Music therapy during lockdown

Music therapist, Anouska Henderson, explains how she has managed to continue providing music therapy to Alexander Devine children during lockdown:

“When the country went into lockdown it was uncertain how I would be able to continue to provide music therapy for the children I see regularly in the community. To begin with I provided a request service where parents could choose songs for me to record and send as videos for their children. Following training from various music therapy organisations, I was supported by Alexander Devine to be able to offer online music therapy sessions from my home.


Central to music therapy is the relationship which is built, and it felt important to keep a connection going with the children even when we couldn’t be in a room together. These online sessions give families a sense of continued routine and a familiar face when social interactions and chances for respite have mostly stopped.


Music therapy sessions during lockdown have been an opportunity for the children to have fun, to request songs they enjoy and have a virtual experience tailored to them. If they are having a difficult day with increased pain or discomfort it can be a distraction. It’s also something that parents, carers and siblings have been able share together.

For families like Jessica and her mum, Vicky, continuing to benefit from music therapy has been a much-needed “slice of normality”. Jessica has a progressive neuro-metabolic disorder that affects her mental and movement abilities. Vicky explained what it means to have this continued support:

“Jessica loves music and having music therapy gives her an opportunity to express herself through music. It provides her with choices of what instruments to play and she is able to get involved in turn taking and directing the tempo and rhythm of the music.


Jessica has been fortunate to have received music therapy regularly for the past 9 months and for this to have been offered during lockdown has been a slice of normality that has been lacking in so many parts of Jessica’s life. Having music therapy to look forward to each week has meant the world to Jessica as she musters as much energy as she can to put into her sessions.”

Anouska explained how she was able to work with mum Vicky and Jessica remotely:

“With Vicky as my hands beyond the screen we have been able to continue working on Jessica’s fine motor skills, choosing with the instruments, emotional expression, playing together and listening and relaxing to music. All this as well as lots of fun and laughter together!”


Need our help?

The word hospice should not seem scary and getting support from us doesn’t have to mean a child’s death is imminent. Helping to enrich the lives of the children and their families is at the heart of our service, our end of life and bereavement support is just a part of what we do.

Our children’s hospice service covers the whole of Berkshire and into surrounding counties. If you think your child may be eligible for our services, please do get in touch.

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Alexander Devine Children’s Hospice Service is the operating name of Alexander Devine Children’s Cancer Trust. A company limited by guarantee registered in England and Wales No. 5757493

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