Updated: Jul 27, 2020
Annie began music therapy in school at age 7. She had a diagnosis of autism and also the school were finding it hard to make clear assessments of her abilities because although she was able to speak, she was mainly silent and she would also become very upset when being asked to perform any task in the classroom. The picture changed when Annie was supported with music and invited to engage in music-making. Her school report after a few months stated, “Many staff members report that they see an entirely different side of Annie when she is engaged in any musical activity, and this again reinforces a growing confidence in Annie that she can achieve the goals that are set for her and therefore grow in her emotional resilience and her ability to learn and grow.”
Music offers a containment for Annie, where she seems to be held by the music. And another great surprise to emerge from music therapy sessions was the fact that she loves to perform! - despite all of her shyness and overwhelm! This video was Annie’s first opportunity to perform to her class after just a few weeks of music therapy sessions. She demonstrated that she could read and remember many lines (12 days of Christmas!) and she stayed focussed, engaged and on-task for the whole song, as well as spontaneously playing the guitar while she sang!
Annie is still thriving in music therapy sessions 4 years later and this supports her to find confidence and engagement to meet her academic and social goals.