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We want to live in a world where everyone can thrive through the power of music. That’s why Virgin Media is teaming up with Nordoff Robbins​ Music Therapy

By Virgin TV Edit

In music we are fearless. In music we are connected. In music we are equal. In music we have potential. That’s the Nordoff Robbins message – one that we support wholeheartedly. The UK’s largest music therapy charity has reached thousands and thousands of people with music therapy, holding 21,601 music therapy sessions in 2020. However, due to the pandemic, they lost 42% of their income in 2020, with a combined loss of £2.6 million.


Virgin Media is supporting Nordoff Robbins to keep the music playing for those who need it most. This summer, we partnered with the charity for Summer Jams and gave away some epic prizes, including tickets to out-of-this-world gigs and a DJ set live from your home!

During the pandemic, Nordoff Robbins’ face-to-face music therapy was disrupted and their funding was hit hard, so we’re donating £50,000 to the charity to help their expert music therapists continue to connect with people and families experiencing isolation.

Please donate today to Nordoff Robbins Music Therapy here

Nordoff Robbins’ essential work treats people as valuable, not vulnerable, turning them from audience to conductor. They help individuals who would struggle to access the potential music therapy has to offer, including people with life-limiting illness and profound disabilities, to experience the power of music.


Bushwacka! workshop

As part of Virgin Media’s partnership with Nordoff Robbins, DJ Matthew Benjamin, aka  Bushwacka!, hosted a workshop on Tuesday 21 September, on the power of electronic music and its role in music therapy.


Nordoff Robbins invited its trainee therapists to an instrumental jamming session and DJ masterclass with Bushwacka!, who is also a trained psychotherapeutic counsellor and the founder of Listen Up Therapy.


The aim of the workshop was to showcase the potential of electronic music in the context of therapy, while exploring the impact that the act of listening, discussing, improvising, and playing music can have on people and their lives.


This comes as research from UK Music reveals that 59% of adults feel that music aids their health and wellbeing, with 30% turning to music when they’re feeling anxious, to improve mood or when they’re feeling low (56%).


Almost three quarters (74%) say that music is important to their quality of life and more than half (59%) feel that it helped them to cope during lockdown – leading to more than one million adults taking up an instrument during months of isolation.


The workshop took place ahead of Bushwacka! playing a set at Virgin Media’s Club Rewind – the UK’s first inter-city connected club experience, which took place simultaneously in London and Glasgow on Wednesday 22 September. The noughties Ibiza themed event was headlined by Pete Tong (London) and Carl Cox (Glasgow).


Find out more about Club Rewind here.  

What is music therapy?

Music therapy is a specialised craft and a recognised therapeutic and health intervention. Music therapists work with people to engage their own unique musicality, in order to support their development, recovery, health, potential and/or wellbeing. It is particularly impactful for those living with significant challenges due to illness, disability or isolation.


Nordoff Robbins’ approach to music therapy, sometimes known as creative music therapy, was established in 1959 by Paul Nordoff and Clive Robbins. All of the charity’s trained therapists are registered with the Health Care Professions Council. 


Despite the pandemic, Nordoff Robbins reached 142,708 people with their online musical resources and 804 people signed up to their fully accessible online choir. Romano is just one of the many people Nordoff Robbins has helped.

Romano’s story

At two years old, Romano was diagnosed with autism, global developmental delay and dyspraxia.


By the time he was five, he still wasn’t verbal, but his mum, Tina, noticed that when music was on the television, he would sing along and start to form words in his own way. She then sang to him at every opportunity, noticing that music and singing always made a situation easier.


Tina then found Nordoff Robbins Music Therapy. And at six, Romano started to have music therapy. Since then, he has had music therapy in groups, pairs and one-to-one sessions with music therapists Fraser and Emily.


Tina said: “Romano has a lifelong condition and there is no cure for him, but music therapy gives him the chance to reach his full potential. Music has quite literally reached him in a way that nothing else could. The impact is beyond anything I could have ever hoped for.”


Now 18, Romano has been on a musical journey, finding his voice through music. Music gives him his voice, confidence and space to express himself.


This led him to his journey from Nordoff Robbins Music Therapy to performing with the House Gospel Choir and Gorillaz pianist Mike Smith at The Royal Albert Hall to help raise awareness about the power of music and music therapy.


In the very powerful film below by Grammy-nominated director Nicolas Davies, Nicholas takes his interpretation of music therapy and magnifies it on to Britain’s most famed arena. Taking inspiration from a music therapy session with Romano, it captures the unique and intimate beauty of music therapy and the potential it has to enhance his life.

How you can support Nordoff Robbins Music Therapy

Help the charity raise £100,000 for newly qualified music therapists to support 2,550 people in the UK in the next 12 months with music therapy in areas of critical need as we emerge from the devasting impact of the pandemic, including:


  • Shelters for victims of domestic abuse 
  • Hostels for people who are homeless
  • Secondary schools
  • Community projects supporting refugees and migrants

The need for highly skilled music therapists is at an all-time high. Help Nordoff Robbins work and connect with more people across the UK to have the opportunity to access and benefit from the immense value of music therapy. 


Please donate today to Nordoff Robbins Music Therapy here

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