Music Therapy at Red Balloon

18 Dec 2023

Ingles & Hayday continues to support the Red Balloon Education Trust’s music rehabilitation programmes

Red Balloon Educational Trust provides an educational and therapeutic recovery programme for young people unable to attend mainstream school due to social, emotional, or mental health difficulties, or their previous schools inability to meet SEND (Special Educational Needs and Disability) guidelines. These children have often been singled out or bullied due to their differences and have come away with educational trauma.

One of the core strands of the Red Balloon Recovery programme is Wellbeing because students learn best when they feel safe, connected, and valued. Our music therapy programmes, supported by Ingles & Hayday, have played a huge part in this. 

In our centres and through our blended online and in-person programme, Red Balloon of the Air, we’re able to host a range of different musical activities from 1:1 lessons and music therapy sessions to taster workshops and lunchtime music clubs. As always with Red Balloon, our activities are guided by the students’ goals, needs and interests.

Red Balloon music therapy piano lesson
Red Balloon music therapy guitar lesson

Leaving school and struggling with mental health difficulties results in many of our students feeling incredibly isolated. Through music therapy and musical activities our students are able to connect with one another and with staff over their love of music. They can share and get excited about the music they love, be introduced to new artists and styles, and explore why they love the music they love. Music helps to break down barriers and anxiety around connecting with others.

For those who find talking therapy difficult, especially our students who are selectively mute, music therapy is a great alternative. They can express themselves, confront difficult emotions, and build a therapeutic relationship in a manner that suits their needs, abilities, and comfort levels.

Hosting musical activities at Red Balloon also means that our students, who are largely unable to participate in activities like youth orchestra or choir, still get access to music education. By utilising the trust built up at Red Balloon, we can make trying a new instrument less scary. We can also anticipate and mitigate some of the challenges that might arise in the process because of our awareness of a student’s individual learning needs, setting them up for success.

We cannot thank Ingles & Hayday enough for the support they’ve given our young people over the years.

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