HCPC Registered Music Therapist
Hello, I’m Sarah and I form part of the new Creative Arts Therapies team at Richmond Hill Primary School. I am a member of Music Therapy Bedfordshire, a team of music therapists who work in child and adult settings all over Bedfordshire.
Why offer Creative Arts Therapies at Richmond Hill?
Offering appropriate therapeutic support to our most vulnerable children can help improve their mental health, relationships and engagement in school, enabling them to develop the skills and resilience to achieve at school and live happier and healthier lives.
What is a Music Therapist?
Music Therapists are musicians with a postgraduate Masters Degree in Music Therapy. All working music therapists are registered with the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) and are Allied Health Professionals.
At Richmond Hill Primary School, my job as a music therapist involves using songs, instruments, sounds, story-telling, role-play and musical activities to work with the language, emotional, social and developmental needs of the children.
What is Music Therapy?
Music Therapy is an established psychological clinical intervention. Weekly music therapy offers a child valuable 1:1 time to develop a stable, trusting relationship in a safe space. Making up music or songs together provides an opportunity for a child to express themselves to another so they can feel listened to and understood. It is a flexible and playful way of supporting the varied needs of children from different cultures and those with sensory impairments, physical and learning disabilities and serious illnesses.
Music Therapists also support the development of a child’s safe and confident communication and social interaction so a child can build positive relationships.
Who benefits from Music Therapy?
Music Therapists work with children, young people and adults who find it challenging to understand or talk about their difficult feelings or experiences. Children who may have experienced significant changes or upsetting events in their lives may benefit from weekly therapy to process what has happened and how they feel.
Children may benefit from a course of music therapy if they have experienced the following:
- Life-changing events including bereavement, trauma, abuse, separation from parent/carer, parental illness, significant transitions
- Depression or low self-esteem
- Difficulties in self-regulation
- Severe anxiety
- Issues surrounding their identity
What happens in music therapy sessions?
Within a music therapy session, the child will have access to a wide range of instruments. The therapist will encourage the child to choose and explore different sounds and will respond in a way that makes the child feel comfortable, safe and listened to.
The content of music therapy sessions is confidential but themes and observations regarding a child’s behaviour which will help build a better understanding of how to support the child, will be shared with professionals and carers. If a child is deemed to be at risk to themselves or others, the music therapist will follow the school’s safeguarding policies.
Referrals are initially made by a child’s teacher, Deputy Head or Head teacher and are discussed and reviewed with the music therapist. If the decision is made to offer the child a course of music therapy, the therapist will contact the child’s parent/carer to request written consent and arrange a telephone conversation to discuss their own views on their child’s interests and challenges and how music therapy could support them.
What if my child has been referred to music therapy but doesn’t like music or loud sounds?
Many children do not like loud sounds or music which they cannot control. Often children who are normally afraid of loud sounds really enjoy making them when they are in control. Music Therapists take a special interest in the effect of different sounds on each individual.
If you have any further questions about the Music Therapy Service, please contact the office on firstname.lastname@example.org who will pass on any specific queries to myself.
For further information about music therapy, please visit the following websites: