For immediate release
January 2018

A profoundly deaf woman with learning disabilities is finding happiness, laughter and connection through her experience with Music Therapy.

Vibe Music Therapy, a Liverpool and Wirral based Music Therapy company, is working with clients supporting people in the North West and Cheshire regions living with disabilities and mental health challenges.

Music therapy has been an established clinical profession for over 50 years. It allows people to express who and how they are through musical experiences. Today Music Therapy is used in a diverse range of fields including dementia, learning disabilities, palliative care, and mental health.

front page image for music therapy services

Greg Hanford, Director for Vibe Music Therapy, says “You would think that a therapy involving sound would not be an option for a person with a hearing impairment. But Debbie is testament to the fact that Music Therapy can be experienced on so many different levels, and is a benefit to a broad range of people who would otherwise struggle with the seemingly simple, yet integral things in life such as communication and expression, that most of us take for granted”.

Debbie has been living with severe learning disabilities and impaired hearing for her entire life. She lives at home with her parents and like a lot of families living with disabilities, they strive to ensure Debbie enjoys a high quality of life despite of the emotional, physical and often financial difficulties families like them can face.

There are 10 million people living with some form of a disability in England and Wales with the highest disability rates recorded in deprived areas mainly clustered around the North West of England. In the most recent census it was reported that nearly a quarter of Liverpool residents have a limiting long-term illness or disability that restricts their day-to day activities compared with 17.9% of the population nationally. In particular, Liverpool has a high proportion of residents whose day-to-day activities are limited greatly by a long-term illness or disability – 12.8% of the population compared with 8.5% nationally. In addition to this, 15,000 Liverpool residents provide 50 hours of unpaid care or more per week.

Before Debbie met regularly with Vibe she had never been exposed to music on this level. Debbie spends some of her time at a day centre run by Vivo Care Choices who offer support to people living with learning disabilities, autism and dementia. It is here where she first met with Vibe.

Greg continues “We started with Debbie placing her hand on the guitar to feel the vibrations. From there we introduced a small speaker that turns any surface it touches into an amplifier, in this instance the guitar. This intensifies the vibrations enabling Debbie to effectively “hear” the instrument being played by touch alone. This allows us to give Debbie a feeling of comfort, understanding and connection not only to the instrument, but also to the therapist, which encourages her to express herself freely. From there we started to build Debbie’s confidence to explore a range of different instruments that she feels a connection with.

”Vibe provides music therapy to a wide range of healthcare settings and has experience supporting people with a varying range of disabilities, mental health challenges, homelessness, addictions and survivors of abuse. Vibe pride themselves in providing a person centred approach to healthcare and strive to make Music Therapy accessible to everyone, visiting people in their own homes, day centres, care homes and schools.

“Vibe is relatively new to working with clients with hearing loss, but the success story of Debbie has taught us many things and we are already working with a company offering headphones which use bone conduction technology that delivers sound frequencies directly to your ear canal using vibrations. This is just one of the ways that we at Vibe plan to make music therapy accessible to everyone. ”

music therapy profound deafness

Greg has been a practitioner of Music Therapy for 7 years and is passionate about the future of Music Therapy and the future of Music Therapy in the North West. An Audit of general practices in 2012 showed that there were 2165 known patients recognised as living with a learning disability in Liverpool alone. But in reality, research suggests that the true figure could be closer to 8900 today if you take into account un-diagnosed patients and patients with less severe Learning disabilities.

“Vibe music therapy is always looking at ways to support the local community. We can offer support to anyone in the North West and Cheshire regions who would benefit from short term or long term projects. If you know anyone who would benefit from the experience of Music Therapy please feel free to contact us to discuss how we can help.”
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For more information on Vibe Music Therapy visit , email or contact Greg Hanford (Director) on 07971 603673 or email

Read the published Wirral Globe article HERE.