Pre-School Service based at PESTS

Overview of the service

This year has been eventful for the family music therapy service. Owing to attendance falling unacceptably at St Stephen’s it was decided to offer the service to PESTS based at Windmill Nursery in Greenford. This was well received and has proved to be popular. EMT is continuing to provide service at this venue.

Overview of the work

The work for PESTS has been stimulating and challenging for me as a practitioner and feedback has been positive from staff and families. The main challenge has been finding a model that works for EMT and PESTS, given practical restraints such as transport, and going forward it is intended to offer a flexible service to ensure fair access, with both drop in and booked sessions, which appear to meet the current needs of the families.

Case Study

Child S, aged 4, attended with his mother and younger brother three times from September 2017. He presented without diagnosis, using speech and exhibiting curiosity in the instruments and those around him. He participated fully, showing musical awareness and adapting his playing to match that of the therapist, conflict only arising when he was asked to sit on cushions like the other children. Another child, similar in looks to S, befriended him and both families grew close. A five week hiatus then became necessary to accommodate other families and this must have disrupted both S and his family’s routine as he only attended one of the next six sessions available to him, and his family stopped coming. News came to me that he was refusing to leave the house. With his family’s approval I phoned him, saying how he was missed, and to my surprise and delight he immediately took the decision to leave the house and 45 minutes later arrived in the class and joined seamlessly into our activity. Though he will be moving to a different school this experience highlighted to his family the very great part music therapy could play in enhancing S’s enjoyment and inclusion.

The future

I am very much looking forward to developing the work for EMT at PESTS and wish to thank all the staff at PESTS for their hard work in ensuring that music therapy is available to as many families as possible who attend PESTS.