Music Therapy

The aims of music therapy
The aim of music therapy at Willow Dene is to aid communication and self-expression through music. The Music Therapy Service is committed to multidisciplinary working and partnership working with parents, carers and families

Who receives music therapy at Willow Dene?
Every child in early years foundation stage (EYFS) receives at least one term of individual or group music therapy. Children in Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2 are referred to music therapy by class staff and the wider multidisciplinary team.  Children in Key Stage 3 are identified for music therapy through professional dialogue with teachers and the School Leadership Team.

In order to prioritise children for individual or small group music therapy and to reach as many children as possible, a full class group approach is often used by the therapists throughout the whole school.

How we work
All music therapy is commissioned by the school and there is a five day a week service level agreement in place, which means that we are in school every day and can contribute to the school in other ways, such as supporting the school priorities. We work in partnership with the leadership team of the school, and are involved in service development and training. Additionally we support class teams in identifying transferable skills from the direct music therapy sessions.
As music therapists, we use music which is specially tailored in order to meet the child’s specific strengths and difficulties. We then aim to contribute to children’s overall development as well as working on their specific emotional, social or behavioural difficulties through live music-making.

Music therapy is offered in a number of formats:

  • Assessments for children in Foundation Stage (short term intervention, 6 - 12 weeks subject to need)
  • Weekly individual music therapy for highest risk Foundation Stage children (up to one year)
  • Assessment sessions for new starters (Key Stage 1 and 2)
  • Weekly one-to-one individual sessions  (Key Stage 1 and 2)
  • Weekly targeted group sessions (All stages)
  • Weekly class group sessions (Key Stage 1 and 2)

Group Music Therapy
Once the children are engaged in music-making, the therapist can then enable them to achieve many of the following aims:

  • Independence
  • Concentration
  • Spontaneous interaction
  • Spontaneous waiting and listening to each other
  • Enjoying learning new skills together
  • Using fine and gross motor skills
  • Oral skills such as blowing
  • Developing confidence in the use of their voices through singing together and to each other

Individual Music Therapy
Children are recommended for individual Music Therapy by the class team, therapists or parents, in order to give them focussed and dedicated time.  Some reasons for individual work are:

  • Social: to help develop relationships and communication
  • Emotional: to help develop self-expression, confidence, enjoyment, sense of achievement
  • Behavioural: to help regulate outbursts of energy and awareness of effect on others
  • Physical: to encourage movement

The commissioned music therapy service in Willow Dene School continues to hold a larger caseload pro rata, than any other commissioned music therapy contract.

This demonstrates the efficiency of early intervention, and the effectiveness of the cohesive multi-disciplinary approach to the education and care afforded to children at Willow Dene School.  

How to get in touch
If you want to talk about therapy provision, please call 0208 317 8596.