Harvey’s story

Music therapy helped give Harvey courage and confidence during a traumatic change in his life. Through music, he was able to find close friends and soon became a musical superhero within his neuro-rehab ward family.

“I was dreaming I was a superhero…”    

Harvey is 10 years old and first met music therapist Brigitte in 2018 at the Royal Manchester Children’s hospital, after he had fallen ill with a virus that left him paralysed from the neck down. At the time, he was staying on the neuro-rehab ward where the long-term ventilated children are cared for. Harvey required help with everything, was also not able to speak and only communicated with his eyes and face. Yet, he was so excited to start music therapy sessions with Brigitte.

Harvey’s physiotherapy involved practising mobility, head control and spending time in a standing frame, all very challenging and painful for him. To help Harvey through his physiotherapy, the physio team and Brigitte soon worked together to include music therapy within his sessions. Music with Brigitte motivated Harvey and gave him something enjoyable to focus on, rather than the difficult and unpleasant tasks.

Harvey said, “I was dreaming I was a superhero.”

Soon, Harvey was able to join the group sessions with the other children on the ward and in over 50 group sessions, he turned into a musical superhero! He and his family all took part in the group singing together and played musical instruments with the other patients, nurses and nursing students and many more. The aim of the group ward music sessions was to help the children listen to each other and make music together. Through music, Harvey formed many close friendships with the other children, and looked after everybody in the group whilst captivating many with his flourishing musical talent.

Music therapist Brigitte said,

“Harvey’s musical development has been phenomenal: from the quietest tapping with a fingertip on the ocean drum, he gained strength to play a lot louder and with more confidence. Music has given him courage to try and try again.

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