Introduction: Ruth and Phil are both music therapists working with disabled children who come to CPotential and Woodstar School.
In this video, we’ll explain why we use music therapy here and how it benefits the children. We hope this may help you decide if music therapy could help your child too.
Ruth: The children who come to the Centre face a variety of challenges due to conditions such as cerebral palsy, acquired brain injury or global development delay.
Music therapy is complementary to all the other approaches and therapies at CPotential and it plays an important role in supporting the children’s emotional needs.
Music therapy is a dynamic way to use music making and singing to help people grow and develop in lots of ways. Music therapy is often used with people facing challenges such as disability, injury, trauma or social isolation.
Using instruments such as piano, guitar, drums and percussion we encourage children to make music with us, with their peers and often with their parents.
We encourage them to be as active as possible in creating music.
Accessing music making in a child led and focussed way has many benefits for children with disabilities, and can help them to develop their:
- communication and social interaction
- confidence and independence
- skills in using their voice and speech
- physical coordination and movement control
- fine and gross motor skills
- ability to manage their emotions
- social skills – learning to take turns
- sense of self worth.
And it’s usually a lot of fun too.
By gentle repetition over time, these skills can help them not just in the session but, more importantly, in other situations in ordinary family life.
When working with a child whose expressive language is impaired by their physical difficulties we encourage that child to sing, to develop their vocalisation and speech so that they gain confidence in using their voice as well as actually utilizing the physical mechanisms for speech formation.
Here’s one of our school pupils singing a song from the Disney musical Moana.
Here I am taking my lead in the session from one of the school pupils. It’s all about nurturing her ability to lead, to feel empowered and heard.
Phil: We try to be very careful to adapt our approach to support the individual goals and needs of each child.
Here you can see me saying hello at a pace that gives time for the child to respond and take part fully in the music making.
Here you see me offering the guitar to a child with limited movement to give her the opportunity to play an instrument and learn that the sound she’s making comes from her own actions.
We often encourage parents/ carers to come along to the sessions to join in so they can support their child, to experience new ways of interacting with their children and also just to take part.
Child (through voice synthesizer): I like music therapy because I like singing. I like singing because I’m good at it. Music therapy helps me to sing because it helps me use my voice. When I am singing I am more relaxed than when I am talking. It makes me be loud and confident.
Ruth: If you’re interested in your child coming to music therapy sessions at CPotential, please contact us.