Our music therapy under lockdown

Our music therapy under lockdown

Hospice Waikato music therapist Nolan Hodgson talks about his experience under lockdown.

“Before this I didn’t believe it would be possible to run a successful music therapy session over the internet. Our music therapy sessions rely on vocal and musical interactions that are often very personal, immediate and so essentially in-the- moment that I didn’t think a video-call would be able to do them justice.

Now my work days are filled with Zoom sessions. The majority of these are with children I work with through Rainbow Place.

Often these children had limited social interaction before the Covid-19 pandemic and now this has reduced to only those family members in their bubble. Even the many care or support workers who usually spend time with these children are unable to do so and this means the parents have lost this extra support at a time when they are navigating how to work from home and keep their entire household busy each day.

Many of the children I am working with have had numerous or long term hospital admissions and so are accustomed to having their social interactions reduced to a small ‘bubble’ for weeks at a time. It is me who has to change and adapt the way that I work.

Music has a wonderful ability to take us out of our present situation and carry us away wherever the song takes us. It’s a fantastic way to connect, to share and to communicate with others and I’m thankful that we have the technology to enable this to happen from afar.

I’m sure the current lockdown will transform my practice in the future and will hopefully enable me to keep in contact more regularly with those living in distant or rural areas of Waikato.”