We all have the ability to express ourselves through music regardless of disability. Music does not rely on words and so is a positive way for children to communicate who find talking difficult. Music therapy does not teach musical skills, but allows the child to express themselves through music. Music therapy offers a unique and alternative means by which a child can engage in creative communication.
Music Therapy can:
Develop communication skills
Explore ways of managing challenging behaviour
Develop shared attention and turn taking
Encourage creativity and self-expression
Develop concentration and listening skills
Promote self-awareness, confidence and independence
Encourage non-verbal communication
Support sensory integration
Music therapy usually takes place on a one-to-one basis, but occasionally small group work is more appropriate, or parents or staff may be invited to join-in sessions. The sessions take place on a regular, weekly basis in the school music room. In sessions there may be a mixture of structured and free activities that aim to encourage each child to find their inner musical voice and to use this to express themselves within interactions. The music therapist is trained to respond to each child’s music in a way that aims to let them know they have been heard and responded to in an individual way, allowing them to develop their own musical language. A range of instruments are available during sessions and focus is upon supporting the child to access them in their own unique and creative way.
Here at Woodlands the music therapist works on Thursdays and Fridays. Referrals for music therapy are made via school staff, parents or other professionals.
Music therapists are trained at postgraduate MA level and are registered with the Health and Care Professions Council. If you would like to know more about music therapy as a profession, please visit this website www.bamt.org