Nordoff Robbins - Meet the charity using music as a form of therapy

Nordoff Robbins, the UK’s largest independent music therapy charity, is to stage a gig in Leeds later this month as part of its Get Loud campaign.

Nordorff Robbins do some excellent work using therapy as music.
Nordorff Robbins do some excellent work using therapy as music.

Rock band Reef, whose hits include Place Your Hands, Come Back Brighter and Good Feeling, will perform at the show at the Brudenell Social Club on September 25.

The gig is one of 12 taking place on the same day at venues across England and Scotland. Other participating artists include Louise Redknapp, Sigala, Frank Turner and 10CC.

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The eclectic mix of artists performing this year are helping Nordoff Robbins celebrate the incredible diversity of their charity, as they reach out to anyone who can be helped by music therapy.

Reef are playing a gig supporting the charity.

Meet the charity that aims to bring music to children living in rural YorkshireReef said: “We are totally stoked to have been asked by the fantastic Nordoff Robbins to be a part of the Get Loud line-up. Music is such an important part of all of our lives and it makes real sense for us to be involved with this fantastic charity in some small way. Let’s help Nordoff Robbins continue to bring people together with music and try to make a positive difference to people’s lives.”

Founded in 1977, and based on the pioneering teamwork of American composer and pianist Paul Nordoff and special education teacher Clive Robbins, the Nordoff Robbins charity is dedicated to enriching the lives of people affected by life limiting illness, isolation or disability.

Its music therapists are expertly trained to tune into each movement, reaction and expression of the individuals they work with to discover how music can enrich their lives. It provides a range of different sessions for children and adults of all ages in its centres across the country, including Leeds.

Julie Whelan, the charity’s chief executive said: “We do quite a lot of work in Leeds and across Yorkshire. We train our music therapists with a master’s degree. We have just 90 music therapists, but In Leeds we have a therapist that works out of Daniel Yorath House [in Garforth], and that’s working specifically with people who have got neuro rehabilitation care, and we’ve also got a few therapists delivering music therapy within learning difficulties at Cranmer Court [in Moortown] and then a partnership called SNAP (Special Needs And Parents), and again we are delivering services there.

Nordoff Robbins chief executive Julie Whelan

Put Stormzy on the curriculum to revitalise music education - Matt Griffiths“Across Leeds specifically, we are working a lot in the [fields] of neuro and learning difficulties, children and adults, and also children and families work. Across Yorkshire more broadly, we’re working in Bradford, Wakefield, Rotherham, York and Sheffield now.”

Region-wide, the charity has between six and eight therapists working with dozens of clients. “That’s the reason why we are doing the gigs in Leeds and Middlesbrough [where rap-rock band Skindred are playing at the Town Hall], because we’re targeting the Yorkshire area because the waiting lists and the work is growing across Yorkshire.

“When we do our Get Loud campaign and we’re thinking about where we place the gigs and bring the sense of awareness-raising but also getting music lovers more connected with our work.”

The charity has found the therapy it offers makes a profound difference to people’s lives. “We’re obviously a charity that’s not about a cure, and that’s actually quite an interesting place for us to be,” said Whelan. “Our focus is, we have to target and prioritise those people who have got life-limiting conditions, significant disabilities, real vulnerabilities and isolation in their life. Therefore we’re making decisions about whether music could actually give them a better quality of life or really help them at a particular time an stage in their life.”

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