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An innovative music therapy project for over 40 children with additional support needs at a Dundee nursery has been such a success that the search is on for funding so it can continue.

Scotland’s music therapy charity, Nordoff Robbins Scotland, provided music therapy to over 40 children aged 3-5 at the Frances Wright Pre-School Centre in Dundee for a year until July 2017. Now as schools go back, the staff, parents and children are keen for music therapy to continue.

The children, who have a range of different conditions including autism, cerebral palsy, profound and multiple learning disabilities (PMLD), visual impairment, neurological disabilities such as epilepsy responded in different ways. Some made progress with communication while others were more ready to listen, take turns and follow instructions.

The nursery staff commented: “Our children have responded so well to music therapy. It is a tool for engaging with children who can be hard to reach. It allows them to be expressive with no right or wrong way to do it.”

Another noted that the children demonstrated an increased ability to tolerate and manage the shared group setting which is an important life-skill to help reduce isolation and prepare for school and social situations.

Abbie, a 5 year old in the music therapy group is non-verbal but she has now started to make more use of her voice at home, as her mum, Lisa, explains:

“Abbie has responded fantastically to the music therapy, her concentration is great. She loves humming along to songs and sings along to some of the words.”

Funded by a grant from Creative Scotland’s Youth Music Initiative Access to Music Fund, the project came to an end in June.

Nordoff Robbins Scotland Fundraising Director Carolyne Nurse explained: “We are extremely grateful for the grant from YMI and clearly the work has had a huge impact on the children and the staff – who are inspired to use  music more with the children to support engagement in motivating and fun ways. We need £5000 to continue and are applying for grants from other funders.”

If you would like to contribute to Music Therapy for children with additional support needs in Dundee, please contact Nordoff Robbins Scotland on 0131 629 6363 or email


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