Case Study Mary

compiled by Gemma Lenton Smith, SRA(m)T, Senior 2 Music Therapist

Mary is a 6 year old girl with Learning Disabilities and Emotional Behavioural Difficulties.  She attends a special needs school.  Mary’s mother is a single parent who has mental health and medical problems.  Mary’s home life is very chaotic.  She can be aggressive and throw temper tantrums towards her mother.  In class Mary has difficulties listening to others.  She often pushes boundaries when she is bored and displays challenging attention seeking behaviour.  Mary  also becomes very anxious in group situations.

In music therapy Mary is able to use the space to explore emotions she is experiencing through creative music play.  Through musical stories and games Mary has shown changes in her confidence, creativity and ways of coping with her difficulties in a more positive way.  Music Therapy has enabled Mary to explore aspects of her self-identity and how she relates to others both at home and in school through symbolic play.  Mary’s teachers have observed that she has begun to transfer some of these skills into the classroom setting as she has become more confident in group situations and has started to interact socially with her peers during play time.


(The child’s name has been changed to protect confidentiality).