Physical Disability and Music Therapy

Marcos’ Story

This video showcases some of the development with a service user we have been working with for 12 months. Marcos is living with Spastic Quadriplegia and as a result physical movement can be incredibly challenging. He has limited speech but is able to form words and phrases that he uses often by way of greeting and/or engagement with people around him such as, (“what are you doing”). After initial assessments were completed with Marcos it was understood that increasing engagement, quality of life and supporting him physically in music therapy would be appropriate clinical aims.

Marocs has been receiving 1 hr music therapy sessions weekly at the day service he attends and is accompanied by a support worker that has been supporting Marcos’ needs and knows him well.

A majority of the musicing in the session is improvisational, spontaneous and on many occasions initiated by Marcos as he utilises a range of instruments including his own voice. We have fun in the sessions and Marcos has shown huge development in a number of areas. Marcos has improved hugely in his ability to imitate the name of the support worker, words such as “music”, “today” and “hello”, that have become clearer over time. He shouts as loud as he can in music therapy which is great to hear and good to know that he is clearly very enthusiastic to participate and lead elements of the session. Marcos pushes himself continuously and this is observed as his face and hands sweat, it has been mentioned that his physical exertion is higher than when he is involved in high intensity physical activities such as Taekwondo, so it really goes to show how keen he is to be in music therapy.

His gross and fine motor movement are pushed at every session and Marcos has a greater sense of control of where he is hitting percussion instruments and smaller chime bars that require a lot of precision when being played. He also opens his hands so he is able to play the guitar without support and this has been a particularly positive observation. Marcos has also been a case study in some cutting edge research that involves facial analysis. We use computer software and dashboards that we have created to reflect his increase in facial expressions and positive emotions which have been very conclusive, (you can find out more about this by clicking here). We continue to work with Marcos to this day and it has been a honor and a pleasure to work with such a fantastic human being.

Areas of focus within music therapy

⦁ Vocalising words e.g hello, names, music.

Physical movement
⦁ use of hands and arms to play percussion instruments e.g cymbal, drums
⦁ smaller , targeted instruments like hand chimes
⦁ using hands to play guitar, piano


Contact Us



We service clients across the North West of England and have bases in the City of Liverpool and the Wirral. If you have an inquiry, please feel free to contact us from the details below.

Liverpool, Wirral, Merseyside


0151 216 4407


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