Who is music therapy for?
Music therapists work with children and adults who have a wide range of needs, including learning disabilities, physical, emotional and psychological disorders and sensory impairments.
The music therapists work in a variety of settings, such as hospitals, special schools, day centres, the community, the prison service and in private practice. they may be employed by the National Health Service, local Education Authorities or the Department of Social Services.
Some may be funded by charitable organisations, trusts or be self employed. In all work settings, music therapists function as part of the multi-disciplinary team, their observations adding greatly to the understanding of each client's needs, abilities or problems.
How can music therapy help?
The benefits gained from music therapy may be as varied as the needs of the clients using the service. For example, music can convey feeling without the use of words. For a person whose difficulties are mainly emotional, music therapy can provide a safe setting where 'difficult' or repressed feelings may be expressed and contained.
By offering support and acceptance the therapist can help the client to work towards emotional release and self acceptance.
Music is essentially a social activity involving communication, listening and sharing. These skills may be developed within the musical relationship with the therapist and, in group therapy, with other members.
As a result clients may develop a greater awareness of themselves in relation to others. This can include developing greater confidence in their own ability to make relationships and to find positive ways of making their needs known. It can greatly enhance their self-esteem.