As a University of Derby masters student, Henry joined Bluebell Wood as Music Therapist trainee in November 2022.

Henry said that it’s been amazing to have the opportunity to put everything he’s learned into practice working with children at the hospice.

“It’s been such a range of different skills I’ve had to learn and put into practice to work with a range of children across a range of situations,” he said.

“Coming into a hospice environment was different to what I imagined. I imagined a much gloomier place but the environment and people are so friendly.

“I feel really lucky that music therapy is so established at Bluebell Wood, because it’s given me a really clear picture the career I’m pursuing.”

Henry added that since training at Bluebell Wood, he’s developed his ability to communicate with children in different ways.

“A lot of the children I’ve worked with communicate in different ways or don’t use words, or have voluntary or involuntary movements and I’ve been learning how grief can impact communication too. It’s about finding meaning in what they are saying, whether it directly or indirectly."

Henry added that a misconception about Music Therapy is that it’s just a fun activity, but that it is actually a psychological intervention.

“The standout moments at Bluebell Wood have been the creative ways people come up with to express their experiences, like song writing with children and also seeing children enjoy using all the facilities the hospice has,” he said. "This is the first time I’ve been on placement with other music therapists and it has given me so much clarity."

Henry is passionate about music in his spare time too, playing in a number of bands and practicing the guitar, drums and keyboard – as well as bit of song writing!

Music Therapist Dr. Caroline Anderson, who Henry has been shadowing while on placement, said: "We’ve really enjoyed having Henry on placement at Bluebell Wood. Clinical placements are a key part of studying to be a music therapist so important for the trainee, but we have also greatly benefitted from having Henry here and sharing his skills with us. We will miss him when he leaves but wish him all the best for his music therapy career."