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Music As A Therapy

Lawrence Davis, Producer at FRUKT London, discusses the importance of music therapy and how Nordoff Robbins and O2 are facilitating it.

At FRUKT HQ we’ve got a quote displayed, “Music is what feelings sound like”. We’re not sure who said it first, but it resonates with us since music as a shared experience is at our core. We feel this when we go to see our favourite bands, sing along with thousands of others at a festival or share a moment with our best friends during the last song at a club. But for millions of people this simple statement has a more profound meaning…

Music as a form of therapy can improve people’s lives in numerous ways such as developing social skills & communication, improving motor skills, cognitive and emotional development, and reducing anxiety. The range of conditions which uses music therapy as a recognised method of treatment is vast: Alzeheimer’s, Parkinson’s, dementia, strokes, Tourette’s syndrome, schizophrenia and Autism (to name a few). To many it may seem like a new “alternative medicine” but music therapy has been documented as far back as the Ancient Greeks & Egyptians. It gained notoriety in the UK after the world wars when musicians would visit the wards of soldiers suffering from war-related emotional and physical trauma.

Through our work with O2 Music we’re proud to support Nordoff Robbins, an organisation that has been helping change lives for 40 years with a simple goal – improving quality of life through music. This involves treatment and research. Their first centre was opened in London in 1970, soon followed by training facilities. Today Nordoff Robbins are the UK’s largest music therapy charity helping thousands of children and adults suffering from illness.

Their profile now includes a national outreach service in partnership with organisations in health, education, arts and social care; The Andrew Lloyd Webber Foundation Music Therapy Unit in the BRIT school, a music therapy degree programme which has been extended to an MA at Goldsmiths university and recently a new unit was opened at the Royal Albert Hall with Nordoff as a special education partner.

American composer Paul Nordoff and special education teacher Clive Robbins, 1959.

Every year Nordoff Robbins host a special industry event in London called the O2 Silver Cleff Awards. The event, as Nordoff Robbins put it, is a ceremony that recognises outstanding talent across the industry and are an opportunity for Nordoff Robbins to give back to the music industry who generously support them throughout the year. The event is attended by many celebrities and industry professionals, notable attendees and previous award winners include U2, the Rolling Stones, Ozzy Osborne, The Who, Coldplay and Iron Maiden. O2 have been a long-running sponsor of the event and each year we donate a large number of instruments to the charity, these are displayed as centre pieces at the event.

O2 Silver Cleff Awards, 2016.

It’s great to see how music can change people’s lives for the better, we’re incredibly proud to support O2 and Nordoff Robbins and look forward to developing this more in the future.