Speech Therapy Melbourne

(03) 9878 2578

Speech Therapist Melbourne

The Little Bookworm
323 Springvale Rd,

Forest Hill, Victoria, 3131

Phone: (03) 9878 2578
Mobile: 0418 568 010
Fax: (03) 8672 6450

Make Medicare
Private Health Ins
claims...on the spot.


Music Therapy for Children

What is Music Therapy?

“Music therapy is a research-based practice and profession in which music is used to actively support people as they strive to improve their health, functioning and wellbeing” (Australian Music Therapy Association, n.d.). Registered Music Therapists have completed a specialised University degree and belong to the Australian Music Therapy Association, which is part of the Allied Health Professions Australia (AHPA).


Registered Music Therapists (RMTs) are highly skilled musicians trained to facilitate music participation in ways that positively impact brain function, behaviour, physical, social and cognitive processes and emotions. RMTs work collaboratively with individuals, family members, support workers and other health professionals to determine and evaluate goals to achieve better health, wellbeing and participation outcomes for their clients.


How can Music Therapy Assist my Child or Family?

Music therapy can be used to support a range of outcomes for children with Autism and their families, including: improving social interactions and communication[1], joint attention and affect sharing[2], as well as improving the quality of the parent child relationship[3]. Music therapy can also be helpful in developing more effective mood and arousal regulation[4].


What Happens in Music Therapy Sessions?

Initially, the RMT will work with you and your child to assess your situation, your child’s strengths and limitations and to establish some goals for your therapy.

Weekly sessions will then involve a variety of music-based strategies including singing, instrumental playing, music and movement, improvisation and musical story creation to address various goals. The RMT might also give you strategies for using music as part of your everyday life at home.


Who is the Registered Music Therapist at The Little Bookworm?

Dr Cherry Hense is a Registered Music Therapist with over 12 years of clinical experience. Prior to coming to The Little Bookworm, Cherry worked with children and adolescents with a range of mental health issues, as well as researching and teaching at The University of Melbourne. Cherry has a particular interest in supporting the parent-child relationship through music, as well as using music to regulate mood and arousal. Cherry is also the busy Mother of a 2-year old daughter, so is currently only available for sessions on Thursdays.


Interested in Exploring Music Therapy?

You can call and chat to Cherry at The Little Bookworm on a Thursday, or make a time to come in for an initial assessment.

[1] Gattino, G. S., Riesgo, R. d. S., Longo, D., Leite, J. C. L. & Faccini, L. S. (2011) Effects of relational music therapy on communication of children with autism: a randomized controlled study. Nordic Journal of Music Therapy, 20, 142–154. doi: 10.1080/08098131.2011.566933.

[2] Thompson, G., & Abel, L. (2018). Fostering spontaneous visual attention in children on the autism spectrum: A proof-of-concept study comparing singing and speech. Autism Research, online first. doi:10.1002/aur.1930

[3] Thompson, G., McFerran, K., & Gold, C. (2013). Family-centred music therapy to promote social engagement in young children with severe autism spectrum disorder: A randomised controlled study. Child: Care, Health & Development, 40(6), 840-852. doi: 10.1111/cch.12121

[4] McFerran, K. S., Hense, C., Koike, A., & Rickwood, D. (2018). Intentional music use to reduce psychological distress in adolescents accessing primary mental health care. Clinical Child Psychology and Psychiatry, Online first. doi:10.1177/1359104518767231


The Little Bookworm and the BW logo are trademarks of Paediatric Speech, Language and Literacy Pty Ltd, ACN 124 787 944, as trustee for the O’Brien Trust, ABN 98 233 279 903