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Music Therapy and Music Participation

With Sarah McColl Wiltshire & Vicky Guise


A wonderful opportunity to do a deep dive with two leading music therapists. Sarah and Vicky generously share their knowledge, creating this guide and film which helps us to understand how music therapy fits with music participation in general.

What is Music Therapy?

In this video and accompanying article we hear from Sarah and Vicky about what music therapy encompasses and how participants are involved.

A Brief History of Music Therapy

Find out about the history of music therapy, where it came from and how it grew. Learn who the founder were and the legacy they have created.

Music Therapy in action

How Sarah and Vicky use their Music Therapy training in their work with Place2Be.

Videos about Music Therapy

A collection of YouTube videos that describe what music therapy is and how it is used

CASE STUDY - One boy's journey With Music Therapy

Hear how ‘Luke’ (not his real name) made room in his life for healing through music therapy.

In this section

Singing & Health
Types of Singing Activity for Mental Health
Music Therapy & Music Participation
Creative vocals and 'agency' in singing - a rapid research review
Policy Research Overview - Children & Young People's Mental Health & Wellbeing


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About the Authors

Sarah McColl-Wiltshire

Sarah dabbled in a few different instruments throughout primary and early secondary school including violin and flute, but it was not until she was allowed to pick up a second instrument aged 14 that she found her passion in classical guitar. Sarah studied Applied Music at Strathclyde University in Glasgow with a focus on guitar performance. After graduation, Sarah realised that there was something missing for her and, after feeling lost for a while, realised that the missing element was helping others. Sarah worked as a support worker for children and adults with learning disabilities before starting her therapy training. Sarah’s first placement during training was with children in a primary school, and she has since then focussed her work on supporting children experiencing emotional difficulties and their families. Sarah enjoys integrating art and play with music, which is what led her to working with Place2Be.

Vicky Guise

Vicky qualified as a Music Therapist in 2019, having completed her training at the University of South Wales. Initially, Vicky trained as a flute player at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama, during which time she auditioned to be part of the Live Music Now scheme. This work involved performing for people that may not be able to access live music through traditional routes in places such as care homes, hospitals and SEN schools. This work in particular led to Vicky exploring further ways she could use music to connect with others and what led to her training as a music therapist. Since qualifying, Vicky has worked a variety of client groups including older adults, people who have experienced brain injury, stroke survivors as well as children and young people. She now works for the arts organization Chroma, particularly working in school and neuro rehabilitation settings.

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