Get Loud 2019 – How music therapy can enrich lives

Each week during Get Loud we have focused a spotlight on different people supported by our music therapy work and have asked you, as our supporters, to share the music that means the most to you.

Feel Good: Music Therapy and Mental Health

 To mark the start of Get Loud 2019, we shared Simon’s story and asked you to share your feel good anthems. Below you can listen to Simon’s.

Tragically, a number of years ago Simon suffered multiple family bereavements and was left homeless. With little meaning or structure, his life began spiralling out of control. Music therapist Oli and Simon worked together to build Simon’s self-esteem and improve his social and mental health, encouraging Simon to take his own lead in music making and nurture his confidence in a supportive environment where his music is celebrated and acknowledged.

Simon tells us that his music therapy sessions “are something to look forward to every week” and that he gets real pleasure out of the music. “It’s good to do new things especially now being part of a music group!”

Playlist #1 – your feel good anthem

Listen in full, here

Lyrics: Music Therapy and Neurological Conditions

Recovering in hospital from meningitis encephalitis, music therapy reintroduced music back into Charlotte’s life at a time when she needed it most.

Meningitis encephalitis is an inflammation of the brain. Initially Charlotte’s condition affected the use of both her arms and legs, her head control and speech. It became a challenge for her to find words and when she did manage to find them, they often came out disjointed.

Music had always been part of Charlotte’s life, yet for the first few weeks of being in hospital she didn’t once sing or listen to any music. Soon into her hospital stay, she started working with music therapist Alan and together they wrote a song which focuses on Charlotte’s personal journey to recovery – they called it ‘Change’.

For week two of the campaign we shined a light on how music therapy can support people living with neurological conditions or brain injuries. In recognition of Charlotte’s song, we asked you to share the songs with your favourite lyrics.

Playlist #2 – Your Favourite lyrics

Listen here

Week 3 - Community Music and Connection

In Week Three we explored community in music. For Joy, singing in a choir after her husband’s death helped her to feel herself again, and provided her with a sense of community. We asked you to share the songs which reminded you of your friends.

Playlist #3 – Your Best friends

Listen here

Joy’s Story

Week 4 - Music Therapy and Autism

For week four we focused on music therapy and autism – and told Lenny’s story.

Lenny has autism and attends a school for children with profound and multiple learning difficulties and additional needs. While Lenny can find it challenging to communicate and interact, he has found a social connection that doesn’t require words in his music therapy sessions with Luke.

Nordoff Robbins music therapist Luke said that when he first started working with Lenny, he would sit quietly and was disengaged from the world around him. Their early sessions together were hit and miss -some days Lenny would only manage a few bangs on the drum while on others he would respond to Luke’s invitations to sing.

Over time, Lenny and Luke have developed a greater understanding of one another. Now, Lenny jumps out of his chair when Luke arrives to pick him up for his music therapy session on a Wednesday morning, and he also frequently sings and explores new instruments in his sessions!

Luke added: “Working with Lenny reminds me that music therapy is not something done to people, but with them. Our music is born equally out of us both, as much Lenny’s choices, voice and movement as my own accompaniment. I am not working to try and change Lenny, but instead to offer him the chance to experience himself and the world around him differently through a shared moment with another person. We have had such a deeply connected and communicative journey with one another, all with barely saying a word.”

For the playlist in Week Four, We asked you to share the songs that make you smile!


Listen here

Lenny’s Story

music therapy and autism

Week 5 - Music Therapy and Dementia

For the final week of the campaign we looked at music therapy and dementia , and we told Sylvia’s story. Sylvia has dementia and Down’s Syndrome and lives in a supported living setting. Music has always been a big part of her life but despite her love of music, when Sylvia started music therapy she was often withdrawn and would sit quietly during sessions. However, over time, Sylvia began to engage – she started singing, seeking interaction and engaging with instruments. While other members of the group were playing, she would reach out towards them in encouragement and often dance in response!

To celebrate the importance of music in memories, we asked you to share the songs that reminded you of good times.

Playlist #5 – good times!

Listen here

Angela and Sylvia sinGing together