Music therapy has a universal power to reach us. Music affects our bodies, our minds and our feelings. It breaks down barriers of disability, injury, illness or trauma. Music builds bridges of communication, helping us to relate to each other better. Research reinforces that music therapy can bring about extraordinary changes and benefits.
The power of music can change moods, refocus attention, elicit emotions, express feelings, improve speech, improve gross and fine motor skills as well as promote social interaction and improve quality of life. It helps to address clients’ needs in areas such as physical, psychological, cognitive, emotional or social deficits, so that they can live more resourcefully and develop their full potential as a human being.
We deliver music therapy services to mainstream and special needs schools, early intervention programs, pre-schools, disability organisations, hospitals, aged care facilities and other community settings.


We focus on actively engaging clients in musical experiences. No single course of music therapy is the same, because every individual we work with is unique. Our approach is client-focussed, this means that we engage through music therapy in a way that’s right for the individual. Sessions can be one-to-one, or in small or large groups. Sometimes family members, friends or carers get involved.
Sessions can involve:
  • Playing different instruments
  • Singing
  • Playing / listening to music you know and enjoy
  • Improvising (making up music on the spot)
  • Music and Movement
  • Writing songs 
We employ university trained and professionally accredited music therapists who use research-based music therapy methods to achieve health and developmental outcomes.

All Nordoff-Robbins music therapists undergo constant clinical supervision and professional development, hold registration with the Australian Music Therapy Association (AMTA) and have access to a substantial resource bank (repertoire, instruments, supervision, research, collaboration with other registered music therapists) at our Centre in Kingswood. Our music therapists are required to undertake continual, ongoing professional development, to ensure their continued registration with the AMTA.


While allowing freedom for spontaneity, music therapists will set objectives, often in conjunction with the client, relative or carer.

Over the course of therapy, outcomes will vary but we focus on achieving positive changes in physical, psychological, emotional, cognitive and social functioning. This could mean better physical coordination after suffering a stroke, helping non-verbal children to speak through song, providing an emotional outlet through song writing for victims of trauma or helping a child with autism become more socially connected.

Through musical involvement in a therapeutic setting, clients' abilities are strengthened and can be transferred to other areas of their lives. Research in music therapy supports its effectiveness in many areas relating to improving participation and independence in daily life such as the development of language and communication skills, enhancing mobility and movement, improving interpersonal interactions and developing community living skills.


We serve a broad range of clients and we specialise in providing music therapy programs that deliver positive outcomes for:

  • Physical and intellectual disabilities
  • Early Intervention needs
  • Mental health diagnoses
  • Speech and language disorders
  • Autism Spectrum Disorder
  • Emotional and behavioural difficulties
  • Dementia and ageing
  • Family relationship difficulties
  • Stroke and brain injury rehabilitation

Our work often complements other interventions including speech therapy, occupational therapy, physiotherapy, counselling and behaviour management plans. Our therapists often work together with other services to strengthen client’s outcomes. 



We have worked extensively with older adults in the community since 2001, including those with dementia. We work within residential settings as well as within day program settings.
Music therapy plays a very important role in the care and treatment programs provided for the elderly.  They can benefit from music therapy regardless of musical skill or background as it addresses physical, psychological, emotional, cognitive, spiritual and social needs.  Music is chosen or improvised to reflect different people’s social and cultural backgrounds or preferences.
Music therapy for older adults aims to:
  • Provide physical, intellectual and emotional stimulation
  • Give opportunities for social interaction and integration, thereby reducing a sense of isolation and motivate the building of relationships
  • Encourage communication and self-expression
  • Give a positive outlet for emotional expression
  • Be a means to evoke memory and associations - validating people’s life experiences
  • Provide a diversion from inactivity, discomfort and daily routine through providing opportunities for self-expression and creativity
  • Help people deal with some of the challenges associated with ageing


Children with disabilities can face unique challenges that are often pervasive throughout their lifespan. They may find it harder than others to learn, understand and communicate. Their disabilities can create frustration, anxiety, unhappiness and behavioural difficulties. However, with proper support and intervention, these children can achieve success in school, at home and in the community.

The efficacy of the approach in the area of developmental disability has been well documented in literature, which shows that by connecting and redirecting the various sensory and emotional pathways, music bypasses the disability and engages the child at the level of innate health.

We assist children with:
  • physical and intellectual disabilities
  • mental health needs
  • speech and language disorders
  • emotional and behavioural difficulties (ADD, ADHD, ED/BD)
  • Autism Spectrum Disorder, Cerebral Palsy, Down Syndrome and others
Music therapy utilises the process of active music-making as a means of establishing communication and relationship to achieve functional goals. Because music is able to activate all areas of the brain, the interconnectivity of this relationship helps to shape, train and optimise brain function. Developmental work becomes musical play; repetition in skill exercises becomes fun when presented through music! Music therapy offers a different, more playful environment, increasing the motivation of the student to participate.

Displayed benefits of music therapy include positive changes in the following areas:

  • Motor timing and priming
  • Auditory perception and sensory integration
  • Building resilience
  • Emotional expression
  • Social skills
  • Speech and language development
  • Non-verbal communication
  • Cognitive functioning
Working in groups can assist greatly in developing an awareness of social processes, appropriate behaviour in groups and enhancing self-esteem.


It is possible that clients attend both music therapy and community music programs at Nordoff-Robbins.

It is also possible that groups or individuals transition from music therapy to a community music program. This may occur, for example, when the therapeutic goals have been achieved but the client wishes to continue the music program in one form or another.

Another scenario is where music therapy objectives are no longer being achieved, yet according to feedback provided by the client or their representatives, musical activity remains a significant contributor to the client’s well-being.

Nordoff-Robbins Community Music programs are not a replacement for music therapy, though clients can be referred from a community music program to attend music therapy sessions. 
The differences between our clinical music therapy and community programs are:
Music Therapy Clinical Program

  • Conducted by a Registered Music Therapist
  • Individual or small group session
  • Requires written referral and initial assessment
  • Accountable for specific therapeutic objectives
  • Evaluated using standardised tools
  • Clients receive regular written reports
  • Tailored program to accommodate individual needs
Community Music program
  • Conducted by Registered Music Therapist or community musician
  • Group sessions
  • No referral or initial assessment required
  • No formal reports are issued


Nordoff-Robbins has extensive experience in working with both children and adults with Autism Spectrum Disorder, achieving exceptional results over many years.
The majority of people with ASD often show a heightened interest in music and have an innate response to the sounds and patterns in music, which can be utilised in music therapy to great effect.
Music therapy can be an appropriate and very effective way to help people with ASD to work on their:

  • capacities for communication
  • social connection and interpersonal skills
  • speech and language
  • sensory and motor skills
  • cognitive development
  • emotional communication and self-expression.
Importantly, music therapy can address multiple developmental issues simultaneously, making it an ideal therapeutic intervention. Also, using the power of music, it is often intrinsically non-verbal in its approach which can assist greatly when working with clients who have challenges with spoken language.


New Music Therapy Client Form.


Music Therapy & Community Music Generic


New Community Music Client Form.


Music Therapy Service Information


Supported Music Lesson Registration Form


Acquired Brain Injury & Neuro-Rehabilitation form.


Music can bring about extraordinary change



Music therapy has a universal power to reach all people



Delivering social outcomes and improved wellbeing



​Early Childhood Music Therapy Programs



High quality training & education programs



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