Matthew’s story

Matthew acquired a brain injury in a motorbike accident that also caused multiple physical injuries. After being referred to music therapy as part of his ongoing rehabilitation, it became a valuable part to supporting his social, physical, cognitive and communication goals.

Music therapy facilitates a space where Matthew can make sound and be as loud as wants in what otherwise is quite a silent existence for him.

 

In his twenties, Matthew acquired a brain injury in a motorbike accident that also caused multiple physical injuries. His ability to communicate was affected, and he experienced significant cognitive, emotional and behavioural changes. A few years after his accident, Matthew was admitted to Tŷ Aberdafen, a brain injury rehabilitation centre in Wales and part of The Disabilities Trust network of services, where he began a multi-discipline rehabilitation programme.

Music therapist Lucie shares the impact that music therapy has had on Matthew:

“Matthew has been having music therapy as part of his ongoing rehabilitation at Tŷ Aberdafen. Matthew uses a wheelchair and requires support for everyday tasks and communicates mostly through using gestures and electronic devices. He is always excited to attend his sessions and some days music is the only thing that motivates him.

After the first year of us working together, we worked with a variety of instruments in our sessions, but Matthew’s favourite is definitely the drums! I began to see improvements in Matthew’s concentration and focus, and in his listening and physical control of the beater. Matthew can communicate his playfulness and sense of humour more clearly, giving him a heightened experience of leading – and of catching me out!

I soon started to encourage Matthew to use his voice more, as this is something he doesn’t tend to do outside of sessions. In one particular session, we finished with a familiar pop song and, unprompted, Matthew joined in with the chorus! I’d never heard his voice before and had been told by Speech and Language that he wasn’t going to regain functional use of his language. Matt doesn’t use his voice the rest of the week yet, here he was, asking to be heard!

Music therapy has been a valuable part of Matthew’s rehabilitation, supporting his social, physical, cognitive and communication goals. Our musical work encourages him to be more present and aware of himself and those around him, offering a different way of expressing his personality and helping him to explore different avenues of communication. Matthew’s sessions also offer him an experience of empowerment through being in control and leading, which feels highly significant in the context of his life.”

Hear more from us

If you would like to know more about music therapy stories, services or how you can help to support Nordoff Robbins, then please sign up here

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.