About Music Therapy
The Helen Bonny Method of Guided Imagery and Music
Mentoring and skill-sharing




We know that:

  • All known civilisations have created their own genre of music as communication and expression
  • Before birth, the baby’s hearing is intact. In the womb, the predominant sounds the baby hears are the melodic and rhythmic contours of the mother’s voice alongside the pulse of organs - two elements of music e.g. Melody (Pitch) and Pulse are already present
  • Infants are born with all the music perception skills of musically untrained adults 
  • Music integrates the physiological, biological, emotional and social aspects of being human
  • Music provides the early sharing of emotions and communication and holds the prerequisites for language development.

Proto-conversations, as most parents will know, come through imitation of infant babbling involving melody, rhythm and phrase length. The timbre of the mother or carer’s voice gives intent and meaning to what is being said, as ‘infants can understand what people mean before they understand what the words mean’.

Margaret Donaldson 1978

Early attachment and ‘holding’ in musical structure provides containment, allowing exploration of sound for mother, father, carer and child as they listen to each other and respond within their own time frame. The music offers acceptance, affirmation and a non-judgmental atmosphere for their relationship to hold meaning in transaction.

Every child learns through play with social and emotional capacities developing mainly before the age of three, during the non-verbal phase of life. Through music we can build on this interaction and promote neural pathways for learning and a strong sense of self and understanding of the behaviour of others.

Music resonates emotionally with our internal framework, matching the connection and security of pitch and pulse we experienced pre-birth in the womb. We are social animals with an inherent instinct to respond. Using the elements of music, we can closely mirror and match breathing, eye contact, facial expression, gesture and activity, however small and brief. This close interpersonal interaction is the basis for all social development and promotes confident learning and cognitive ability.

Early years projects promote healthy bonding and attachment. Programmes also focus on first-time mothers, promoting connection with their babies during antenatal and postnatal stages.


For more information please email maiscotland@gmail.com