Music therapy for children – what is it and how does it work

 

What is music therapy for children?

Music therapy aims to use the experience of music to aid children in addressing their physical, psychological, emotional, cognitive and social needs. Music is used to actively support children as they strive to improve their health, functioning and wellbeing. Based on the child’s medical and developmental status, music can be employed in structured ways (songs, song-writing) to help contain or clarify emotions and empower the child. Music therapy offers a child a safe haven from which to explore feelings, behaviours and issues.

How does music therapy work?

Music therapy can help with pain management, relaxation, emotional expression, socialisation and distraction. It can involve song-writing, movement to music, instrument improvisation, music-assisted relaxation, singing and lyric analysis. A guitar can be strummed to the rhythm of a patient’s breathing to aid in relaxation. Music can be used to alleviate tension and anxiety and aid pain control through distraction and/or relaxation. Music can be used to decrease anxiety, fear, anger, agitation, distress and sadness. Song-writing sessions with older children can prove to be a means of self-expression that can aid in processing feelings.

The Wishing Well foundation

The Wishing Well was established in 2010 to offer children in out-of-home care, such as foster care and residential care, a range of healing and treatment options usually not accessible as a free therapy in mainstream health.

The Wishing Well raises funds to enable children and young people to access developmentally-appropriate and trauma-informed treatments shown to be highly effective in dealing with severe trauma and neglect. These therapies respond to the unique needs of each child and young person.

The Wishing Well is a not-for-profit incorporated charity organisation, established and managed by people seeking to improve outcomes for children and young people in out-of-home care and their families. The Wishing Well recognises the importance of the act of giving. We recognise the significance of the participation of community members and all donations are most appreciated.

The Wishing Well operates ethically, effectively and empathically with a view to achieving quality outcomes and a satisfying working environment.

Support the Wishing Well

The Wishing Well uses its funds to help children in need access developmentally-appropriate and trauma-informed treatments including music therapy. The Wishing Well takes referrals for any child/young person in out-of-home care in NSW.  Applications are assessed by qualified personnel and on a case-by-case basis.  The decision to fund an application is affected by the following:

  • Funding availability
  • The support the child/young person has to access the proposed therapies
  • The capacity and willingness of the Carer Household to support the child/young person
  • Assessment, which recommends and supports the proposed therapy as relevant to meeting the particular needs of the child/young person

 

The Wishing Well gratefully receives donations, funding and resources through bequests, corporate partnerships, fundraising events, grants, online donations and other fund raising activities. Money donated to The Wishing Well enables traumatised children access to healing therapies. Please see our website for more information:

http://thewishingwell.org.au/

 

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