Elizabeth's story

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I don’t know where I would be without Nordoff Robbins.

As a 23 year old living with Dysphasia and mild Autism, life can be totally overwhelming. The Dysphasia means that I have real trouble reading people’s facial expressions and voice tone, and that often makes me very confused and very frustrated.

For years people have struggled to understand me, and this led to severe Depression and Anxiety. At times I have felt like I just can’t go on with life.

One thing I knew that helped me was music. I always had a connection with music and enjoyed playing the guitar and song-writing. One day my sister mentioned Nordoff Robbins; she had worked on one of their events and suggested that we get in touch. My mum put the call in – all she wanted was to help me find somewhere where I could be supported and where I would be able to make music with other people, and just fit in, and so did I.

The first time I came to Nordoff Robbins I was extremely nervous. My mum and sister came with me, knowing there was a good chance that I just wouldn’t be able to do it. But I was blown away, that first session was more than I could have expected; that they were incredible. The team were just so warm and welcoming and I realised straight away that this was the environment for me, a place where I could finally be myself.  

That was six years ago, and today I would be lost without Nordoff Robbins. I attend group sessions once a week where I get to make music and express myself with people that I now consider my good friends. Music therapy helps me in so many ways; for me it is a safe place where I can forget my problems and just be happy.

Music therapy has had such a calming influence on my mind; it helps me manage every day. My music therapist Lindsay has helped me build my confidence and self-esteem and the way we share stories and support each other in the group has greatly reduced my anxiety and depression. I recently wrote a song about the people in my group which I performed to them during a session – I wanted to show them how much I appreciate their support and friendship, and that was a really special moment.

Because of the difference in my anxiety and depression I am now able to work part time which is huge step forward for me, and I even volunteer here at Nordoff Robbins assisting in a parent and toddler group. I am so inspired by the work the music therapists do here that I would love to train in the profession myself one day, so that I can help others like they helped me.

Music therapy brings people to life, just by picking up an instrument and joining together in music it helps to heal people, whatever pain or trauma or problem you have been through, it can help. You can be yourself, without judgement and that is what I love about it.

I see how music changes people in the group for the better, how it has changed me for the better. Not only has it made a difference to my mental health, I have also become so much more grateful for the things and the people I have around me.

Without Nordoff Robbins I would probably still be struggling every day.  When words fail me, music speaks and it’s made a huge impact on my life; I just feel so privileged for that.