St. Mary's College Derry received a grant from the City of Culture Music Promise programme to provide music therapy to students over the year of the City of Culture. Due to the success of the programme the school has decided to continue funding it.
The music therapist, Lucia McGinnis a County Derry native has said "I am delighted that the programme has been continued by the school. The Music Promise gave me the opportunity to offer a valuable therapeutic intervention to the children that will benefit the most. I have seen an increase in the students confidence, self esteem and behaviour over the year and I am glad that we can continue this good work".
Music therapy is an allied health profession that uses music as a therapy tool. This is used to help children with special needs and behavioural problems to meet their needs such as improved social skills, communication skills, emotional expression and improved behaviour. Music is especially motivating to teenagers which is why it is so effective as a therapeutic intervention with this age group.
Music Therapy is also widely researched as a proven treatment used in educational settings, hospitals, hospices, addiction rehabilitation and prisons. The therapeutic value of music and its effect on the human brain are topics for research around the world. It has been proven that singing decreases anxiety and stress, enhances the immune system, increases oxygen into the blood flow which lifts mood, and releases endorphins; the brain’s feel good chemicals.
For more information on Music Therapy you can reach Lucia on her Facebook page North West Music Therapy.