What is Music Therapy?
Music Therapy is where children make music together in small groups or individually, with the aim of growing in confidence and building skills of communication and self-expression. Everyone has the ability to respond to music and Music Therapy uses this connection to help us build relationships with other people. Children make sense of their world through play and in Music Therapy, the child can ‘play’ with sound, using this powerful means of expressive communication to explore their feelings and ideas in a creative way. This can be particularly relevant for children, as they often struggle to understand their feelings well enough to put them into words.
The focus is on creating music in a live and spontaneous way, using whatever musical skills your child already has. The session leader is trained to pick up on the child’s responses and reflect these musically, also sometimes using words, helping to validate the child’s thoughts and feelings. This can help children to express their feelings and ideas in a creative way. Our aim here at The Greville School is that the skills the children develop in Music Therapy sessions will help them to express themselves more confidently in other settings.
Our sessions are led by Jane Cooper who is an HCPC registered music therapist working with Key Changes Music Therapy, a registered charity that provides Music Therapy services in the South East of England for children and adults. Jane has been with us here at The Greville School one day each week since September 2019.
How can Music Therapy benefit my child?
Music Therapy can help a child develop their abilities in the following ways:
- Expressive communication skills
- Social skills
- Improving confidence and self-esteem
- Understanding their own and others’ feelings
- Imagination and creativity
- Forming and maintaining friendship
What happens in a Music Therapy session?
The sessions are structured to include a variety of activities, which give the children the opportunity to explore playing in different contexts and with different instruments. Some examples of activities are:
- Playing 1:1 with the therapist
- Drumming circle activities as a group
- Playing duets with another child
- Song writing
- Free improvisation – making up music altogether without using a particular structure.
These activities can help children to grow in their ability to listen and respond to others and express their own thoughts and feelings in return.
When and where does it happen?
Music Therapy sessions take place during the school day, in the Music Box.
Will my child enjoy the sessions?
Yes! To help them feel comfortable from the start, your child will have the chance to meet Jane for an informal chat the week before the sessions begin.
What are the benefits of Music Therapy?
These can include:
- increased participation and engagement
- improved communication and social skills
- enhanced awareness of self and others
- an opportunity to express and understand difficult feelings
- personal satisfaction and a sense of achievement.