Music Therapy at Bexley

30 October 2018

Music Therapy at Bexley

The Bexley Afford site has had a full day of music therapy consisting of groups and individual session. We have seen a significant impact for  individuals and staff involved in this program. The program implemented has been customised and designed for the vast array of abilities that this site holds including an activity pack designed by two music therapist and an array of adapted mallets and instruments to give the clients better access to music making.

Adaptive Musical Instruments 

We have been using adaptive sticks and instruments so the clients are able to physically participate in the music making process; such as a clamp stand with bells on springs which optimize clients’ need to stretch their arms and reach to knock the bells over to sound them. Drum mallets with hand straps so client’s who have poor fine motor skills can play the drum in an accessible way. Also sticks with guitar plectrums attached to the end of them so client’s with poor fine & gross motor skills can hold the stick to strum the guitar as the therapist facilitates. We have also been using wrist bells which are strapped to individual’s arms which allow them to shake despite them not being able to hold instruments and be active in the music making.
Individual Impact 

Music therapy is directly impacting individuals involved in the Bexley music program in the following areas; gross motor (65%), social skills (54%), cognition (52%), fine motor (40%). 

Group Impact 

The impact of group session has greatly impacted the individual involved. We have seen significant improvements in decision making, verbal communication, overall energy and concentration level.

Magic Moments - The Clients

“Simone smiled and vocalised loudly during music, she appeared to love the one-on-one attention. Staff were surprised with how happy Simone was and with her responses”

“Emily uses an Ipad in session to create beats. Emily is encouraged to make choices, use fine motor skills to select sounds. She always asks the staff “can we get this?”

“Peter is known for self-harm (hitting himself repetitively) throughout the day. However, this behaviour is completely absent in the sessions”

“Alex is non-verbal, Alex has recently enjoyed making raspberry sounds in music, playing the wrist bells, and scratching a drum when cued”

Magic Moments - The Staff

The Bexley facility continues to benefit in a significant way from music therapy. The staff always gives great feedback and often mention to the therapist each week that the clients were in a better mood after music, and had been looking forward to music. The staff are also gaining valuable insights into the implementation of music in their program one staff explained; 

“Most of the individuals here are either visually impaired or completely blind, so I always try to sing to the clients with positive energy and project joy through my voice. If I’m happy and putting that in the music, they pick up on that and this helps shift their mood and engage them more.”


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