Who are we?

ELM Music Therapy offers a freelance and private music therapy service in Aberdeen and shire for people of any ability. Please email us for a price quote.

ELM Music Therapy’s therapists are registered with the UK Health and Care councils profession (HCPC) which is widely used to help those whose lives have been affected by injury, illness or disability.[bra_border_divider]


What is Music Therapy?

Music therapy uses the unique qualities of music as a non-verbal interaction between client and therapist.

In music therapy, people work with a wide range of instruments and their voices to interact and communicate, regardless of their musical ability. Music Therapy can also incorporate play, art and movement within it in order to make music in whatever way is most appropriate for a client.

Music therapists aim to support clients’ communications in whatever way is necessary. Music therapy is a psychological therapy which uses music to build a relationship between therapist and client.

Individual and group music therapy sessions are provided in many settings such as hospitals, schools, hospices, care homes, youth centres and at clients’ homes.

Who is Music Therapy for?

Music therapy can help people of all ages with a range of differing needs such as:

  • People with mental health problems (children, teenagers and adults)
  • People with learning disabilities
  • People on the autistic spectrum
  • People with dementia or alzheimers
  • Offenders (youths and adults)
  • People who are at the end of life
  • Children and adults with cancer and other life threatening conditions
  • Homeless people
  • Physically disabled and neurologically impaired people
  • Young Carers


Music Therapy Aims

The aims of music therapy vary greatly between client to client but here is a variety of aims that may be included:

  • Developing/maintaining communication
  • Alleviating isolation
  • Increasing self-expression
  • Increasing self-confidence/self-esteem
  • Relaxation
  • Improving coordination
  • Increased awareness of others
  • Expressing difficult emotions
  • Increased engagement
  • Self-empowerment



Meet Emmeline

[bra_team_member member_name=”Emmeline McCracken” member_position=”Music Therapist” member_img_src=”” member_social_list=”” member_columns=”1″]Emmeline McCracken graduated from the MSc Music Therapy course (Nordoff Robbins) in 2014 with distinction. Prior to commencing this course she graduated from the University of Edinburgh with an honours degree in music.

Emmeline has had experience in a wide variety of clinical settings with both adults and children within a range of varying needs including; cerebral palsy, ADHD, fibromyalgia, chronic pain and fatigue, social and emotional difficulties and a variety of mental health conditions including depression and bi-polar disorder.

Her particular interests lie firstly with autism and working with children and young people with profound and multiple support needs. Emmeline primarily works in Special Schools and Units within Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire.

Emmeline has spent a great deal of time in the Balkans, in particular Bosnia and Herzegovina, working with adults and children with post traumatic stress disorder and other additional support needs from a variety of causes but mainly from the conflicts in this region. Emmeline has now transferred this knowledge to working on inclusion programmes with primary school pupils, many with some form of PTSD.

Since 2017 Emmeline has been working at the Royal Aberdeen Children’s hospital, mainly with isolated and long term patients with life limiting conditions. But as well as working in HDU and the medical wards Emmeline will also occasionally visit the day case ward.

Emmeline also has a particularly interest in Community Music Therapy and runs a number of Community Groups including a Makaton Choir and a regular music group for children and young people with Cancer.

Emmeline’s first instrument is the violin but she also plays piano, sings and enjoys percussion instruments. She particularly likes to find the right music and ways of using music to connect with everyone, whether this be classical or rap or by including art, dance and movement within music making also.


Meet Nadine

[bra_team_member member_name=”Nadine Allan” member_position=”Music Therapist” member_img_src=”” member_social_list=”” member_columns=”1″]Nadine graduated in 2020 from the MSc Music Therapy course at Queen Margaret University with merit. She also has a degree from the University of Aberdeen in Music and Communities, where she obtained first class honours.

Nadine’s first instrument is violin and piano her second. She can also play the guitar and particularly enjoys using this within her sessions. Nadine enjoys using a wide range of instruments and music genres to connect with both children and adults.

Nadine has had experience working with a variety of client groups in different settings. She gained experience of working with children who have profound multiple learning difficulties on placement, where Emmeline was her supervisor. Some of the needs of the children Nadine worked with included global developmental delay, Pfeiffer syndrome, hearing and sight loss.

Nadine also has had experience working with teenagers who experience social, emotional and behavioural difficulties. Through this experience Nadine used a combination of live music as well as technology – such as GarageBand – to write and record music with her clients which explored aggression, exclusion and caring responsibilities.

During her Music and Communities degree, Nadine created a community music project where she worked with individuals who attended the North East Eating Disorder Service at Cornhill Hospital. Through group music making, Nadine assisted the group to create a song which reflected their collective experiences of recovering from an eating disorder.

Nadine is passionate about the field of music therapy and is looking forward to expanding her experiences, skills and client groups while working with ELM.