Celebrating our Newcastle Music Therapy Centre’s first birthday!

One year ago today, on Wednesday 21 March 2018, music legend Sting officially opened our music therapy centre in the North East. On the day, Sting was joined by Ricky Wilson and Nick ‘Peanut’ Baines of the Kaiser Chiefs to celebrate the opening. The bespoke centre was built through the generous support we received from the Graham Wylie Foundation, and we would like to thank Graham Wylie and the Foundation’s CEO, Angie Jenkinson.

Graham Wylie said: “Happy first birthday to the music therapy centre. With my office being so close, I’ve been able to watch the centre develop and see the children coming and going, receiving their music therapy and it makes me very proud indeed.”

The centre, at the former Matron’s Lodge on the site of the former Newcastle’s Fleming Hospital is being run by our team of Nordoff Robbins music therapists, enabling people across the North East to access our music services.

At the centre opening Sting said “I am the perfect example of the effectiveness of music therapy, I say this because without music I am not sure of what my life would be like.” One year on from the opening, he echoed these thoughts saying: “Happy First Birthday to the Newcastle Nordoff Robbins Music Therapy Centre! I had a wonderful day there last year opening the centre with a very inspiring kids choir entertaining us.”

The centre started delivering music therapy in April of last year, and since then has welcomed people from across the region, who are now able to access the service free-of-charge, to help support and improve their wellbeing through the skilled use of music.

One of the individuals who we’ve been able to reach through the Newcastle centre is David, whose carer said:

“Nordoff Robbins Music Therapy is the highlight of David’s, and our, week. Despite his complex, multiple disabilities he seems to anticipate the day he attends the centre and chuckles for hours afterwards having enjoyed the music therapy session. There is very little that he can access in the wider community, so having music therapy in Newcastle has helped improve the quality of life of our entire family…Happy Birthday Newcastle Nordoff Robbins, and many thanks!”

Another family spoke about the positive impact of being able to access music therapy at the centre saying:

“Music therapy has raised Jasmine’s self-esteem immensely, she’s given choices, which is something children with disabilities don’t often have.”

As well as enabling us to reach more children and families in the north east with our music therapy services, we’ve been able to use the centre to deliver short courses and training sessions. We’re also incredibly excited by the prospect (subject to validation/HCPC approval) of starting to deliver our Master of Music Therapy training programme from the Newcastle centre later this year.

Marking the first birthday of the Newcastle centre, Nordoff Robbins’ CEO Julie Whelan said:

“Our vision as a charity is a world where music therapy is available to all those who need it, and with our Newcastle centre we’ve been able to take significant steps towards making that vision a reality. We’re incredibly grateful to the Graham Wylie Foundation for funding and enabling our work at the centre, and to everyone involved in establishing the centre over the past year. We look forward to the years ahead at the centre, and to reaching even more people with life-changing music therapy.”