In 2010, the referral of a young man aged 18 with a catastrophic brain injury began the story of Chiltern Music Therapy. As a newly qualified Music Therapist, he was one of the first people that Rosie, our Founder saw in her job at the Royal Hospital for Neuro-disability, and the connection with him and his family ignited a spark and desire to ensure music therapy could be offered in a different way.
As therapists, we are taught to ‘meet the clients, wherever they may be’ in emotional understanding - but what could happen if we took this forward into a broader context? What if we could create a provision that could see clients at home, or in the community? What if we could provide not only one approach to music therapy, but many different types of music therapy alongside a community music provision which could grow and expand around the people it was created for?
In 2011, the grass roots of the organisation was founded in care, connection and a need to do things differently. With Rosie’s back room as an office, the first members of the team at Chiltern, met regularly in front of the fire in the living room. By opening the door to music therapy, talking about the changes we saw, what we did and why we thought it was working, to everyone we worked with, Chiltern grew, and has continued to grow through word of mouth alone.
At Chiltern Music Therapy we do things differently. We are an employee-owned, self-managing organisation.
People often think self-managing teams is about a flat-hierarchy, but really it’s about recognising people’s different strengths and providing an environment where people can take charge of the work they do, using advice from their peers, their professional judgement and life experiences to make informed decisions.
We work in circles, hubs and roles, not managers and departments.
Below you can see a working model of Chiltern's structure, incorporating our self-managing team structures (circles, hubs, sub-circles, learning communities) and employee ownership structures (board and membership council).