Parent Services Link Worker
Colin Neighbourhood Partnership
Emma is currently delivering music therapy to a group of parents with children who have autism. The parents and children love it! They come into the class very excited and the interaction that the children now have with each other is great. Emma has developed a great rapport with the families.

I have noticed an improvement in the confidence levels of the children. Also the parents are much more relaxed and look forward to coming every week to the session. Some of what is learned in the music therapy sessions is then being used in the home, i.e parents giving their children more opportunities to experience turn taking as this can be a big issue for these young people.They have developed many skills such as listening, increased communication and sharing.

I feel that music therapy has been a fantastic intervention for these families. There are limited services that can help to develop these young people’s skills (such as communication, self awareness and confidence), and I am very keen for as many families as possible to avail of this service. I would definitely recommend the service to any family who have children with learning difficulties.
Catherine has two rare disorders: Kleefstra syndrome which causes her severe learning difficulties, low muscle tone and communication difficulties, and Autistic Catatonia a very severe form of autism whose symptoms include difficulty moving and blindness for months at a time along with the usual features of autism.

Music therapy has provided Catherine with a means to express herself, to communicate, to engage in a musical conversation when otherwise her world has become very closed and shut down. From when she was four years old with Julie Sutton, through a succession of music therapists while attending Oakwood and Glenveagh Special Schools through to her therapy for the last three years with Emma and Music Therapy Connections N.I. Catherine has found her music therapy session to be the highlight of her week, a time where she is heard, can take her turn and be valued for who she is no matter what limitations her many disabilities cause her.

To anyone thinking about introducing their children to music therapy with Music Therapy Connections N.I. we say: “Try it out – you won’t regret it!”
Children's Heart Beat Trust
Thank you to Emma for delivering a series of music therapy workshops for families affected by heart disease across Northern Ireland.

They were really fantastic, and our families took a lot from them with comments like 'It was amazing to see our little girl play and engage in a way we didn't think she could' to 'There was something for everyone and it passed too quickly - can we do it again please!'.

Would highly recommend MTCNI to other groups and organisations and look forward to working with you again in the future.
Tri-Age West Belfast
The sessions provided by Music Therapy Connections NI have greatly benefited both the service users and staff of our day centre.

We found the therapists to be extremely dedicated to what they do. They display a perfect balance between professionalism and personalisation. The music was age appropriate, and sessions were customised to meet the diverse needs of the different groups. The therapists treated each person with dignity and respect, always encouraging participation and involvement so that each group member could reach their own individual personal best. Music therapy has had quite a meaningful impact on the lives of some of our servicer users. They  loved the sessions, and it was amazing to watch them grow in confidence as they worked together as a group to make music.

The therapists have genuine joy in what they do, and this joy is infectious. We saw results immediately, and appreciate the fact that music can affect us like nothing else can. I would highly recommend the services of Music Therapy Connections NI.
Carrickfergus Women's Forum
For well over a year now a group of 10-12 women from our organisation have been involved in music therapy, in the form of a choir, with Emma Donnelly. The women who use our services have all experienced mental health struggles and take part in our programme as part of their recovery to wellness.

The choir on a Thursday evening has become a very important part of that process for all of them. Through the music and singing they have found themselves engrossed in the present moment, focusing only on the task in hand- a very joyful one at that! Very often people will arrive with heavy hearts and leave on a much higher note. The choir is one of our best attended activities, even through the cold, wet winter we had full numbers!"

Thanks Emma.