Image credit: Music as Therapy International

As part of the charity’s Covid emergence plan, Music as Therapy International (MasT) is offering one UK care setting for adults with learning disabilities the opportunity to partner with them for a fully funded music training project.

With the Covid-19 pandemic disproportionately affecting people with disabilities, MasT hope to provide a group of service users with access to meaningful music and its therapeutic benefits.

During the project, a music therapist will train up to four members of staff to be able to deliver their own therapeutic music groups for the people in their care. The training will take place in their place of work for half a day each week for six weeks. All staff will be able to access free ongoing support from the charity’s Motivation Programme once they have completed their training.  

Accessing meaningful music and its therapeutic benefits

The charity say they have chosen to focus on adults with learning disabilities (ALD) as they have a real need for individualised, sensitive and responsive interaction, and meaningful relationship building.

Darren, who has a learning disability and participates in The Montrose Centre’s weekly music group, explains why the music group matters to him. He said: “[What I get out of it is that] I am really really good at listening… I like that it’s not all about me.”

MasT’s director, Alexia Quin, has recently been awarded an OBE for services to music in therapy in the UK, and last year the programme was a finalist in the national Markel Third Sector Care Awards for ‘Innovative Quality Outcomes’.

Alexia said: “The research us shows that music can be an effective tool for adults with learning disabilities to develop communication and social skills, interpersonal skills and to build relationships. As a non-verbal medium, it can support the emotional development and self-expression of a person with a learning disability, encourage interaction and diffuse stress associated with interacting. Participation can give an individual opportunities to express their preferences, act independently and make choices. And all of the above is proven to increase self-confidence and self-esteem, acceptance and success.”

How to get in touch

To find out more about what the project entails, you can read the Meaningful Music in Care leaflet here or watch the charity's short film: “Music can change the way we care”.

To discuss the project further, please contact Freya, the UK Programme Coordinator, at ukprogrammes@musicastherapy.org or on 07792783183. The charity reminds prospective partners that this offer is limited to one setting and asks care settings who are interested to get in touch as soon as possible.