Rick’s story

For many children across the UK, the Coronavirus outbreak has impacted on their mental health and wellbeing especially whilst in school. For Rick, music therapy provided a safe and familiar environment for him to feel heard and valued.

Rick is 12-years-old and started a new secondary school last August during the pandemic. He has a duplication of a chromosome which impacts his learning, communication, emotional regulations, motor skills and health. He also developed epilepsy a few years ago and after a severe seizure, took a long time to gain his mobility and independence again.

After his move over to secondary school, Rick’s teachers noticed that it was challenging for him as he displayed very high levels of anxiety and sensory overload. His anxiety presented in distressed behaviour such as impulsiveness, throwing objects and destroying resource. But during his classes, it was recognised that he enjoyed music and thought it could help support him to develop his skills and manage his anxiety whilst at school.

Rick was soon introduced to music therapist Kathryn, where he immediately became engaged and responded quickly to the music therapy and activities offered. During his sessions, Rick took part in many turn-taking activities and developed enormous confidence in leading these. Then after a couple of weeks, Rick began voluntarily singing with Kathryn and became very expressive with his voice.

Music has been a valuable and creative medium for Rick to communicate with others and to feel heard and valued himself. Although his sessions have been through a computer screen, Rick has still been able to develop many skills, express himself, increase his confidence and find joy and a sense of achievement in his music therapy with Kathryn.


Support for Learning Leader at Rick’s school, Carolyn said,

“Myself and my colleagues have been really amazed at how effective the music intervention has been at decreasing anxiety and stress levels.

The music therapy sessions have provided a safe and familiar environment for Rick to connect with Kathryn and to explore his love of music, dance and singing.”

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