The History of the Ealing Music Therapy Project

In 1983 some families had heard about the value of music therapy and had independently sought a service.  They found the Nordoff-Robbins Music Therapy Centre in Kentish Town where it was possible for their children to attend weekly sessions.  This was quite an undertaking, involving long, complex and expensive journeys.  As more families heard about music therapy there became an increasing need for a service to be established in Ealing.

By 1985 Ealing Contact-a-Family became involved in the project, and organised a public meeting at which Sybil Beresford-Peirse, then Director of the Nordoff - Robbins Music Therapy Centre, answered the question "What is Music Therapy?"  Even more interest was generated, the Catholic Community offered premises at St Anne's Convent, and grants were applied for.  Unfortunately, the optimism for an early start was short-lived as grants were difficult to find.

However interest in the project remained and grants totalling £2,000 had been obtained by 1986.  It had been estimated that it would cost £4,000 per year for the project to operate for one day per week.  By this time families had been waiting for almost a year and it was felt that a risk should be taken and two therapists were appointed.

Since those early years EMT has continued to grow and develop, becoming a registered charity in 1989.  Today, in addition to being based in seven schools across the Borough, EMT offers a community service on a Saturday.  Funding models have changed too, with all the schools making a contribution to the cost of the service in addition to donations and the grants raised by the Trustees.