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The unique qualities of music make it an effective tool for working with people with Intellectual Disabilities. Music captivates attention, motivates engagement and brings joy.


Music Therapy is effective in:

  • Identifying and nurturing abilities.

  • Providing opportunities to develop independence.

  • Facilitating self-expression and enhancing identity.

  • Supporting verbal and non-verbal communication.

  • Reducing anxiety, improving mood and building confidence.

  • Creating opportunities to develop meaningful relationships.

  • Enhancing ongoing social connections.

  • Providing opportunities for new experiences.

  • Supporting people in times of loss and grief.


Music therapy is strengths based. It focuses on celebrating who people are and what they bring to the therapy space. Music therapy creates opportunities for building collaborative relationships and community. It provides a safe and supportive creative space that promotes mental health and wellness.


People with intellectual disabilities do well in music therapy because it captivates attention, motivates action and brings joy and success. Music can be beneficial in so many ways because it is processed in both the left and right hemispheres of the brain. It is also a multi-sensory activity that incorporates the visual, kinesthetic, auditory and tactile systems. This is especially true when moving to music or playing instruments such as drums, tambourines or shakers. In addition, music is non-verbal so for those who do not communicate with language, music can provide an alternative to connect with others and express oneself.


Funding: Clients can use their EGL and their Indiviudalised Funding for Music therapy or ask your provider.


Kimberley Wade started music therapy with my mother late May 2012.

Mum was very opposed to such therapy even though she had very limited vocabulary since sustaining a stroke back in March 2011. Mum has severe Aphasia and severe Apraxia and was very self-conscious of this when people she was unfamiliar with were around.

With a great deal of patience, enthusiasm and encouragement Kimberley showed, mum slowly let Kimberley into her world.

Mum as well as the rest of the family are grateful to Kimberley for the time she has spent with mum, coupled with the amazing improvements mum has made with Music Therapy, as communicating verbally has become a lot easier and cleared for all concerned.

It has now got to the stage in Mum's rehabilitation that Kimberley's Music Therapy is mum's highlight of the week.

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