly important for our students that they have this time to play together.

Class teacher, PMLD class

Help us to continue our work and reach more people in need. Thank you.

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