Certificate in Song Therapy

Online study


Download a pdf version of this document

Thank you for your interest in song therapy.

Music is a powerful force in many people's lives and more and more of us are turning to melody and rhythm to help us through difficult times.

Song therapists understand the value of familiar well known music and song, helping people feel relaxed, safe and secure. They know when it is right to introduce new forms of music too; encouraging cognition, exploration, learning, confidence, meaning, self worth and well being.

Song therapists are trained in self awareness, active listening, person centred thinking and group leadership. They offer a sensitive professional approach to music making in community and social care.

Not a day goes by without more news highlighting the power of music to brighten our lives. More and more of us are turning to informal community choirs and music groups to share the pleasure of song with others and, for some of us, to address very specific health challenges in our lives.

Social prescribing is common too. GPs recommending community based music, art and exercise to complement prescribed medications and talking therapies.


For those of us running these groups there is a rich tradition of learning. Community music at under graduate and post graduate level. Music therapy at post graduate level too, a clinical healthcare profession which in recent years has moved into community music as well.

However, there is in many countries a very established tradition of informal music making in community and social care; often delivered by experienced singers, instrumentalists and activity coordinators who might not have the right qualifications or indeed the time or the money to study at university. It is with these people in mind that we have developed our song therapy course.

Beyond this there are music and arts teachers, therapists and healthcare professionals who might be looking for opportunities to broaden their own understanding; how they can use singing and music to promote the well being of their students, clients and music group participants.

Our song therapy course was launched in the uk some fourteen months ago and we currently have sixty three enrolled students who come from all walks of life; a very wide range of life experience, musical influences and academic qualifications. They include a number of international students from ireland, germany and further afield.


Our course is essentially a vocational course however it is rooted in celebrated development and attachment theory, particularly that of John Bowlby, Mary Ainsworth and Donald Winnicott. The learning will be of particular interest to those with a desire to study the psychology of music and child/adult development and perhaps those who would enjoy an introduction to modern philosophy and psychology; how our life journeys affect our relationships with others including those in our music groups;

what value we place upon life, our own self worth and the world around us.

The quality of the professional supportive relationships we build with others is closely linked to the way we think about ourselves and important people and events in our lives.

So our course offers a chance to develop important transferable skills that draw inspiration from person centred thinking; the rogerian counselling tradition; self awareness; listening skills; self worth and acceptance; responsible sensitive leadership: an exploration of human relationships rooted in established theories of child developmental psychology, humanism and existentialism.

Beyond this we then harness our students' natural musical talents, learning how music can offer empathy during anxious times and be there, when the time is right, to sensitively encourage growth, understanding, promoting social inclusion through play, musical adventures and creative expression.

A celebration of the potential of the human spirit to find its own way to a better place. Self directed growth and change.

This year we are offering five intakes in January, April, June, September and November. We have just welcomed twenty one new students to our September intake but we have sixteen places still available for November and further in takes in January and April next year. You are also welcome to register your interest for July and October 2020 and this will ensure you get sent updates throughout the year.

Reading is an important part of our course and students are encouraged to build an awareness of current research and established authors that inform their learning. To this end we issue, on loan, four core texts for students to enjoy whilst studying song therapy. The books will be sent to you free of charge and you then have the option of buying the book at a later date or sending on to new students.

Finally for qualified song therapists who use backing tracks in their music sessions we have a growing resource pack of specially recorded music and song available for instant download promoting reminiscence and cognitive stimulation offering safety, security, play, fun and adventure well being through music and song







Song Therapy Course Notes and Assignments Copyright Nigel Neill 2019


Moorvale Creative CIC

Song Therapy is a training programme offered by Moorvale Creative CIC. This is a not for profit community interest company that promotes music and other creative projects in the south west and throughout the uk.

Equality and Diversity

Moorvale Creative CIC values diversity and we recognise that different people bring different perspectives, ideas, knowledge and culture, and that this difference brings great strength.

We believe that discrimination or exclusion based on individual characteristics and circumstances, such as age; disability; caring or dependency responsibilities; gender or gender identity; marriage and civil partnership status; political opinion; pregnancy and maternity; race, colour, caste, nationality, ethnic or national origin; religion or belief; sexual orientation; social and economic background; trade union membership status or other distinctions, represents a waste of talent and a denial of opportunity for self-fulfilment.

We recognise that patterns of under-representation and differences can be challenged through positive action programmes.

We respect the rights of individuals, including the right to hold different views and beliefs. We will not allow these differences to be manifested in a way that is hostile or degrading to others.

We expect commitment and involvement from all our staff, students, partners and providers of goods and services in working towards the achievement of these goals.

Vulnerable Adults Safeguarding Policy

Moorvale Creative CIC’s Vulnerable Adults Safeguarding Policy seeks to manage effectively the risks associated with activities and events involving vulnerable adults that students may be involved in.

Completing a risk assessment process which involves identifying risks and means of reducing or eliminating these

Implementing the required actions identified by the risk assessment process and reviewing the effectiveness of these on a regular basis.

Ensuring that the appropriate DBS or basic disclosure checks are conducted, depending on eligibility, for any individuals starting or moving into work which involves working with vulnerable adults.

Requiring students working with vulnerable adults to familiarise themselves with the content of this policy.

About the course facilitator

Nigel Neill is a professional community musician based in the south west of the UK running four community choirs in Taunton, Exeter, Minehead and Tiverton. He has worked extensively with learning disability groups and in life limiting care settings as well as providing on going music programmes for the brain injury charity Headway throughout Somerset; working with Parkinsons UK in North and West Somerset and providing music for those with dementia in residential home settings. He has worked closely with the mental health charity Rethink.

Nigel has developed this song therapy course in partnership with Moorvale Creative CIC, a not for profit community interest company promoting music and creative programmes that encourage social inclusion and well being; academic qualifications include a combined science honours degree; post graduate certificate in music and health (uwe) and certificate (level four) in counselling skills (uwe); four years running a school of sound engineering in the noughties and has taught sound engineering and music and song composition at Peterborough Regional College in the nineties. He recently studied music therapy for two years in Bristol, before switching to counselling skills for a third year; professional background is music performance, recording, composition and song writing; composing original instrumental music for bbc television and recording many established artists.

Nigel is married with no children and is fifty eight years old.

He lives in West Somerset.