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Waves music therapy: FAQs

I can’t play and instrument, can I still benefit?

How long is a music therapy session?. 2

How many sessions would there be?. 2

What does Music Therapy cost?. 2

Where do you see clients?. 2

Who do Waves work with?. 3

How do I refer someone to music therapy? ​3

What is the referral process?. 3

How long do I have to wait to begin therapy?. 4

What happens in a Music Therapy session?. 4

What qualifications do Music Therapists have?. 5

What is the evidence that Music therapy is effective?. 5

I am interested in training as a therapist, who do I contact?. 5

What do Waves Music Therapy do?. 6

Where are Waves Music Therapy located?. 6

Who does your service provide for?. 6

How can I start using the service?. 7

How are decisions made about who can use the service?. 7

How do we communicate with service users and how are service users involved in decision making/planning?. 7

Is Waves fully accessible?. 8

What training do the Waves Music Therapists have?. 8




I can’t play and instrument, can I still benefit?

Music therapy is accessible to everyone and you do not need any musical skill to benefit.  Our therapists have experience working with pre school children, families, mainstream children, children and adults with additional needs, palliative care and work and in the NHS.


How long is a music therapy session?

Individual sessions are usually 30 minutes long and groups between 30-50 minutes, depending upon the needs of the service users.  The needs of each client will be carefully evaluated at assessment and decisions made about the right duration for each person.



How many sessions would there be?

The number of music therapy will be discussed at referral. Most commonly this will be 20 weekly sessions after which we evaluate the work, submit reports and continue therapy from there.


Shorter term work is possible if agreed in advance and if we feel that it would be appropriate and beneficial.


What does Music Therapy cost?

Waves Music Therapy charge in line with current BAMT recommended rates:


Music Therapy sessions are £45 for individual sessions. Groups are from £60.  In home music therapy sessions, where the therapist travels to you, are £50


The total charge for each session includes the clinical contact time as well as reports, time for future meetings, handovers with staff, setting up and breaking down of the therapy space, note writing and clinical supervision.


We may also be able to help with funding or guide you towards funding options.


Please contact us for further information.

Where do you see clients?

Waves music Therapists work all over Sussex and in London. Please contact us to arrange a meeting.


Who do Waves work with?

We would be delighted to hear from anyone who is interested in learning more about music therapy or thinks they might want to begin sessions either for themselves or someone who will benefit. We work hard to ensure that music therapy is accessible to all.



How do I refer someone to music therapy? ​

You can begin by contacting us, either by telephone or email or by completing THIS form,.  You may also want to read the information about referrals on THIS page.


We can set up a time to meet with you, discuss your referral in more detail and together make a plan for future therapy intervention.


If you are not in West Sussex, please still feel free to contact us, we are very familiar with other charities working across the country and can put you in touch with therapists in your area.  Waves are happy to consult about music therapy wherever you are in the country, or internationally.


 What is the referral process?

Together we would create a referral form. That would help us to understand everything that we can about the person or people that you are referring to our service; their emotional needs, behaviours, history, medical advice, or anything significant that you wish to share. We will also discuss your hopes for outcomes of music therapy for your referral. Perhaps you seek music therapy in the hope that communication will be encouraged, anger processed, or a space of joy and creativity for someone who enjoys music making.




Either Victoria or Kirsten would then have an assessment period of three weekly sessions. Following that we would prepare a short report and make plans for further music therapy work and continue on to session 5. Sessions are held in the same place at the same time and we would review at six- monthly intervals.




Initially we would work together for a minimum 10 weeks. Ongoing therapy is very common and shorter term therapy can also be discussed. It is important to establish the duration of the therapeutic contract before the work begins. We ask that you consider giving permission for video recording of sessions. As music therapy is usually the therapist and the client alone, video helps us to not only evaluate and think about the work, but also to communicate with you, so that you can see and be part of the process.


How long do I have to wait to begin therapy?

We currently have a waiting list but can discuss starting therapy once we receive a referral form.  We aim to keep waiting lists to a minimum and where possible begin sessions within a couple of months.


What happens in a Music Therapy session?

Music therapy is a space where a child or client can experience using music to communicate with the highly trained therapist.  The therapist aims to enable the client to use music to communicate, process difficult feelings, engage with another person, experience being freely creative as well as meet many physical, social and emotional goals that are specific to the individual.



All of the music in a music therapy sessions is freely improvised, or made up on the spot, and the therapist takes musical cues from the client.  Those cues can be their music, their vocalising, a small movement or gesture and the music builds from there, aiming to be communicative and reciprocal.


Within the session we use a selection of tuned and un-tuned instruments and the therapist supports the music of the child or client with their own music, aiming to create a musical dialogue.  As the relationship develops we can see the music in the session can become an important means of communication, play and expression. To encourage the development of this relationship it is important that boundaries are recognised and upheld- so the sessions should always start and end at the same time, on the same day and be in the same room. This creates a rhythm of reliability and predicatablity and says to the client that we respect their right to this personal space.


Where possible, to encourage free expression and the development of a good relationship between the therapist and client, music therapy sessions are held with just the therapist and the client.  The sessions are confidential, just as if you were to choose to engage in personal therapy.  The therapist is able to feedback, however, and we see this as an integral part of the work, keeping you informed of the work and the process.


We ask for permission to video record sessions and this also helps us to feedback to you.


What qualifications do Music Therapists have?

The title, Music Therapist, is protected and only those who have competed an accredited Masters degree course, as well as maintained registration with the HCPC can work and call themselves Music Therapists.


All British Music Therapists are trained to Masters level and all of them are regulated by the HCPC who determine good practice which involves regular CPD and supervision of the therapist’s work.


All of the therapists working for Waves Music Therapy have extensive experience, as well as expressed specialist experience in their own fields.


What is the evidence that Music therapy is effective?

The evidence and research in to the efficacy of music therapy is growing all of the time.  Music therapy has been proven an effective intervention in the treatment of depression, Dementia, effective in work with individuals with ASD, important in early years intervention, a critical intervention for people with profound and multiple needs, an indispensable part of the treatment of brain injury and so much more.  Research is growing all of the time.


Click here to see most recent publications or follow us on Twitter and Facebook where we share current news articles and up to date information and research from around the world in to the work and effectiveness of Music Therapy


I am interested in training as a therapist, who do I contact?

Training as a music therapist is a commitment to extensive post graduate learning as well as a commitment to a personal journey and process.  Training involves lectures, clinical placements, the development of musical skills and improvisation skills, personal psychotherapy and group psychotherapy.  There is an expectation of a high level of musicianship on at least one instrument as well as personal attributes conducive to being a therapist who will eventually be using music to make links with, communicate with and be musical with clients with a variety of additional and challenging needs.



The British Association of Music therapy can give further information on the courses in the UK. Their list of training courses and further information can be found there.


Music therapy is a continually growing profession. It is an exciting and fulfilling career.  I would be delighted to be contacted for more information.



What do Waves Music Therapy do?

Waves Music Therapy offer individual and group music therapy sessions for children, young people, adults and the elderly with any additional needs.


Music therapy is an extremely effective means of self expression and communication because music is accessible and appeals to us all. We use music as the non-verbal means of communicating and sharing.


Music therapy meets social, emotional, communication, cognitive, physical and learning goals and enhances quality of life by offering meaningful opportunity for relationship building, self expression, creativity and communication.

We work with clients for short or long term therapy, usually determined at referral.


Where are Waves Music Therapy located?

We are based in East Preston, a small coastal village near Worthing.  We have a studio in Littlehampton and see clients all over West Sussex including Crawley, Horsham, Haywards Heath, Arundel, Barnham, Worthing, Petersfield, Warnham, Bognor Regis and can advise about services elsewhere in the country.



Who does your service provide for?

We work with anyone, regardless of age or need.


You do not need any musical skill to benefit from music therapy and the ability to benefit from music therapy remains unimpaired by illness or injury.



How can I start using the service?

Please contact us by using the contact form on the page, via email or telephone us on 07462 294587.  We are always happy to talk about music therapy and advise about starting sessions.


Sessions fees are outlined on our website but we can also sometimes subsidise sessions or offer advice on funding.


Yes, you can use your personal fund for music therapy.



How are decisions made about who can use the service?

Anyone who will benefit from music therapy can use the service.


We have a comprehensive referral and assessment procedure so that we can discuss expectations of music therapy and make sure that we are meeting individual needs.


How do we communicate with service users and how are service users involved in decision making/planning?

We are constantly in contact with our service users, thinking about how they are engaging in the therapeutic process and what is best for them.  We write regular reports and seek evaluations from service users, family and staff.


We use writing with symbols to enable clients to feedback about their experience of sessions, or we use sign language or simple verbal language to complete evaluation reports where appropriate.


Our leaflets can be translated in to any language, braille or signs and our therapists are always happy to spend as much time as we need to make sure that everything is clear.  Our therapists all use Makaton.


We write reports to communicate how the individual is doing in Music Therapy.  We also video all of our sessions (with written permission) and this not only helps the therapist to evaluate the work but also enables parents, carers and staff to feel part of the work by being able to see what is happening in the session.


We offer many training and information sessions, to both staff and parents/ carers.  We also offer music therapy experiential sessions and part of the service of the music therapist is to be available for meetings as often as needed.



Is Waves fully accessible?

All Waves Music Therapy sessions are established and delivered in settings that are wheelchair accessible and that have changing facilities, as well as areas for families and staff to wait while the service user is in music.



What training do the Waves Music Therapists have?

All Waves Music Therapists have Masters degrees in music therapy from one of the UK accredited courses.  They are registered with the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) who regulate all health professionals and every therapist engages in continued professional development.

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