Q&A with Roz, MusAbility’s Director and Lead Music Therapist
June 13, 2018
As the weather has been so lovely recently, we took the opportunity to grab a coffee with Roz in the sun and have a little gab about being a music therapist, the Director of MusAbility and a lot more….
Suppose the first obvious question Roz is what is Music Therapy? –
Music therapy is without doubt the most under-rated therapy out there and is still unknown in the North-West. Music therapy is similar to psychotherapy, in that it is based around a secure, therapeutic relationship. Psychotherapy or counselling relies heavily, if not solely, on words to communicate emotions and to set and reach therapeutic goals. The main difference with music therapy is that the music can act as the main form of communication.
Why did you want to work in Music Therapy? –
Years ago, I was an Occupational Therapist, working in Neurology, mental health and rehabilitation, and I found that most of my interventions were music based. It was a supervisor at the time who made me aware of music therapy, and the fact that I could specialise in the things that I loved the most – helping my clients, and music…from then on, all of my energies went into building up funding to train…and as they say, the rest is history!
What tips would you give for anyone looking for a Music Therapist? –
There are three main tips I have. First one is to check the register!! Qualified music therapists are legally required to be members of the Health and Care Professions Council and will show up on the register. It’s so important to work with a qualified health profession, not only to actually receive music therapy, but to protect yourselves!
Secondly, have a really good chat to the music therapist and get a feel for who they are and what they’re about. You’ll click with some more than others, and this will enable a more enjoyable experience for all involved.
Lastly, make sure that if you want to be involved in sessions, you can be, depending on client of course. Some therapists are not confident enough to be observed in sessions. They’ll already know this, so just ask!
What has been your most profound experience as Music Therapist? –
I was asked this on BBC Radio 5 Live the other day!! It’s really hard to pick experiences that ‘top’ others, because all of my own clients are so different. For one client, using eye contact with me even fleetingly can be a massive step for them…for another, it might be taking a step walking…or vocalising for the first time…or being able to stay in the room even perhaps! Every client is unique and what they bring is completely different from the next client, so something ‘profound’ happens regularly. It’s the nature of music therapy.
What characteristics do you value in your team? –
I tend to look for people with life experience (no age restrictions there though), as being a music therapist can be very intense as a job…dealing with people who are emotional or agitated, or who are traumatised by abuse for example, needs a therapist who is able to approach the issue head on, be real and honest, and then process the situation and maintain their character, if that makes sense. Don’t get me wrong, we aren’t superhuman! Being feisty and able to stand up for your client if you need to is really important, and being very playful as well!
What’s your go to feel good music? –
Oooh that’s a good question! I probably head to dance anthems when I’m happy, or anything with a Latin vibe that makes me want to move.
What’s your top 3 favourite things? –
Pizza, sunshine and music!
To learn more about the services MusAbility offer you can contact Roz and her team via the website www.musability.co.uk and email firstname.lastname@example.org
To check whether a therapist is on the registers go to the Health & Care Professions Council website www.hpc-uk.org
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What our friends say about us
We use MusAbility for several of our clients who are currently, and have previously been through the medical negligence court system. MusAbility’s services are not only professional, timely and evidence-based in their clinical assessments, but the clients also show real developments in long-term work where many other health professionals declared none were possible. A truly inspirational team.
Medical Negligence Lawyer
Not only can we see the clear changes in behaviour for the children that attend music therapy…but it’s giving the staff new skills and techniques to work with the children that need a little extra support. Just brilliant.
Classroom Teacher, Mainstream School
It is absolutely fascinating to see how this child responds in music therapy…to be surrounded by verbal interaction, then be met in an environment when words are sometimes not used at all…it is incredibly impactive. I think it should be available to every child!
Support Assistant in Mainstream School
I have honestly never seen anything like it…music therapy reaches this child at such a profound level, we are in tears of joy every session, and their development visibly increases week to week.
Teaching Assistant, Specialist School
Some of the children in our school are that bit older…and they really struggle to engage both in the classroom and with staff on a 1:1 basis. Music therapy breaks down all boundaries. They love the sessions, and they think it’s so ‘cool’ that they are pushed to reach their potential…sometimes without even realising it!
Deputy Head Teacher, School for Children with Special Needs
Our music therapist is an integral part of our team. Not only do they engage clinically with the clients, but they also liaise with staff within the multi-disciplinary team…most importantly always putting the client first. We absolutely could not do without music therapy…and our clients wouldn’t allow it!