Music Therapy at RIAM

As part of the RIAM’S dedication to music access for all, we are delighted to announce music therapy sessions, teacher support, and a brand new performance ensemble; the RIAM Music Together Group.

All of these exciting new initiatives are delivered by Jessica Harris, Music Therapist at the RIAM.


RIAM Music Together Group- FREE to join!
RIAM, Westland Row, Dublin
Tuesdays at 4.00pm-5.30pm, beginning the 2nd of October.

This integrated ensemble is for young people & adults of any ability, facilitated by RIAM Music Therapist, Jessica Harris. Participation is FREE. If you love music, come and join us!

Music Together Group






The RIAM is delighted to invite singers and musicians to join an ensemble for students and adults of all abilities facilitated by RIAM senior music therapist Jessica Harris. Everybody is welcome to join this integrated ensemble including students of the Academy and adults of any ability who are passionate about making music! We aim to sing and play popular songs and pieces in a range of styles and give some truly special performances during the year (while having lots of fun practising!) If you are a student of the academy or an adult of any ability with a love of music who would like to be involved in establishing the RIAM’s first integrated ensemble then please come and join!

Music Teaching for Students with Special Needs Workshops

Athlone, Our Lady’s Bower Secondary School
Sunday 18th November, 10.00am until 4.00pm (more info)
The Royal Irish Academy of Music is hosting a day workshop for music teachers, and those with an interest in teaching students with special needs. The workshop aims to offer an introductory approach to supporting students of all abilities with the hope of benefitting both teacher and student to enjoy and engage the full potential of their students. The workshop will include information and practical techniques around working with and understanding students with a range of challenges including autism and dyslexia. Workshop facilitator is senior music therapist Jessica Harris (RIAM alumnus) who is passionate about making music an experience everyone can enjoy and thrive in!

Special Needs Workshop





Music Therapy at RIAM
Information Evening in RIAM
Wednesday 12th September, at 7.00pm (more info)

Music therapy is based on the understanding that everyone can respond, enjoy and communicate through music. Music therapy is an evidence-based profession allied to medicine.

Music has always been a powerful medium for expression. It can touch emotions deeply and allows for freedom of communication beyond words. Music therapy aims to uniquely respond to people’s needs and challenges to support them in coping effectively in their lives.

In music therapy the music is co-created. Both therapist and client establish a musical relationship in which emotions and challenges can be expressed, explored and worked through in a safe and supportive environment.

Music, in a therapeutic setting can support the development of communication/speech and language skills, social interaction, self/creative expression, confidence/self-esteem, cognitive skills etc… Goals are then established following an individual assessment.


  • stimulate meaningful interactions such as: turn-taking, eye contact, sharing instruments, thoughts or memories, joining in playing or singing
  • manage anxiety/frustration
  • stimulate memory
  • improve communication
  • express emotions
  • create opportunities for joy


  • playing instruments
  • music based games/activities
  • choosing songs/singing
  • moving to music
  • listening/relaxation to music
  • writing songs
  • recalling memories inspired by music


Jessica HarrisMy career began as a musician and I have performed throughout Ireland and the U.K. with orchestras and ensembles including the National Symphony and National Concert Orchestras of Ireland.

My love for connecting with and supporting people of all ages and abilities then led me to music therapy and in 2010 I completed my Maters in Music Therapy at University of Limerick. Following my graduation I began work with Music Therapy Ireland and have since continued to work privately.

In addition to the RIAM I have provided music therapy to clients across a wide range of populations and ages including within:

  • Autism Initiatives Ireland
  • Bloomfield Health Services
  • The Central Remedial Clinic
  •  Saint Michael’s House

As such I am adept at blending and working within a multi-disciplinary team and have introduced and developed music therapy services as being of integral value towards wellbeing.

My approach is person-centred and psychodynamic and I am passionate and committed to providing opportunities for change, hope and joy.

For more information, please contact Jessica Harris