Reach Out!

Teachers & Music Therapists

In the realm of education and therapy, the harmonious collaboration between teachers and music therapists has been the subject of significant exploration and research. A noteworthy contribution to this discourse is the book “Addressing Issues of Mental Health in Schools Through the Arts: Teachers and Music Therapists Working Together,” co-authored by Nick Clough, a dedicated teacher trainer, researcher, and community musician, and Jane Tarr, a seasoned music therapist based in the UK. This timely publication is a valuable addition to the domains of both music therapy and education. Spanning over 300 pages and featuring insights from 15 contributors, the book underscores the importance of creative, interactive, safe, and inclusive teaching strategies for vulnerable young individuals grappling with social, emotional, and mental health concerns. At its core, the book advocates for the effective collaboration between teachers and music/arts therapists to create secure, non-verbal, and relational spaces within the classroom, thus supporting the recovery and learning of these vulnerable young people. The central theme revolves around strategies and measures that teachers can adopt in educational settings, complementing the efforts of specialists beyond the classroom. The ultimate objective is to enhance the inclusion of vulnerable children in the learning environment and process. 

This book outlines how teachers, music / arts therapists and teacher trainers have engaged in participatory action research to facilitate regular group music listening and improvisational music making with children and young people in their classrooms, highlighting its impact in addressing issues of mental health and providing social and emotional access to learning.

The book includes examples of classroom practice, evidencing how safe, inclusive and interactive music making can stimulate experiences that alter children and young people’s moods, enhance their social skills and enable their connectivity with each other and with learning. It describes participatory action research approaches that support inter professional learning between teachers and music / arts therapists. Five narrative accounts of classroom episodes provide a basis for continuing reflection and critical theorising about young people’s relational health and sensory engagement. The book explores outcomes from non-verbal dialogic interaction and attachment focussed practices. It advocates new forms of rights respecting professionalism.

Providing new frameworks with which to enhance the wellbeing of vulnerable children and young people in classroom settings, the book will be important reading for researchers and students in the fields of inclusive education, music / arts therapy and teacher training. The contents are significant for practitioners looking to support children and young people’s recovery and reconnections in the classroom.

Music can play an important part in supporting children and families experiencing difficulties.

- Dr Richard Rose, Professor Emeritus of Inclusive Education, Faculty of Education , University of Northampton
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