Thomas’ story

Since the pandemic, seven-year-old Thomas has not been able to leave his hospital room or have any visitors other than his mum. Music therapy is one of the only chances Thomas has each week to escape.

In his music therapy sessions with Janet, Thomas is given the opportunity to fully connect and express himself using all aspects of music.


Thomas, who is seven years old, has been living in hospital for four years. Since the Covid-19 pandemic, has not been able to leave his hospital room or have any visitors other than his mum.   

Paralysed from the neck down, his mood and level of motivation were low, and he experienced frequent periods of anger and frustration. Because of this, he was referred to Nordoff Robbins Music Therapy as part of the Children’s Hospices Across Scotland (CHAS) ‘Virtual Hospice’ to help with social isolation and to support his mental health.   

Thomas started to receive music therapy sessions every week with music therapist, Janet, and it is one of the only chances he has each week to escape. When making music with Thomas, Janet said, “Given his minimal physical movement, music therapy focusses on his vocal abilities, facial expressions and maximising his imagination. It offers him a way to find energy and power.”

“He looks so happy,” said Thomas’ mum, Dayna after seeing his sessions. “He’s benefiting so much from having the sessions with Janet, and it’s made such a difference to his mood. He really looks forward to them.”   

Due to the complex treatment he needs, Thomas has been more isolated than ever during this crisis, which is why his weekly music therapy sessions are such a highlight, and so important to his wellbeing.   

Music therapy is offered in partnership between CHAS and Nordoff Robbins Music Therapy. 


Activities Coordinator at CHAS Eilidh said,

“When we started the Zoom sessions with Thomas, he would come on, and he would just not be in the mood for anybody. And then as soon as the session started, his face would relax and he’d really get involved in the sessions which is amazing.

It becomes a real partnership between the music therapist and the child.”  

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