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What is music therapy?

with Sarah McColl-Wiltshire & Vicky Guise

Woman and child singing during music therapy session

Two experts in music therapy and working with young people take time with us to share their expertese.

Sarah and Vicky talk Music Therapy

In this video Sarah and Vicky tell us about setting goals and making connections through singing and music. We hear how they help young people process their emotions and deal with trauma.

[Embed Youtube video for discussion]

The Power of Music Therapy

Experiencing the elevating and emotional power of music is something that nearly all of us share. The practice of music therapy harnesses this and creates a potent tool for emotional and psychological healing. Unlike the musician practicing to achieve a performance or a choir member trying to hit the right note, music therapy involves much more than a great sound.

What sets music therapy apart?

Qualified Music Therapists use music as a counselling or psychotherapy tool to work with identified needs and towards therapeutic goals such as increasing the ability to communicate. Rather than using words as in verbal counselling, music is the primary mode of communication.

Not your average music session

A music therapy session allows the therapist and person they are working with to use music and sound to develop a relationship in a safe, trusting space and to grow new ways to communicate through sound. The music therapist uses their therapeutic and musical skills to support clients working towards achieving therapeutic goals.

The heart of music therapy

Central to how Music Therapy works is the therapeutic relationship that develops between the Music Therapist and the person they are working alongside – music is the key way that this interaction develops. Music Therapists are able to use a wide range of musical techniques, including improvisation (creating music in the moment), songwriting and music listening. This creates a musical connection between the therapist and the person they are working alongside, which allows them to explore goals including expressing their emotions, communication and relationship building.

Not musical? Not a problem.

One doesn’t need to have a background in music or be able to play an instrument to benefit from Music Therapy - it uses the connection we all share to music in our everyday lives to explore non-musical aims. It is especially helpful when someone may not be able to verbally express what they are feeling, whether because they can’t find the words or have difficulties verbally communicating.

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