Josh’s story

Music therapy has brought great joy to Josh and his family as he has delighted in the freedom to explore, express himself and make music. 

Josh is four years old and is supported by CHAS, Children’s Hospices Across Scotland, as he was born with a complex heart condition. He has been receiving weekly music therapy sessions with music therapist Polly via Zoom, as part of the partnership between CHAS and Nordoff Robbins.     

As Josh is non-verbal and loves listening to music at home, it was hoped that music therapy would give him an opportunity to find his voice and express himself, as well as enjoy a fun and creative experience during a difficult period of isolation and uncertainty. Described as a ‘silent child’ by his parents, music therapy offered a space where they could watch him thrive and where he would feel valued, heard and celebrated. 

At the beginning of his music therapy, Josh seemed unsure and tentative when watching Polly on the screen. He often wore an expression of confusion and threw instruments across the room when they were given to him. But very quickly, Josh gained an understanding that his musical interactions with Polly were shared, and that her responses to him were live rather than just being a video on a screen. His confidence and creativity soon flourished as he began to find innovative ways to play and lead Polly in the music, and even use his voice to sing and express himself.  

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As Josh was such a quiet child, with such complex needs, I really wanted to create a world where he could express himself, make music and be celebrated… Through singing and playing in the sessions, the magic of music has helped Josh find his voice and be heard when that wasn’t always possible before.”

Polly, Music therapist 

Claire, Josh’s mum shared,

“Josh’s smile during his music sessions is infectious, you cannot help but join in. The sessions allow our family protected ‘Josh-time’ to just enjoy watching him interact, develop and most importantly enjoy the music.”

Josh’s sessions have brought great joy to both him and his family, as he has delighted in the freedom to explore and make music. Josh has been able to discover the immediate sense of connection, expression and playfulness found in his musical interactions with Polly, helping him grow in confidence and find his singing voice.  

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