Children and Young People’s Music Therapy

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Children and Young People’s Music Therapy

There is significant evidence to show that music therapy can help children develop communication and language skills, as well as support their physical, emotional and mental wellbeing.

  • Established in 2017, In-Deep offers music therapy sessions for children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND).
  • Twice a month we run groups for 3-10 year olds, 11-18 year olds, and 19-25 year olds.
  • The sessions on the second Saturday of each month are in person, and the sessions on the fourth Saturday of each month are online via Zoom.

2021 dates:

11th Sept (in person)
11:30am-12:20pm (3-10 yrs) / 1:00-2:00pm (11-18 yrs) / 1:00-2:00pm (19-25 yrs)

25th Sept (online via Zoom) 
11:30am-12:10pm (3-10 yrs) / 1:00-1:50pm (11-18 yrs) / 1:00-1:50pm (19-25 yrs)

9th October (in person)
11:30am-12:20pm (3-10 yrs) / 1:00-2:00pm (11-18 yrs) / 1:00-2:00pm (19-25 yrs)

23rd October (online via Zoom) 
11:30am-12:10pm (3-10 yrs) / 1:00-1:50pm (11-18 yrs) / 1:00-1:50pm (19-25 yrs)

13th November (in person)
11:30am-12:20pm (3-10 yrs) / 1:00-2:00pm (11-18 yrs) / 1:00-2:00pm (19-25 yrs)

27th November (online via Zoom) 
11:30am-12:10pm (3-10 yrs) / 1:00-1:50pm (11-18 yrs) / 1:00-1:50pm (19-25 yrs)

11th December (in person)
11:30am-12:20pm (3-10 yrs) / 1:00-2:00pm (11-18 yrs) / 1:00-2:00pm (19-25 yrs)

18th December (online via Zoom) 
11:30am-12:10pm (3-10 yrs) / 1:00-1:50pm (11-18 yrs) / 1:00-1:50pm (19-25 yrs)


At various times of the year we run free day trips for families. Our most recent trip was to London Zoo with children and families from the music therapy group. Everyone enjoyed meeting the many different animals that London Zoo had to offer. Visit the gallery to see photos from this trip.

‘Our Favourite and Least Favourite Things’ is a song written by young people in our music therapy group for 11-18 year olds, with music therapist Imogen. Here’s a clip from a recent Zoom session – watch on YouTube to sing or sign along with the lyrics in the description!

Meet the music therapists:

Ella Emery trained as a music therapist at Roehampton University and graduated in 2020. Ella has many years of experience working musically with young children with different abilities and autism. She runs an early years music school called Little Piccolos, and works as a freelance music therapist in West London. Her style is warm and welcoming and therapeutically based in a psychodynamic approach. Ella is a classically trained musician and her first instrument is the flute. In therapy sessions, she also uses a range of musical instruments including guitar, ukulele, piano, and other percussion instruments to connect and communicate with clients.



Hannah Merchant trained at Anglia Ruskin University, qualifying in 2021. Her music therapy approach is client-led, focusing on psychodynamic, developmental and music-centred techniques. She has had experience in different clinical settings, with placements in a Special Education Needs School, Paediatric Hospital and with people who have dementia and their caregivers. As well as beginning a role as a music therapist at In-Deep, Hannah will be working in dementia care at different care homes. She feels passionate about how music therapy can help people of all ages to communicate and express themselves through music.





Imogen Dyer trained as a music therapist at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama and qualified in 2018. Imogen has experience in music therapy, music education and arts administration. Alongside her work with families for In-Deep, Imogen also works with children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities for Sound Resonance and in Forensic Services for West London NHS Trust. Imogen has a particular interest in working systemically with families and organisations.



Wilf Petherbridge is a music therapist and composer. Wilf trained as a Nordoff Robbins music therapist, which means his practice revolves around person-centred care and improvisation. He believes that music can be experienced by anyone, regardless of pathology, condition or background and can help to aid in communication, expression and creativity. He has been lucky enough to work within a wide range of environments.





Aliss Pollock trained as a music therapist at the University of Roehampton, qualifying in 2021. Aliss has a firm belief in the value of music therapy and the ethos of In-Deep, having worked as Project Support Worker for the charity since 2020. Aliss has experience in Learning Disability and Adult Mental Health teams within two NHS trusts, and has supported children and young people with additional needs for KEEN London since 2018. Employing a psychodynamic approach, Aliss aims to offer a safe space where clients can express themselves creatively and build connections through joint music-making.




Screenshots from our Zoom sessions:

Feedback from families:

“Since joining the In-Deep family in 2018, I have found the music therapy sessions invaluable in terms of having an inclusive group focused for my two young children’s additional needs. It has helped their concentration, their following of instructions, co-ordination and rhythmic ability, they exude confidence in the groups and look forward to having time dedicated to making music. As a parent it is also great having dedicated fun time allocated with my children, which is not always feasible with the daily structure. During the recent lockdown period the groups have remained in session online and they provided us with educational packs and pragmatic support to help get us through the difficult and isolating period – we felt very lucky with the contents of the educational pack, the children are now able to have their own complete music sessions at home whenever they please or when in need of a different focus. Having access to a group like In-Deep gives a family like mine something to do and keeps us included!” – Parent, 2020

“In-Deep music therapy sessions are warm, welcoming, uplifting, soothing, and engaging sessions. The therapists are compassionate, vibrant, fun, exciting, and incredibly responsive to the children and young people who are present during the sessions. My son has a wonderful time every time that he takes part. He is happy, motivated, and engaged during the session and looks forward to sessions that he will be attending in the future. In-Deep’s music therapy sessions have a positive impact on his confidence to speak, sing, and to engage with others. The sessions are delivered in a clear, focused, calm manner, with excellent verbal and visual prompting, that enables my son to understand what is happening, to relax, and to engage positively throughout the sessions. The sessions continue to support my son’s love for, connection with, and passion for music. During In-Deep’s music therapy sessions he is able to be enveloped in the excitement, joy, and peace that music provides to him.” – Parent, 2020

September events calendar for children with SEND and their families:
Saturday 11th September (in person at Millbank Academy, SW1P)
Music therapy for children and young people with SEND: 
participants are invited to join in group music-making – we can sing, play instruments or listen together and move to the beat. Sessions are led by qualified music therapists, and supported by students from the Royal College of Music.
11:30am – 12:20pm (3-10 year olds)
1:00pm – 2:00pm (11-18 year olds)
*1:00pm – 2:00pm (19-25 year olds)* new age group added!
Free (booking required)

Wednesday 15th September, 6:30pm- 7:00pm (online via Zoom)
Parent and child relaxation: join us for our relaxation session to help families settle down for the evening. It will involve music, relaxation exercises and storytelling. Suitable for for both primary and secondary age children.
Free (booking required)

Thursday 23rd September, 10am-3pm (at Hide Tower, Regency St, SW1P)
Manicures or pedicures for carers: treat yourself to a relaxing manicure or pedicure with a qualified beauty therapist.
£6 per treatment (by appointment only)

Saturday 25th September (online via Zoom)
Music therapy for children and young people with SEND:  participants are invited to join in group music-making – we can sing, play instruments or listen together and move to the beat. Sessions are led by qualified music therapists, and supported by students from the Royal College of Music.
11:30am – 12:10pm (3-10 year olds)
1:00pm – 1:50pm (11-18 year olds)
*1:00pm – 1:50pm (19-25 year olds)* new age group added!
Free (booking required)

Monday 27th September, 9:30am-10:30am (online via Zoom)
Pilates for carers: a chance to stretch, improve fitness and build strength whilst at home, led by a qualified instructor.
Free (booking required)


To book for any of these activities, please email: emma.chapman@in-deep.org.uk