Early Links Supporting Inclusion

Music Therapy

Welcome to Early Links Music Therapy

Music therapy is an evidence-based profession that supports children, adolescents, and adults in achieving their health and wellbeing goals. It is a highly motivated therapy as we use music as a tool to connect and empower our clients towards healthier growth and change.

Engagement with an Early Links music therapist will ensure clients work towards better skill capacity and development. It requires no musical training or skills to access or participate.

What does a music therapist do?

Registered music therapists use various techniques and active music-making methods to motivate and empower clients towards greater skill and developmental capacities.

These methods include:

  • Preferred music and singing
  • Musical improvisation
  • Instrument playing
  • Songwriting
  • Receptive music listening
  • Therapeutic music technology

These methods are carefully selected within a therapeutic relationship to achieve specific goals. These goals may include:

  • Psychosocial – emotional
  • Communication
  • Physical
  • Cognitive
  • Social

The benefits and flexibility of music therapy are in its ability to work with clients on multiple goals simultaneously. Goals are created after an assessment consultation with the client and any family/carers and/or external providers involved.

Registered music therapists are employed in various sectors, including health, community, aged care, disability, mental health, early intervention services, and private practice.

Who can our music therapists help?

At Early Links, we engage with infants, children, adolescents, and adults who are neurodivergent. Some may have multiple neuro-developmental and/or physical disabilities, and others may have dementia or be living with a significant mental health condition impacted by trauma-induced events.

    Our music therapists aim to build strong connections with our clients by conducting evidence-based therapy to increase their overall capacity and developmental skill set. Clients are funded either by the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) or privately.

    Meet our friendly Music Therapy Team



    Creative Arts Team Leader & Music Therapist

    Hi! I am Karla, team leader of the Creative Arts Team and a registered music therapists at Early Links. The core of why I do what I do is to inspire and help people. Music, art, and psychology are major passions of mine. When it comes to music, I listen to it, sing, move to it, am soothed by it, and love playing and creating it.

    My mission is to connect and empower my team, clients, and their families/carers to build skill capacity and work on their overall goals. I use play-based and active music-making methods, including preferred music, instrumental improvisations, song-singing, instrument playing, age-appropriate music props (masks, puppets, parachutes, and ribbons) and song writing.

    I have a particular interest in working with infants, young children and adults with a range of disabilities and conditions.

    Which areas do our music therapists cover?

    Aberdeen, Abermain, Bellbird, Beresfield, Bolwarra, Branxton, Cessnock, Chisholm, Cliftleigh, Dungog, East Maitland, Gillieston Heights, Greta, Heddon Greta, Hinton, Kurri Kurri, Laguna, Lochinvar, Lorn, Maitland, Morpeth, Muswellbrook, Paterson, Raworth, Raymond Terrace, Rothbury, Rutherford, Singleton, Stroud, Tarro, Telarah, Tenambit, Thornton, Vacy, Windella, Wollombi, Woodberry and more.

    Telehealth sessions are also an option if appropriate for the individual or group participants instead of face-to-face sessions.


    How do I start Music Therapy with Early Links?

      If you’re ready to get started or just want to find out more, you can use the form below to get in touch with us.

      We’ll be happy to answer any questions you have, explain what would be involved and tell you all about the support we can offer.

        Music therapy session

        Get in touch


        Contact us


        Refer to us

        Get in touch

        Frequently Asked Questions

        How does music therapy work?

        Music therapy supports the health, functioning and wellbeing of individuals and group participants through music. Music is the tool with which we empower and connect with our clients to assist with achieving their goals. The key benefits of engaging with a music therapist are that it’s flexible, meaning we can work on multiple goals simultaneously or have just one main goal dependent on the clients’ needs and wants. It’s also highly motivating. Goals are created after an assessment consultation with the client and any family/carers and/or external providers involved.

        Registered music therapists are employed in a variety of sectors, including health, community, aged care, disability, mental health, early intervention services, and private practice.

        Who can benefit from music therapy?

        Anyone! Infants, children, adolescents and adults.

        Is music therapy evidence-based?

        It sure is! Music therapy is an evidence-based practice. Music therapists are required to continually engage in yearly continuing professional development requirements with the Australian Music Therapy Association to maintain registration, attend conferences and read up to date research studies and literature to ensure best practice is maintained.

        How long has music therapy been around?

        Well, believe it or not, the earliest known reference to music therapy was in 1789, in a Columbian magazine called “Music Physically Considered”! Additionally, First Nations peoples have been utilising music in their communities, incorporating ‘music therapy practices’ for centuries. The establishment of music therapy in Australia is documented from about 1920. To read up more about the history, head to History of the Australian Music Therapy Association (austmta.org.au)

        Can music therapy help someone with autism or ADHD?

        Music therapy can assist anyone with autism and/or ADHD with regulation, anxiety, impulsiveness, communication, social-emotional, cognitive and social difficulties. We use music to address these goal areas, selectively choosing evidence-based music therapy methods to support them.

        Can music therapy reduce stress?

        Music therapy participation can reduce stress. When a client plays an instrument or sings, their human brain utilises both the right and left hemispheres at the same time. Regions in the brain such as memory, sound, movement and vision are stimulated. Feel-good and relaxing chemicals such as dopamine and serotonin are released when listening, playing and/or singing preferred music.

        Music therapy can positively affect our vagus nerve. This nerve is near the ear, in which we hear music and sound. Music and sound have specific frequencies that resonate and move through our ear to the vagus nerve. It controls our breathing, heart rate, taste, and swallowing. Clients who become dysregulated can calm the vagus nerve by using music therapy methods such as rhythmic singing, breathing and instrument playing to regulate breathing and heart rate, bringing the client back to a state of equilibrium.


        Bibb, j., Bower, J., Murphy, M., Baker, F., Hogan, B., & Abad, V. et al. (2019). Australian Music Therapy Association Music Therapy in Disability Information Booklet [Ebook] (pp. 1-19). Australian Music Therapy Association.https://static1.squarespace.com/static/58119243414fb5b9a083bc0a/t/5ce747a8652dea3838d61590/1558661078301/final_amta_mt_in_disability_information_booklet_29.04.2019.pdf.History of Music Therapy | American Music Therapy Association (AMTA).

        Musictherapy.org. (2022). https://www.musictherapy.org/about/history.

        History of the Australian Music Therapy Association. Australian Music Therapy Association. (2022). https://www.austmta.org.au/about-us/amta-history/.