A warm welcome to Phoebe Thompson-Star Music Therapist for Port Macquarie Hastings and Kempsey Early Connections. Phoebe has a Masters in Creative Music Therapy and is a Registered Music Therapist with the Australian Music Therapy Association (AMTA). Phoebe has worked and performed throughout Australia as well as overseas in Canada over the past 10 years

Tell us more about your experience prior to joining the team

I hold a Bachelor in Theatre (Music Theatre) and a diploma in Classical ballet teaching. As a music therapist I have experience working with clients across the lifespan with a range of presentations including: Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), Down Syndrome, Oppositional Defiant Disorder (ODD), Global Developmental Delay (GDD), Anxiety, Bipolar disorder, Schizophrenia, Cerebral Palsy, Early Onset Dementia and Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI).

Why is your area of Early intervention important for children:

Rhythm is intrinsic to us as human beings, which creates such a unique connection to and bond with music. Finding and exploring this connection gives children, in their crucial developmental periods, the chance to use music to connect to the outside world and help make sense of how they think, feel and react to what occurs around them. Music is incredibly beneficial for supporting development as well, as it is one of the only mediums that activates every part of the brain at once and is what we like to call ‘a total brain workout’.

What do you love most about your job:

I love that I get to share my passion for music every day, and use it to help my clients grow, develop, heal and reconnect. I employ a very strengths-based, resource-orientated approach which really brings out the best in my clients and I love watching their creativity flourish and develop as they work towards achieving their goals.

What are some of the most rewarding elements of your job:

To see the look on a child’s face the first time they touch a piano, or strum a ukulele and sing away their worries to a song they absolutely love is an absolute joy to experience. Knowing that I then get to use this newfound love for making music to help them grow and development and reach their goals is incredibly rewarding.

What do you feel you personally bring to your role:

With a background in singing, dance and drama, I love to incorporate all of these creative arts into my sessions. Whether we are exploring all the funny sounds a voice can make, daggy dancing around the room or acting out extravagant versions of ‘Bear hunt’, I like to let my client’s imaginations run wild and use their strengths and interests to target their unique goals.

Anything on your bucket list you would like to share with us:

So far, I’ve ticked off skydiving over the Swiss Alps and Bungy jumping in New Zealand…Next on the list is a solo backpacking trip around South America!