Who we are
We are MusicPlace North-West a music therapy charity based in Liverpool. For over ten years, MusicPlace has been providing music therapy services across the region. Our therapists work with private clients at our centre, as well as in schools and hospitals. They support a range of people - from children and adults with communication and learning difficulties to people with emotional, behavioural and mental health issues. They also work in NHS units to provide support for people recovering from strokes, people with neurological conditions such as Parkinson's disease and people with acute mental health problems including dementia. Music therapy aims to bring improvements to mental health and well-being, and people of all ages and abilities, from pre- school age to over 80, can benefit. It is wonderful to see how much can be achieved by our skilled therapists, primarily enabling people to communicate and make music on their own terms.
What is music therapy?.
Music therapy is based on the belief that, in some way, everyone can respond to music. Music is a powerful and positive force in many people's lives. Music is also part of us as human beings, for example in the rhythm of our heartbeat, the pitch and tone of our voice. Music therapists use music, either improvised or pre-composed, in a specific way to encourage people to interact and communicate. Over time, the music therapist works to help individuals to develop and to fulfil their potential. Essential to the process of music therapy is the building of therapeutic relationships within safe professional boundaries. Music therapists are registered with the Health and Care Professions Council.
- consultation sessions for newly referred clients
- courses of individual and group music therapy sessions
- short term or long term therapy according to the identified need
- a limited bespoke service for individuals who are unable to make the journey to our music therapy space at the Lee Jones Centre
How does MusicPlace make a difference to people?
Music Therapy at Home
With all face-to-face therapy cancelled, schools still closed and hospitals imposing stricter social distancing measures, the MusicPlace team of music therapists are being really creative. Our therapists have so much skill and experience that they have piloted some online music therapy sessions which have been really successful. The online sessions have also empowered some of the carers of our clients to have the confidence to make more music between therapy sessions.
What we want to do
The aim now is to expand the online music therapy sessions and make them available to anyone who thinks they could benefit from such support. By providing online therapy, many more people can access our service, and from a wider geographical area.
How we will use the funding
We need funding to develop and redesign our professional therapy services in a variety of ways including:
- developing new ways of providing music therapy sessions online using the creative skills of our therapists
- buying better quality equipment such as webcams and microphones so that we can more closely replicate our face to face sessions.
- creating online musical resources for people via our website
This will enable us to continue to work with our clients to ensure their needs are met. In the future we hope to be able to do more to subsidise the cost of music therapy and make it more accessible to all who would benefit.
Why music therapy matters
Through research and advocacy from leading organisations including the Royal Society for Public Health, we have come to understand more and more in recent years about the health and wellbeing benefits of taking part in arts and culture.
A review published by the World Health Organization in 2019 identified a major role for the arts in the ‘prevention of ill health, promotion of health, and management and treatment of illness across the lifespan’. Taking part in arts and culture supports our mental health and wellbeing, for example, by creating social connections, enabling us to express ourselves creatively and helping to boost our confidence and emotional resilience.
Research focused on music and health has shown positive effects on both psychological and physical symptoms, including anxiety, immune activity and inflammation. In the UK, the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Arts, Health and Wellbeing published results of its Creative Health inquiry in 2017, which found that arts therapies in particular:
- alleviate anxiety, depression and stress while increasing resilience and wellbeing;
- help people to recover from brain injury and diminish the physical and emotional suffering of cancer patients and the side effects of their treatment;
- reduce agitation and need for medication for people with dementia.