Our work

Music therapy in children’s hospices

Our work - child with guitar

Before Jessie’s Fund there was no music therapy in any children’s hospice: it was a gap in the care of life-limited children which seemed to be crying out to be filled. Jessie’s Fund has now equipped all children’s hospices with musical instruments and has established part-time music therapy posts at most of the hospices for children in the UK.

We also provide workshops and training courses for hospice staff which enable them to use music as a tool for communication. About 85% of children in hospices can’t communicate verbally – imagine how wonderful it is for them to be able to express themselves through music instead.

Click here to see how one child can be involved in a unique dialogue.

I actually feel very emotional to see such a profound response from him. Our son and many other children we have met seem to be able to respond to music and interact on a level they cannot do through any other medium. It offers opportunities for children and their wider families to experience something very special together and creates wonderful memories to treasure forever.

What is Music Therapy?

Our work - playing tamborine

Music therapy uses music to encourage communication and expression by playing an instrument, singing or listening, usually in improvised music. It isn’t about learning to play an instrument. A music therapist forms a trusting relationship with a child and provides a safe setting in which difficult feelings can be expressed and contained. Music can often make sense where words are inadequate, or even impossible. Music therapy focuses on what a child can do rather than on their disabilities, gives choices and control, and raises self-esteem.

For more information about music therapy, click here.

Supporting children’s music therapy elsewhere

Supporting children

We also support children in hospitals, child development centres, early years settings, and in their own homes by funding music therapy sessions, providing instruments, giving in-house workshops, and running creative music projects.

‘At school she was always described as the little lost soul in the corner, afraid of everything and everybody. I believe her personality has grown thanks to the opportunity to have music therapy, and with your generous help I’m sure she’ll continue to progress in leaps and bounds.’

If you are looking for a grant, you may be able to apply to us for help.