Music Therapy

What is Music Therapy?

NOT music education or musical entertainment. Music therapy is an allied health profession that uses music to achieve non-musical goals.

For example, at Yarraville SDS such goals could be…

PHYSICAL – developing fine and gross motor skills, coordination, movement, etc

SOCIAL – leadership, turn-taking, listening, following instructions, verbal and vocalizations, signing, using PECS, choice, increase length of time engaged in activities, identifying what is socially acceptable.


EMOTIONAL – self-expression, identifying emotions, discussion of emotions, choice, have fun and enjoyment of music, etc.

COGNITIVE – learning numbers, colors, animals, etc

All students receive music therapy at Yarraville SDS. Some groups have sessions for one semester and some groups have sessions for a full year. The performance group started in semester 2, 2009, and is made up of a selection of students from throughout the school. This group has opportunities to perform at various events, such as the Glenroy special schools concert, school concerts and Christmas BBQs.

What we do in Music Therapy?
Hello and Goodbye songs are in every session, to provide structure and familiarity, especially for students with ASD.music1

Songs – listening and playing instruments with the song, live and recorded, age appropriate, have goals in mind (eg Twinkle to develop fine motor skills)

  • Improvisation
  • Choice
  • Sensory stimulation
  • Movement activities
  • Songwriting
  • Performance