Jonathan’s Story

Jonathan is undergoing painful and exhausting cancer treatment but music therapy is helping him overcome the isolation it can bring and giving him new ways to express himself. 

When Jonathan was 18 months old he was diagnosed with neuroblasoma, cancer of the nerve tissue. His family were given a poor prognosis and he underwent months of aggressive treatments and surgeries. 

He’s now six and still undergoing painful and exhausting treatments which have kept him in hospital for long periods of time and often in isolation due to the high risk of infection 

This is when music therapy has become so important, giving him the opportunities he needs for expression and interaction, at a time when his opportunities to develop his skills, interact with others and explore the world around him are very limited 

His mum Janneth said: “Jonathan’s got an excellent ear. It’s such a joy to see and hear him in music therapy. He connects so deeply with music that he can be fully himself, music brings the best energy and positivity out of him.  

Jonathan’s music therapist Jose said: “Bearing in mind the limitations of Jonathan’s life, music allows him to experience engaging in a meaningful social activity where he is able to explore but also have some sense of control at a time when he feels so little of it.     

Music allows him to be flexible, playful and explore different aspects of music, such as rhythms, and being able to relate to the people around him in his sessions, through the music-making.    

Jonathan is fully committed to the music – he knows he has an important role to play with his instruments, which perhaps gives him that sense of responsibility and ownership he so needs at the moment. 


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