Making music together

We work with a wide range of partner organisations to deliver music therapy across the UK. Here’s an update from our music therapist Alison on her work with Turning Point. 

Since January 2016 I’ve had the privilege of being involved in an exciting new partnership. As the music therapist working in this project I’d like to share this update with you.

Turning Point is a social enterprise, focused on improving lives and communities. They currently provide 200 different services in the UK across mental health, learning disability and substance misuse.

Nordoff Robbins has been providing music therapy for two learning disabilities services at Turning Point in Salisbury, and since the start I’ve felt so welcomed into the Turning Point team!

On Thursday mornings the weekly music therapy group takes place in a church hall and can be accessed by anyone who lives in Turning Point’s residential services around Salisbury.  We GOT LOUD for Nordoff Robbins on 8th June with the biggest group yet – 24 people! After lots of creative music making we enjoyed well-earned cake to celebrate NR providing music therapy for over 40 years.

The group provides opportunities for social interaction and connection through music. It’s a welcoming and safe place where each individual’s unique personality can be explored and expressed. Each group members’ well-being and self esteem are at the fore front of my mind as I run and reflect on the music therapy sessions.

“I like meeting my friends and joining in singing.”

Group member

Lucy, a Turning Point Team Leader who instigated this partnership, spoke of how a gentleman who is often withdrawn had responded to the group;

“Music therapy just seems to work for him, in the group he is so happy, he stays and he’s able to be social in music.”

In July, the Thursday morning group will be putting on a summer music show where friends and family will be welcome to join us.  I’m really looking forward to continuing in this music therapy process, as I’m delighted this partnership has been extended.

I also worked at Refocus Day Centre for 4 months. Weekly music therapy sessions were accessed by over 20 people, in both group and individual formats. Cesca (a support worker at Refocus) was key to the development of an additional  small group music therapy project. The evening club created and recorded their very own song.

At both venues, I’ve also been working with people on a 1:1 basis.  Individual music therapy sessions are tailored to meet the individual needs of each person. This could be in supporting a person in social interaction and communication, and strengthening sense of self and identity. Core to the Nordoff Robbins approach is the belief that everyone has an innate response to music – through this work I’m able to see every day how music can enable everyone.

Alison Hughes

Nordoff Robbins Music Therapist

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