"Music plays an important role in our everyday lives. It can be exciting or calming, joyful or poignant, can stir memories and powerfully resonate with our feelings, helping us to express them and to communicate with others."
British Association for Music Therapy

What is Music Therapy?

Music's ability to evoke emotion, memory and metaphor creates opportunities for us to impart ourselves upon it.

Through utilising its unique motivational and expressive qualities we can communicate and create alongside individuals of all abilities. Expressive music can give us the ability to disregard language completely and still allow us communicate easily. This is particularly useful when working with clients who for a variety of reasons might find it difficult to communicate verbally.

Music Therapist's are trained to analyse musical communication and expression using both psychoanalytic theory and researched techniques.

Once considered we are able to react, develop upon and work towards specific aims created alongside parents, carers and the clients themselves. These techniques help to promote a number of different physical, verbal and social developments as well as improving upon established behavioural routines, personal identity and confidence levels.

Every Music Therapy session is uniquely tailored to the individual and would include the opportunity to create, express and communicate using musical instruments, music technology and the voice itself.

Songs, improvisation, play, discussion, reminiscence, musical metaphor, songwriting, recordings could all be utilised during the process but this is dependant on the clients interest, motivations and aims.

Aims of Music Therapy


  • Increasing speech and language skills
  • Encouraging two-way communication
  • Helping with social interaction
  • Developing the use of the voice
  • A space for expression
  • A different mode of communication
    when words are difficult

Emotion and Behaviour

  • Building trusting and meaningful relationships
  • Developing skills such as listening
  • Sharing and turn-taking
  • Opportunities for self-expression
  • Increasing self-confidence
  • Creating new internal coping strategies
    and models

Cognitive Functioning

  • Improving memory
  • Developing decision-making and
    problem-solving skills
  • Improving difficulties with attention
    and focus
  • Increasing perception and awareness
  • Continuing recognition of self and others


  • Improving co-ordination skills
  • Maintaining strength and balance
  • Gait training
  • Motor-skills
  • Tactile and sensory

To help get the most out of Music Therapy an individual's diagnoses and experiences should be discussed and understood to create personal aims and objectives.

Read more for further information on benefits relevant to specific client groups and conditions via the who can benefit page.

Music Therapy Structure

Music Therapy takes place over a series of sessions varying between 30 minutes and 1 hour and can be for both individuals or groups.

Initial Consultation

  • It is first necessary to meet and consider ongoing therapy with carers, parents and/or the client themselves before entering into an assessment period to consider whether Music therapy is suitable for the individuals specified needs.

Assessment Period - 3 weeks

  • The assessment period lasts for 3 weeks, after which all affected parties would meet to consider the continuation of the therapy and further development of it's aims.

Ongoing Therapy – regularly reassessed

  • The length of the therapy itself would depend on each individual's aims but it would be regularly reassessed and feedback would be provided periodically as agreed.