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Project information

Music Therapy & Mental Health

Provide a Nordoff Robbins music therapy service for individuals with mental health difficulties at SMART, a community centre for people living with mental health issues adjacent to South Kensington and Chelsea Mental Health Centre building the bridge between life in hospital & life in the community

January 2011 - January 2012

Charity information: Nordoff Robbins

Nordoff Robbins logo
  • Need


    While not ill in an acute sense, patients with mental health problems lose many elements of their lives. They’ve been in and out of hospital. Their everyday relationships and social netowrks break down & many lose connections with family & friends. They can lose the every day, cultural & social things that keep us happy & maintain our well-being. Whilst living independently within the community many need a certain level of support in order to keep well.


    They need to regain their confidence&increase their ability to feel capable of actively contributing to society again. Despite people’s problems, everyone can participate in music. The project creates a small community, a place where people can perform & share music together. It helps to build relationships & build confidence in people who have lost everything. These individals have had music therapy in hospital and so music can be a crucial constant in their acclimatisation to community life

  • Aims

    Aim 1

    Bridge the gap between life in the hospital and recovery in the community


    » The Nordoff Robbins music therapist at the hospital will physically bring the individual to the music therapy session at the community centre
    » The music therapists at both the hospital and community centre are Nordoff Robbins trained and so further enforce the familiarity

    What success will look like

    Success will be all patients receiving Music Therapy in the hospital are actively encouraged & invited to participate in music therapy services outside of the hospital in this area

    Aim 2

    Create a community for those who may not have their own - the nature of Music Therapy is inclusive


    » Music Therapists create focussed sessions & have strategies to include everyone. They work with people in the service of their health & well-being.
    » Coping with the problems people bring as part of their illness. The overall aim is to use music to help transform people's experience & the situation

    What success will look like

    Success will be the creation of a community. There is extensive research conducted supporting the inclusive nature of Music Therapy

    Aim 3

    Facilitate personal wellbeing & development within individuals with mental health problems


    » With its inclusive focus music therapy encourages active participation. This allows and advances personal wellbeing and development
    » With active particiaption in music therapy sessions individuals are more confident, energised, communicative, connected, social & part of a community

    What success will look like

    Success will be positive results coming from evaluation processes embedded in the work of a music therapist. Progress is recorded & assessed constantly by interview & feedback

  • Impact


    The long term goals of this project are ultimately to transform lives. The project provides a support network to a constant stream of individuals with mental health problems needing support in their transition from life in the hospital to life outside of hospital. The power of music to connect people has an impact which can extend far into a participant’s life. Success will be the continuation of a Nordoff Robbins funded music therapist attending the sessions.


    The risks associated with such practical and research work are assessed as part of the professional work of the individual music therapists & the ongoing monitoring by the host organisation & its governance procedures. Nordoff Robbins as an organisation, & the individual therapists who work in this area are trained to deal professionally to assess and regulate risks in this area. The research arm of the project is scrutinised on an ongoing basis by the Nordoff Robbins Research Ethics Committee


    We will continue to discuss the work of this project in our off and online communications. With permission & written consent we may use quotes etc & the research arm of the work will prepare professionally-tailored reports of process and outcomes that would serve well as reports to sponsors

  • Budget

    Budget - Project Cost: £5,720

    Loading graph....
      Amount Heading Description
      £5,720 Salary 1 Nordoff Robbins Music Therapist for 1 afternoon per week for 1 year
  • Background


    The Borough of Kensington and Chelsea in which the site of this project is located is one of the most socially and economically polarised in the country. The catchment area draws people from all social and ethnic backgrounds, and is used to dealing with the associated complexities of this.


    Former patients of the South Kensington and Chelsea Mental Health Centre along with their families, friends and extended networks.

    The local community as a whole will benefit from this high level of support and care given to its individuals with mental health issues.

  • Why Us?

    Why Us?

    Nordoff Robbins is the largest charitable provider of music therapy services in the UK, specialising in transforming the lives of disadvantaged children and adults trough the power of music. We are uniquely situated to provide the best levels of care due to our all round focus on Services, Education and Research.

    Read more about the Charity running this project.


    Dr Gary Ansdell

    Gary is the music therapist that will run the weekly session. He is a researcher & trainer (currently Director of Education at Nordoff Robbins)

    Sarah Wilson

    Sarah is the music therapist at the hospital and works in conjunction with Gary in bridging the gap between hospital and community.