Who can it help?

Music is unique in its ability to activate every area of the brain, bringing together thoughts, emotions and sensations.

Everyone is born with the ability to respond to music, and music therapists are clinically trained to find ways to engage with each person to achieve their therapeutic goals; it is a creative way of providing psychological support without the need for words.

Music Therapists attune carefully to each client and notice patterns of relating within the music.  In addition to listening to verbal communication and shared sounds, music therapists respond to subtle non-verbal cues, noticing the client’s breathing patterns, intonation of their vocalisations, eye contact, head placement, hand gestures and much more.

Music therapy is used to support people with a wide range of difficulties, for example anxiety and depression, dementia, autistic spectrum conditions, learning disabilities and neurological conditions.

Many clients come to us finding it hard to articulate their feelings because of trauma, mental health issues, language, physical, cognitive, or emotional difficulties.  Despite these very different conditions, the fundamental non-verbal quality of the work allows clients to process feelings and share their inner experience without the need to talk.  

We can help people on the autistic spectrum feel seen and accepted, people with dementia to feel less agitated and more connected with their loved ones, or someone with depression to understand themselves better and feel more able to regulate their emotions.  We can help new and adoptive parents develop a bond with their child, or someone who has had a stroke to express themselves and begin to rewire their brain.

To have a music therapy support system in place can be extremely valuable.

Music therapy sessions offer an unconditional space of acceptance that can be accessed by all ages and abilities. Please GET IN TOUCH to find out how we can help you or someone you know.

Autistic Spectrum Condition (ASC)

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Talking about feelings can be difficult for people with autism as language can be harder to use creatively. So, connecting with feelings using sound, rhythm and melody can feel more authentic and digestible. Being heard and sharing these inner experiences with a therapist can generate a sense of personal value, self-acceptance, and emotional resilience.

People’s needs with ASC can range from very mild to very severe due to the spectrum-like nature of the condition. In some cases, people may have other additional needs too, such as a learning disability. Children with ASC are sometimes expected to attend mainstream school, and although they are intellectually capable of the academic work, socially and emotionally this can be a real challenge and can bring a lot of unhappiness and distress.

When clients are referred to music therapy, the aim is not to stop or ‘fix’ behaviours, but to support the client to channel the needs behind these behaviours in more manageable ways. For example, introducing loud noises in a way they can control and begin to enjoy.

Learning Disabilities

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People with learning disabilities are more likely to suffer from mental health difficulties like depression or anxiety. Music therapy offers people with learning disabilities a way of expressing themselves non-verbally through the instruments and their voice, bringing opportunities to process difficult feelings as well as discover new and positive ways of relating.

The sessions can lead to an increased sense of self-worth, self-esteem, creativity and confidence in their ability to build stronger relationships with others. The sense of being seen and accepted for who they are is extremely important within context of their life, where verbal communication is a challenge.


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Dementia causes loss of memory function, language and communication skills and can often lead to high anxiety, agitation, and low mood. It can also cause severe distress in people caring for the person with the illness. Because of music’s unique ability to stimulate all parts of the brain, when used in a bespoke, clinically appropriate way it can create opportunities for connection, bringing the person behind the illness into the room.

Music therapists are trained to use musical improvisation and songs within a therapeutic relationship to support people with dementia and their carers / family.

Stress and anxiety

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Stress and anxiety are often caused by an overwhelming amount of emotion being held in the body instead of being consciously expressed and managed. Sometimes there are so many feelings that putting them into words feels impossible or does not alleviate the symptoms.

Music therapy offers a different way of engaging with the emotions – by exploring sounds, rhythm and the voice within a therapeutic relationship, clients can gain new insights and understanding of yourself which leads to more emotional resilience and a better quality of life.


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There are many forms of trauma, some around a single traumatic event and others the result of living in difficult circumstances for a long time.

It is common for feelings associated with the trauma to be repressed and held in the body - there are good reasons for this as it allows the person to avoid feeling overwhelmed and continue to function. However, in the long run this is detrimental to health and addressing the trauma feels like the only way forward.

Our trauma-focussed music therapists are trained to work safely, guided by the client. Sometimes the work is entirely within the musical or vocal improvisation, until the client feels safe enough to describe their experience with words. Sharing songs with significant meaning can also enable the person to discover new layers of understanding for themselves.

Mental illness

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Music therapy is listed in the NICE (National Institute for Clinical Excellence) guidelines as a treatment of choice for both schizophrenia and depression.

Language is often severely affected by mental illness – music therapy offers a space where words are not necessary for a human connection to be made. The way the person relates to the music therapist through sound and silence can be the beginning of the healing process and an important catalyst for rehabilitation.

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