Music therapy for children

Music therapy for children

“Music brings us so much joy. It offers us opportunities to experience something very special together as a family while creating wonderful moment.”

For children with life-limiting conditions, music therapy can help to address important developmental needs. Not least because it provides an excellent means to increase a child’s communication, interaction and social skills as well as enhancing physical skills and promoting their overall wellbeing.

Haven House is a children’s hospice located in Woodford Green in Essex. It provides support and care for children with life-limiting illneses and respite for families.

Our relationship with the hospice began in 2014, when we funded the build costs and musical equipment for a dedicated music room. The Amy Winehouse Foundation Music Room is a nurturing environment in which young children, their siblings and their parents can enjoy music together, but also engage with qualified therapists. A number of the children also receive end-of-life care so creating a good quality of life for them is of the utmost importance.

Music therapy is based on the belief that we can all respond to and appreciate music, despite disability or illness. The Amy Winehouse Foundation has provided ongoing funding for music therapy for children attending the music room, but also for those children who are too ill to attend the hospice, by funding music therapy ‘at home’.

The Amy Winehouse Teenage cancer group project – Our Song

Music therapy is also available to young people with cancer and siblings of Haven House children, where song-writing and composition can be used for self-expression and as a safe outlet to explore emotions.

The Teenage Cancer Group at Haven House use their talents, skills and relationships with each other and members of staff, to create music that tells their story in a way that words can’t.

Above, you can watch a video of the group’s original composition. It includes elements of rap, hip hop and grime and the video features hard-hitting images of the youngsters undergoing treatment, in order to share the reality of their illnesses. 

The parents' experience

“Haven House has made a tremendous difference to [our son] Finnley. Finnley is alert and reaches out to hold instruments during music therapy. I know now that Finnley can do that – it’s not Finnley can’t anymore, it’s Finnley can.’’

Jaycee, Mum

The parents' experience

“The music therapy sessions are a really important part of Annabelle’s routine. Every Friday she gets to interact with someone other than me. Socially they get me out the house. Annabelle loves music and loves singing. Music therapy has enabled Annabelle to sit independently through a whole session. Sometimes we just sit and read while Roxanne plays in the background. Music brings us so much joy.” 

Michelle, Mum

‘Amy Winehouse’ and ‘Amy’ trademarks by kind permission of the Winehouse family.

Amy Winehouse Foundation. Registered charity 1143740 (England & Wales). Registered office: 5a Bear Lane, London SE1 0UH

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