What is Music Therapy?

What is Music Therapy

What is Music Therapy? – Music therapy is the use of creative music making in a safe, therapeutic environment .  The therapist works either individually with a client, or with a number of clients in a music therapy group, and the aims are to meet social, emotional, cognitive, physical, learning and communication needs.  

Music appeals to us all and music therapy can be accessed by anyone.  It is a proven clinical intervention that enhances quality of life by offering meaningful opportunity for relationship building, self expression, creativity and communication.

All of the music is improvised, or spontaneously made up on the spot, and the therapist uses their music to build communication.  We use a variety of instruments such as the piano, guitar, xylophones, drums and other percussion, all of which are available to be freely used by our clients. Making music can be a cathartic, creative experience where our clients can feel heard and understood and a very effective means of expressing themselves and processing difficult feelings without the need to translate those feelings in to words. Encouraging emotional wellbeing and growth through therapeutic support is key to the process.

Music therapy promotes communication, self expression, play and engagement.

What is Music Therapy? – Key points:


  • Music Therapy uses improvised music as a means of building a connection between the therapist and the client.

  • Music Therapy can be accessed by anyone, regardless of their level of impairment.  You do not need musical skill to benefit from Music Therapy.

  • The aims are to meet social, emotional, cognitive, physical, learning and communication needs.

  • Central to the work is the creation of the relationship between the client and therapist. Just as if you sought talking therapy, Music Therapy offers a space to the client where they can explore and process difficult feelings.

  • Music Therapy is an important non-verbal therapeutic intervention and is widely recognised as a valuable part of the care of individuals with a variety of needs.

  • Reduce stress and anxiety
  • Facilitate communication
  • Build relationships and develop interactions
  • Enable an individual to experience and process difficult feelings non-verbally
  • Provide a space where the client can be freely creative
  • Increase awareness of self and others
  • Practise social skills
  • Provide an opportunity to build confidence and a sense of agency
  • Enhance motor skills, fine and gross
  • Encourage vocalising and verbal skills
  • Develop skills such as turn taking
  • Explore challenging behaviour
  • Support aspects of stages of development, including non-verbal interaction, play and language.
  • Provide a safe and cathartic space for the release of feelings.

Our therapists are experienced in working with clients on the autistic spectrum, clients with profound and multiple needs, challenging behaviour, complex learning needs, dementia, pre-school children, family work, end of life care, bereavement, brain injury, cancer support .

Music therapy often succeeds where other interventions have not.  We are all innately musical and music is a tempting and exciting activity, drawing people together to play and be heard.  With the therapists skills and in-depth psychotherapeutic training, all of the work is processed and treated in the same way, and with the same  consideration for confidentiality as talking therapy.

Opening Hours

The Waves Office is open on Tuesday and Wednesday from 9-3pm.  

We will endeavour to answer all enquiries as they arrive, but please note that we are only in the office two days per week.