Nordoff Robbins Music Therapy

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Nordoff Robbins is the largest independent music therapy charity in the UK, dedicated to changing the lives of vulnerable and isolated people. We support thousands of people through our own centres and by working in partnership with a wide range of organisations including care homes, schools and hospitals. Nordoff Robbins music therapy is music-centred and based on improvisatory musical communication between therapist and service-user(s). Music therapists support people in developing their own ways of being musical, in order to explore their potential and connect with the world around them. In the hands of a trained practitioner, music therapy can be used to support people living with a wide range of needs. It can help a child with autism to communicate, unlock memories for those living with dementia, or provide comfort and celebrate the life of someone facing a terminal illness. Through the delivery of high-quality music therapy services across the UK, our Masters-level music therapy training and our dedicated research to enrich, strengthen and demonstrate the effectiveness of our work, our mission is to bring life-changing music therapy to as many people as possible.

Research has been intrinsic to Nordoff Robbins’s music services ever since the founders of the approach, Paul Nordoff and Clive Robbins, began their pioneering work. To this day, our work with clients and their families and carers, as well as previous research in music therapy and related fields, inform and direct the work of our research team. In addition to our research projects, we work with music therapists to carry out service evaluations of music therapy services provided by Nordoff Robbins, in collaboration with partner organisations. These service evaluations help ensure our services meet high standards of professional practice, and help ensure continuation of funding for our services. In these ways we hope to contribute to our own practice as well as to the wider music in health, music psychology and music sociology communities. As well as in our ongoing research projects, we aim to achieve this through organising research events such as conferences and seminars, and by publishing a range of downloadable research resources. These include a systematic overview of outcome measures in music therapy, a compilation of references to research in music therapy and music and health, and a guide to presenting evidence for practicing music therapists. Understanding and exploring music therapy demands knowledge of a huge range of disciplines and we are therefore keen to collaborate with groups and individuals working in related disciplines.