Our Music Therapist, Fliss began sessions with 5 year old Harry last September. Harry* was referred to music therapy in his SEN school as he wasn’t interacting with anyone in his class or the teachers. He only seemed happy when he was playing on an iPad or phone. He spend a lot of time finding adults to give him access to the technology and would become very distressed if he didn’t get what he wanted. The teachers thought he was trying to get attention and due to his lack of communication, it was very difficult to work out what he wanted or needed.
During the first few sessions with Fliss, Harry could only manage 10 minutes of music therapy. He stood with his coat on by the door or far wall, watching Fliss as she played the guitar and sang to him. He remained silent and didn’t attempt to play any instruments.
Fast forward to the end of the term and Harry was making so much progress. He started coming closer to Fliss and peeking into the instrument box. During one session, he went up to Fliss, removed her guitar and sat on her knee, putting the guitar around them both and gently strumming. This it turns out was the start of something new for Harry. He had a whole new level of confidence and now communicates in so many ways.
He is vocalising, laughing, leading Fliss’ hands and playing instruments. The sessions once only 10 minutes now last for over 30 minutes.
Fliss says of their sessions: “Music therapy has given Harry the confidence to connect and build a relationship with another person, explore his surroundings safely and get enjoyment from a shared activity. He is appearing more explorative and happy in the classroom and the staff have commented how communicative he is becoming.”
*name and image changed to protect identity