Thame Music Therapy

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Frequently Asked Questions

Can anyone access music therapy?

Yes! There are no age restrictions and Thame Music Therapy aims to be as accessible and inclusive as possible. No musical experience is required. Many access sessions independently but some will need to have a parent, relative or carer to support in sessions and this is welcomed. Music therapy is not for everyone and it's really important that new clients can get a chance to understand more about what it is before making a commitment to regular sessions. We offer an initial telephone consultation, introductory session and assessment packages which can help to inform decisions further.

How long are sessions?

Usually 50 minutes but shorter 30-minute sessions are also possible. Sessions are set up on a weekly basis. Some individuals prefer to access a fixed block of sessions, either as part of an established assessment package or separately for a bespoke length of time. Others will have regular music therapy without fixing an end point, in which case sessions might continue for up to a year or beyond. This can allow a closer working relationship and help work on a broader range of long-term aims. It can also provide consistent support during times of transition (e.g. changing schools, going through bereavement).

What can I expect from a music therapy session?

We hope to provide an environment where clients feel welcomed, listened to, accepted and respected. Hugh works in a non-directive and person-centred way, and takes his lead from the client each session. This takes into account their mood, energy and emotional state, and any ideas or suggestions they come up with, and encourages authentic, spontaneous and flexible interaction

A music therapy session can look very different from one week to the next and from one client to the next. Sometimes very few words are uttered in a session and music-making is at the heart of everything we do; sometimes we might talk a lot and work towards small passages of live music-making and sound creation. 

Sessions can include free improvisation, song writing, musical games and reflection. There is always space for each individual to try out new types of play and creativity.

When will I see the benefits of music therapy?

This is really difficult to say and varies a lot. Music therapy works in different ways for different people; it can be an alternative to talking therapies for those looking to process difficult life experiences and mental health challenges in a different way. It can also sit alongside other services like occupational therapy, speech and language therapy for those working on long-term developmental aims around their communication, self-expression, movement and self-regulation. 
Some people feel the benefit of making a creative connection within a new, empowering relationship very quickly. It can have a positive impact on mood, self-esteem and engagement in other aspects of their lives. For others, music therapy sessions can offer temporary relief, release and connection but their challenges outside sessions can be complex and entrenched.
Where possible and appropriate, Thame Music Therapy works alongside families and professional teams to consider broader aspects of an individual's circumstances and support with long-term mental health benefits. 

How much are sessions?

There are different costs depending on the length of the sessions and whether sessions are part of long-term ongoing work or a specific package (see below). More details are available on request here. Hugh offers a free 15-minute telephone consultation to discuss an initial referral and a subsidised introductory session for £25. 

Do you offer pricing plans or packages?

Yes. Typically these involve an extended assessment meeting, a short block of sessions and a clinical report. These packages can be particularly beneficial for those going through an EHCP application or review, or for those looking to have an initial introduction to music therapy without further commitment. Please enquire here for more details. 

How can I make a referral or get help with funding?

Thame music therapy has an open referral policy, meaning referrals can come from an individual (self-referral), a relative of an individual or a professional connected to them. A follow up telephone consultation and an in-person introductory session then helps to establish whether music therapy can be a suitable, beneficial form of support for them. All initial referrals need to go through our contact page here, or by emailing
Where possible, Hugh works with schools, mental health provisions and councils to see if external funding can help with the cost of music therapy. Hugh also signposts to specific charities who can sometimes help to cover a set block of music therapy sessions. 

What's the difference between music therapy and music teaching?

There can definitely be overlaps but there are very important differences too.
Music therapy is a recognised psychological therapy with a protected title, regulated by the Health & Care Professions Council (HCPC). Sessions can only be facilitated by qualified and registered music therapists. They are trained in a range of different developmental and psychological theories, as well as in specific musical techniques to make music accessible and inclusive. The main aims of music therapy are around mental health, emotional well-being and psychological growth, with music and play acting as tools for working towards these holistic aims. 
This is different to music teaching, where teachers (although often highly trained and experienced) are not regulated in the same way and generally don't work towards the same aims. In music teaching, the teacher is likely to take on a more directive role and offer specific advice and tools to develop instrumental or vocal techniques. The primary aims are music-focused, rather than mental health-focused, although the bi-product may be of great benefit to one's well-being. 

What about specialist music lessons, supervisions and inclusive workshops?

For specific questions about Thame Music Therapy's other services, please send your enquiry here