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British Association of Music Therapy

This organisation can tell you more about music therapy and help you find a qualified music therapist. Anyone using the title 'music therapist' must be registered with the Health and Care Professions Council. Check the register at

Music plays an important role in our everyday lives. It can be exciting or calming, joyful or poignant, can stir memories and powerfully resonate with our feelings, helping us to express them and to communicate with others.

Music therapy uses these qualities and the musical components of rhythm, melody and tonality to provide a means of relating within a therapeutic relationship. In music therapy, people work with a wide range of accessible instruments and their voices to create a musical language which reflects their emotional and physical condition; this enables them to build connections with their inner selves and with others around them.

Music therapists support the client’s communications with a bespoke combination of improvised or pre-composed instrumental music and voice, either sung or spoken. Individual and group sessions are provided in many settings such as hospitals, schools, hospices and care homes, and the therapist’s approach is informed by different theoretical frameworks, depending on their training and the health needs which are to be met.


Who to contact

020 7837 6100
British Association of Music Therapy

Where to go

British Association For Music Therapy
White Lion Street
N1 9PD

Other Details


Age Ranges
16 +

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The use of music therapy with people who have a learning disability concentrates on the use of music as a means of communication, self expression and interaction.

Music therapy can help to:

  • increase motivation
  • empower people by offering choices
  • encourage and stimulate physical movement and co-ordination

Music therapy can be very helpful for those with a diagnosis on the autistic spectrum. Involvement in music making can both stimulate and relax a person leading to very positive changes.

Music therapy with children can:

  • help a child to listen 
  • encourage spontaneous play 
  • stir a desire to communicate 
  • strengthen muscles and improve co-ordination 
  • help the child to build relationships 
  • improve concentration 
  • provide a means of self expression 
  • stimulate language development through songs and turn taking 
  • excite imagination and creativity

Music therapy can help people with a range of emotional disorders and mental illness and can impact fundamentally on the way people live their lives.

Individual sessions can help to address problems rooted in the past, as in psychotherapy, with the medium for communication being predominantly improvised music. Group work can be helpful as a means of exploring relationships and be a source of mutual support, reducing isolation and leading to greater self understanding.

Music therapy can help people to

  • feel more motivated 
  • express themselves creatively  
  • develop their social and communication skills 
  • gain greater awareness of self and others 
  • build their self-esteem   
  • think about the impact music has on their lives 
  • become more confident in making choices 
  • feel that they are in a secure and accepting environment, where positive change can take place



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Record Last Updated On: 29/10/2019

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