The Transformative Power of Music Therapy

by Handy Mag
Published: Updated:

at North Yorkshire Music Therapy Centre

For over three decades, North Yorkshire Music Therapy Centre (NYMTC) has been offering music therapy to people of different ages and abilities across North Yorkshire and Ryedale. The centre is located at Wath Court in Hovingham and provides a bright and welcoming space for sessions, both for individuals and larger groups.

We spoke to Laura Festa, the Director of Therapy, recently about the Centre and its work.

What is music therapy and how does it work?

Music therapy provides support through the use of music to help people improve their quality of life. Music therapy works to support psychological, emotional, cognitive, physical, communicative and social needs. Music therapists are qualified health professionals (HCPC-registered) and frequently work as members of multidisciplinary teams, for example in health, education or social care.

Extensive research has shown how music therapy improves people’s wellbeing, including their communication skills, self-confidence, independence, emotional regulation, awareness of themselves and others, and their concentration and attention.

What sort of clients do you work with?

Depending on the individual needs of clients, music therapists may offer individual or group sessions to a wide range of people from babies to the elderly, with and without additional needs.

Does music therapy work if you’re not musical?

Absolutely! No musical experience or knowledge is needed at all.

What groups do you offer at the moment and how can people access these groups?

Regular weekly sessions are held in various locations around the area, and include Groove ‘n’ Grow, for pre-school children and their parents/carers in York, Sunshine Singers, a dementia friendly singing group in Hovingham and Song Mates, a session to support mental health, held at Next Steps in Norton. Two therapy hubs offer support to individuals and groups in Kirkbymoorside and Scarborough and a new Sing and Sign group for young people, their parents and carers, is proving very popular at Springhead School in Scarborough.

For more information and to book a place at any of our groups, please contact us (see below).

Do you offer Music Therapy to individuals?

Yes, we do.

Do I need a referral from my Doctor to receive Music Therapy?

No. We have an open referral policy, so anyone can self-refer or make a referral.

Who else is part of the team at NYMTC?

As a Charity, we have a Board of Trustees, as well as Music Therapists, Community Musicians, an Office Administrator, and many wonderful volunteers.

How can people get involved with NYMTC?

You can Become a Friend (see website) or Volunteer with us. We have several roles available, ranging from helping at one of our sessions to helping our office administrator in fundraising events and activities.

How can I find out more?

Visit or call 01653 628 725. For email enquiries,

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