Music therapy with HRH Duchess of Cambridge

Lecturer in Music Therapy Sarah Hodkinson tells us about music therapy with HRH Duchess of Cambridge:


In December the Duchess made a visit to Shooting Star House (a Shooting Star Chase children’s hospice in West London). Shooting Star House is where I give music therapy to children and young people who have life-limiting conditions, meaning that they are not expected to reach their nineteenth birthday.

The Duchess was given a tour of the hospice and met lots of the children and families. The children were very excited to meet a real princess! The Duchess ended her tour by joining my music therapy group. In many of the photos that appeared in the national press you can see the Duchess singing along with me as the children played lots of percussion instruments.

The Duchess asked me about how music therapy supports the children at Shooting Star Chase. I explained that I’m often busy doing music therapy with children who have been bereaved, children who are living with a disabled or ill sibling, or children who may be ill themselves. I don’t teach the children music, but offer them a safe space to be creative and to share how they are feeling. At the hospice words are often not adequate in describing feelings and yet music is used over and over. The Duchess was able to see how music helps children with the most profound disabilities and illnesses, to enjoy creating music together.

The Duchess told us that she likes to do messy play with baby George, our future King.