Nordoff-Robbins Music Therapy: Bringing out the Music Within

Nordoff-Robbins is a charity based in the United Kingdom that unites a variety of disabled children and older adults to treat various ailments with music. The idea behind the therapy is that no matter what kind of music it is, and no matter what kind of reaction it is, music causes people to react. The reactions to certain types of music are beneficial and can be therapeutic. Though primarily based in the United Kingdom, several branches of the foundation are located worldwide.


What is Nordoff-Robbins Music Therapy?

Nordoff-Robbins music therapy uses live and improvised music to work with a patient. The music is made using a variety of instruments such as drums, cymbals, and the piano. Creating the musical melody has an amazing effect on the patients. Though it will not ever cure a specific problem the patient has, it will certainly help.

Since everyone has a different relationship with music, no music therapy session is ever the same for two different people. It works based on the fact that our musical responses are deeply embedded into the brain and because music is entirely universal.

No one has to be considered a musical person to benefit from this type of therapy. Those who have never received any musical training will also benefit because of this ingrained association with music.

Nordoff-Robbins Organization

Nordoff-Robbins Organization West

Nordoff Robbins - NYU Steinhardt


Recent Developments and Applications of the Therapy Today

Music therapy is particularly helpful for those who are disabled or have mental conditions. For instance, a person affected by a communicative disorder will likely see an increase in the ability to express themselves and interact with others through music therapy. For people who are sick, music therapy can help with socialization to keep a person from becoming too isolated from peers, and can also brighten one’s mood. It can help with self-exploration, and has a number of physiological effects, such as a reduction in blood pressure. Music can affect the way a person thinks, feels, and acts, which is why therapy is helpful for a variety of situations.

Think about it. Have you ever met someone who hates music? While a person may not prefer a certain kind of music, most people have a type they love, while others enjoy nearly anything they hear. When you feel sad, listening to music can make you happy. When you are happy, hearing a sad song can make you cry. Songs have meaning to the people who hear them and create many memories. This music therapy taps into the emotions of music to connect to people who need it the most.


The Rebecca Center for Music Therapy - Nordoff Robbins Music Therapy

The Early Beginnings of Nordoff-Robbins Music Therapy


Nordoff-Robbins music therapy is a type of music therapy developed by Paul Nordoff and Clive Robbins. Unlike some other music therapy programs, this program places an emphasis on developing musical skills.