Music Therapy Explained

Below is a short video along with some simple comparisons to best explain what music therapy is, where it is used, and who it benefits.

Vibe Music Therapy

Vibe is a Music Therapy services company based in Merseyside servicing Liverpool Wirral and Cheshire. We visit a wide range of settings including schools, (state and specialised units), private healthcare companies (including centers for people living with physical/mental disabilities), the NHS, community projects and private clients including home visits.

Vibe music therapy take a person-centered approach, putting people first irrespective of pathology.

What is Music Therapy?

Music therapy allows people to express who and how they are through musical experiences.  By using a clinical perspective, aims may be facilitated and the subsequent outcomes measured through careful evaluation.

Official definitions state that the purpose of music therapy is to create a therapeutic relationship with the client. This is achieved though a client-led experience using musical instruments as a vehicle for expression to occur. Music therapy has been an established clinical profession for over 50 years. Early interventions were very much focused on special education needs, particularly Autism and there is a substantial amount of qualitative research to support the use of music therapy, making it very much an evidence based practice.

Today music therapy is used in a diverse range of fields including, Dementia, Neurorehabilitation, Palliative care, SEN, Mental Health, among many other settings where it has been proved to support well-being and development in a variety of ways.


  • Music Therapy is a protected title in the United Kingdom.
  • To practice music therapy you need to have a MSc level education in music therapy.
  • Music therapists are registered health care professionals (HCPC registered).
  • Music therapists work in a diverse number of settings such as hospitals, day centres, schools, care centres for the elderly, prisons and private homes to mention a few.


  • Playing a CD or playlist titled ‘music therapy’ to a person.
  • Musicians performing to service-users.
  • A student on placement playing an instrument to people at a care home.
  • A choir performing to patients at a hospital ward.

A helpful analogy would be to suggest that music performance is like watching TV in that it is one directional. Music Therapy is more like the someone who uses the internet. It’s two directional as the person interacts with the ‘internet’ and the ‘internet’ feeds back information to the user.

“Music is a moral law. It gives soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination, and charm and gaiety to life and to everything.”


Who Benefits

The benefits of music therapy are far reaching. Due to the flexible nature of how it is applied it can be used with a number of pathologies allowing a set of aims and outcome measures that are tailored to the individual. We recognise that pathology does not define a person, and while there are areas that could be categorised by pathology, it really depends on the individual person.
Music breaks down barriers of illness or disability and allows people to make connections with each other. Music therapy exploits this allowing person centered healthcare to be conducted in a way that treats people as individuals regardless of pathology.


Music Therapy is a professional and clinical vocation. It is a protected title by the Health Care Professions Council (HCPC) and is adopted within the NHS. Music therapy is an MSc standard of accreditation and has many different areas of specialism including Music-Centered, Neurological and Person-Centered to name a few. There is a huge wealth of evidence to support the clinical application of music therapy and this is constantly being updated by clinicians of many medical fields around the world. Below are some areas of research of interest including; Dementia PTSD, Mental Health, Depression, ASD, ADHD and many other non-pathology specific areas.

Music Therapy and Dementia icon


Evidence Base (pdf) This document contains links to research on the effectiveness and importance of music therapy where people living with Dementia are concerned.
NICE mental health icon

Nice Guidelines

Mental Health

NICE Guidelines based on mental health and young people.

Journal of music therapy icon

British Journal of Music Therapy

Mental Health/Dementia/Autism

The British Journal of Music Therapy regularly publishes papers from many areas of research within the field.

Nordoff Robbins icon

Nordoff Robbins

The root Organisation of Music Therapy

Nordoff Robbins are heavily invested in the professional development of Music Therapy in the U.K. This link takes you to their website where you can find more information about the organisation.


The cost of a Music Therapist varies depending on therapist experience, specialism and geography. Typically music therapists charge a rate relative to talking psychotherapists with this can ranging from £30 to £55 per hour. The scale of the work involved and the number of people serviced are also key to us to be able to produce competitive costing. This is just a guide and specific pricing is usually based around half and full day rates.

We are currently taking referrals for 2020. Please contact us by email or fill out the form below and we will get back to you promptly.

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 fill in your details on the contact form below and one of our team will get back to you shortly.

Liverpool, Wirral, Merseyside, Cheshire


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