Music Therapy

"Music therapy is the use of sounds and music within an evolving relationship between client and therapist to support and encourage physical, mental, social and emotional well-being."
(Leslie Bunt, Music Therapy - An Art Beyond Words, p.8) 

[thanks to my son Ed Muirhead for this quote!]

Hans Petter Solli & Randi Rolvsjord (2015) “The Opposite of Treatment”:A qualitative study of how patients diagnosed with psychosis experience music therapy, Nordic Journal of Music Therapy, 24:1, 67-92, DOI: 10.1080/08098131.2014.890639 

Link to paper


"Previous research studies regarding music therapy and severe mental illness have mainly adopted quantitative methodologies in order to study the effectiveness of music therapy interventions. Studies that have explored service users’ experiences of participation in music therapy are small in number, and almost nonexistent in the field of psychosis. This study aimed to explore how mental health patients with a diagnosis of psychosis experienced participation in music therapy, in general, and more specifically how they experienced music therapy in relation to their current mental state and life situation. Nine inpatients with psychosis were interviewed using a semi-structured interview focusing on the participants’ experiences of music therapy in individual sessions, groups, and performances. Through the use of interpretative phenomenological analysis, four super-ordinate themes central to the participants’ experiences were found: freedom, contact, well-being, and symptom reduction. Based on the findings, mental health recovery, positive mental health, and agency are proposed as constituting a better framework for music therapy in mental healthcare than a primary focus on symptom remission and functional improvement."


Nordoff Robbins, Scotland:


"Our team of therapists provide music therapy across Central Scotland.  38% of our work takes place in schools, 34% in community settings and 28% in our in centres which are in Glasgow, Edinburgh, Dundee and Fife. Here individuals come for private Music Therapy sessions. We  have an outreach service in Aberdeen, where we are now searching for premises.

Most of our work takes place in venues such as schools, special units, hospitals, hospices, NHS settings, care homes, day centres and community centres.

We provide a bespoke and flexible service, tailored specifically to meet the needs of each of our partners and the people they support. Our partners include Capability Scotland, Scottish Autism, CHAS (Children’s Hospice Association of Scotland),  the Royal Blind School, Edinburgh, and Gartnaval Hospital, Glasgow. ..."


The British Association for Music Therapy (BAMT):

"BAMT is the professional body for music therapy in the UK, providing both practitioners and non-practitioners with information, professional support, and training opportunities. It is also a charity committed to promoting and raising awareness of music therapy, and providing information to the general public.

Music therapy is an established psychological clinical intervention, which is delivered by Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) registered music therapists, to help people of all ages, whose lives have been affected by injury, illness or disability through supporting their psychological, emotional, cognitive, physical, communicative and social needs...."

BAMT Conference Feb18 comments


I took up singing with guitar again in 2015 when experiencing another psychosis, recording songs on SoundCloud after setting up my own account.  Here is 'Shake it Off' recorded 3 January 2016: