World Music Therapy Day 2019

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Fri, 1/3/2019
On World Music Therapy Day, we asked some of our music therapists to explain what music therapy means to them.

Richard Bennet, who delivers music therapy sessions across London and the South East said:

“In music therapy we get to work with our knowledge, our care and our creativity. With our head, our heart and our hands. It takes all of me to be a music therapist, but it is undoubtedly worth it. The people we work with at Nordoff Robbins are often facing unimaginable life circumstances. Music creates a ladder to climb above the tribulations and complexities of our everyday lives. What greater privilege than to be the musician who holds that ladder in place for those who need it the most?"

Joe Jezzard, who delivers many of his sessions to individuals facing serious illness or cancer said:

“Serious illness and social isolation often go hand-in-hand and whilst there are incredible ways of managing illness the associated isolation and loneliness can remain unaddressed. In music we can effectively foster experiences of meaningful connection and companionship, supporting a person’s overall wellbeing when facing serious illness.”

Lucie Phillips, who delivers music therapy sessions in Wales said:

"To me, music therapy is about connection, interaction, journeying, providing a space to express and explore, and being listened to in a different way. It is a wonderful privilege to work within an art form that can connect with someone during a time when they are finding it difficult to connect with the rest of the world. And being able to offer that through a means of communication that doesn't rely on words is truly humbling and part of why I am so passionate about working as a music therapist."

Anna Tyrell, who delivers music therapy sessions across the South West and South Wales said:

Music therapy enables me to build relationships with people who might not communicate verbally, but are longing for connection with others. Sometimes words are too painful and music affords a safe way to interact and be playful; sometimes music lets a person say: “This is me! I have ideas and choices and can express, which I'm able to express through playing instrument." "As a music therapist, I work in wide range of settings, but every day brings challenge, wonder and above all, joy. It’s my dream job!"

Janet McLachlan has been delivering music therapy in Scotland for the past sixteen years. Speaking of her work she said:

“One of the many joys of being a music therapist is the opportunity to support an amazing diversity of people every week. Each person we reach is unique, and music therapy enables their uniqueness to be fully expressed and celebrated. We get to witness extraordinary moments of creativity, humanity and strength. My work in children’s palliative care has taught me that music truly has a power to reach beyond illness. At the end of a child’s life, music therapy can offer hope, comfort and a vital ‘life-line’ of connection for both the child and their family. The word ’rewarding’ doesn’t quite do this work justice!"

Fraser Moyle, who delivers music therapy in London and the South East said:

“Music is at the very heart of our lives; it brings people together through shared experiences and connect us in ways words cannot. Children with communication difficulties can find it hard to express themselves with words and engage with others around them. It is through music that we can offer them opportunities to play, sing, listen and respond to others. As a child at school said recently, ‘Today is music day!’ But to me, as a music therapist, every day is music day!”

Luke delivers music therapy sessions in the North East and Yorkshire. Many of his sessions take place at a specialist centre for people living with an acquired brain injury. Speaking of his work he said:

The thing I enjoy most is seeing what music therapy can bring to people living with brain injuries and the staff and families who support them. From tiny moments of connection to supporting people to perform, the moments where I see music truly helping are the times when I feel both proud and privileged to do the job I do.” 

Thanks to our amazing supporters, our music therapists are delivering more music therapy sessions to vulnerable and isolated people than ever before. On World Music Therapy Day we want to thank everyone who has enabled us to reach people in need with the life-changing power of music.