Music Therapy is not the same as music tuition: its purpose is not to teach someone how to play an instrument but to allow them to translate their emotions and psychological processes into expressive music in order to release feelings, repair them and heal. Music can offer an alternative method of communication or expression where words are not an option or are inadequate. Some feelings are just too heavy for words to carry – but music always finds a way to express them. The aim is to bring out the client’s creativity in order to develop positive changes in behaviour, emotional and physical well-being and communication.
The intense emotional response to music seems to be unimpaired by illness or disability.
CMST’s team of music therapists are all skilled musicians who have undergone professional music therapy training at post-graduate level. They are all registered with and monitored by the Health and Care Professionals Council and they are all supported with regular professional supervision.
Music is a powerful emotional medium which can affect people profoundly And seems to give us permission to connect with our deepest emotions. These emotions can sometimes be melancholy and sad, sometimes angry, sometimes exuberant, joyous and life affirming.
Moreover, this intense emotional response to music seems to be unimpaired by illness or disability.
"With its emphasis on listening, turn-taking and self-expression, music therapy can provide the perfect way to enter the world of communication and social interaction."
Melody is a risk
HOW YOU PLAY IS WHO YOU ARE
Music therapists are rigorously and carefully trained to tune into and support whatever their client needs to express. Using improvised music, the therapist may also encourage clients to explore connections between the music they create and thoughts or events in their lives, which can lead to life-changing insights and shifts in behaviour.
Importantly – and wonderfully - as it is unburdened by the need for words, music therapy can be particularly effective in helping clients who have no speech, for whom the world of words is not available - or who lack the ability to talk about their emotions.
WHO IS MUSIC THERAPY FOR?
Music therapy has proven effectiveness for those with:
- Learning disabilities
- Challenging behaviour
- Developmental delay
- Mental health problems
- Physical difficulties
- Bereavement issues
- Eating disorders
- Autistic spectrum conditions
- Problems relating to abuse
- Attachment issues
- Family and adoption issues
- Dementia and Alzheimer’s
- Life threatening conditions
- Life-limiting conditions
Our approach aims to be accessible and beneficial to anyone who requires support. A carefully planned assessment is always carried out to ensure that the client is receiving the best possible service.
Music therapy can help to
- identify, connect with and express feelings
- build self-confidence
- develop social and communication skills
- enhance self-awareness
- recognise and manage any unhelpful behaviours or thoughts
"I have seen music therapy encourage my pupils into the world of social interaction where other interventions have failed."
WHAT HAPPENS IN A MUSIC THERAPY SESSION?
Therapists work with either individuals or groups in a variety of settings and adjust the sessions according to the needs of each client.
A diverse range of instruments are provided which the client can use to express themselves freely if they so wish. Improvised music is the main tool used by the therapists to interact and support whatever the client brings. The approach is flexible enough to allow for all abilities and needs. For young children, the music-making can be enormous, safe and boundaried fun; for older clients music can offer its power to create an intense experience.
Consistent and regular sessions enable a trusting relationship to develop between client and therapist so that any emotion or behaviour can be explored safely and constructively.
The non-verbal nature of the music is more accessible and expressive than a talking therapy alone and is particularly effective for those who do not have the ability to communicate verbally or find it difficult to express in words.
"Our music therapist has helped pupils express feelings which were preventing an engagement with their learning process."
WHERE DO MUSIC THERAPISTS WORK?
Across Cornwall, CMST’s music therapists work in a variety of settings including hospitals, mainstream and special schools, children’s centres, nurseries and residential care homes.
The therapists liaise with other health and education professionals, parents and carers. They provide written reports for annual reviews, attend case meetings and reviews.
Eric the farmer
"I have seen music therapy open up the world to children with profound communication difficulties. For our pupils who cannot express themselves through language, a special hour shared with their music therapist enables them to express their emotions and share interactions using the universal langauge of music."
Helen Collinge, Head Teacher Treleigh School
The school/centre needs to provide an allocated space which can be used for the weekly therapy sessions. It is important that the allocated space is free from interruptions in order to maintain confidentiality and protect the rights of the client to privacy and respect.
HOW DO I MAKE A REFERRAL?
"I have learned that music therapy is much more than banging on a tambourine. It is an intervention which develops intense relationships and through them enables people to change their lives."
Referrals for Music Therapy can be made by a range of professionals including: schools, health practitioners, voluntary sector agencies, social workers and residential care homes. It is also possible to make a self referral.
"Music’s great; I can put my secrets in the music and the music looks after them for me"
(9yo boy with severe attachment difficulties)
We can deliver:
One-to one sessions
You will need to provide a room - ideally private and undisturbed and where the music will not disturb others.
Our therapists will discuss aims and outcomes with you prior to beginning sessions. They will monitor progress towards these aims, discuss this with you and produce interim reports. If you have instruments – or if the client has his/her own instruments – great. Otherwise our therapist will bring a careful selection of carefully chosen, easy-to-play instruments.
Cost: £50.00 per session (up to 50mins)
"Music Therapy helped me
express emotions I didn’t realise I had"
(37yo client with bi-polar disorder)
You will need to provide a suitably-sized room - ideally private and undisturbed and where the music will not disturb others.
Our therapists will discuss aims and outcomes with you for each group member prior to beginning sessions. They will monitor progress towards these aims, discuss this with you and produce interim reports. If you have instruments – or if the group members have their own instruments – great. Otherwise our therapist will bring a selection of carefully chosen, easy-to-play instruments.
Cost: £75.00 per session (up to 90mins)
"As well as having an opportunity to express their feelings, children having music therapy develop self esteem and social skills such as listening, turn taking and appropriate communication. All of this can transpose to the classroom and help enhance their learning experience".
Dr Bob Coburn, former Head Teacher, Curnow School
In- service Training
Book a music therapy workshop for a half day or a whole day. One of our music therapists will come and show your staff team the principles of music therapy and how music therapy can change lives. It can be an emotional, bonding experience for your staff. They will not only gain insights into the people they teach or look after - they will find out about themselves too. A powerful experience - carefully and sensitively handled by our therapists.
Cost: £175/ £350.00
Workshops for parents/family members/carers
Workshops for family/carers who want to use music and songs more effectively with their child/children at home
Cost: half day (3 hours): £175
Details of our terms and conditions can be found in the downloadable Service Delivery Agreement.
British Association for Music Therapy www.bamt.org
Health and Care Professions Council www.hcpc-uk.co.uk