BRITs Blog – meet Bev

We couldn’t do what we do without the generous support of the BRIT Trust. Through the Nordoff Robbins Graduate/ Partnership development scheme, their support allows us to reach more people across the UK and over the next six months, we’ll hear from the music therapy graduates who are benefiting from the scheme.

Bev’s story

My name is Bev and I have been working at Percy Hedley School in Newcastle since September as part of the Nordoff Robbins Graduate Employment scheme, which is part-subsidised by the BRIT Trust. Percy Hedley was first set up in 1953 and since then has continued to extend and develop the work they do to make sure children, young people and adults with Cerebral Palsy and other communication and sensory impairments have equal opportunities in life. 

I have been delivering music therapy on their primary site, working with early years children who have severe and complex needs.  I can’t believe I have been here for a month already – I am loving the work and seeing the positive impact music is having on the children. I have a full timetable of individuals and groups and many of the staff members sit in on my sessions. The speech and language therapist tells me that the support staff fight over whose turn it is to go to music therapy as they enjoy seeing the children engage so well. Their extensive knowledge of the children really helps me gain more insight into their needs, while also giving me great feedback on the sessions. One staff member recently said “I was choked up and getting rather emotional, seeing what John was able to do. I have never heard him vocalise this much in the whole time I have known him!”

It is great to finally be working as a qualified music therapist as it has been a life long dream of mine. The hard work paid off as I graduated last week and I definitely felt proud to be wearing my mortarboard and gown! 

The children at Percy Hedley constantly challenge but also inspire me as they overcome difficulties. I have seen some amazing things already in my sessions. Last week I worked with a young boy with severe autism. He finds it difficult to build relationships, has communication difficulties and is very sensitive to noise. He becomes very anxious as he finds it difficult to understand and relate to the world around him. In session 1, Jake͙ (not his real name) was too afraid of the accordion and would not let me touch it. He covered his ears and ran away.  After 3 sessions, this young boy now races to his sessions, and has grown in confidence and enjoys new experiences. He continues to make more sustained eye contact, and we can share in the music together. He now points to the accordion every week, wanting me to play it with him. Over the weeks I hope we can continue developing this musical relationship in the hope that this work will impact positively on his school and home life.  

I am looking forward to seeing how the sessions develop in the future and become more integrated into the team. The Percy Hedley foundation believes in working together to unlock potential and achievement for all. From what I have seen, music therapy has been a really positive, well received tool for achieving this.

Nordoff Robbins and the BRIT Trust

Find out more about the music therapists who are benefiting from the BRIT Trust Nordoff Robbins Graduate/ Partnership development scheme.