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Rhythms of learning — a model of practice supporting youth mental health in the era of COVID-19

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  10 January 2022

Simon C. Faulkner*
Rhythm2Recovery, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
Address for correspondence: Simon Faulkner, Rhythm2Recovery, 113 Graham St, Port Melbourne VIC 3207, Australia. Email:


The COVID-19 pandemic has led to a significant increase in demand for mental health services for young people. This demand comes on top of a preexisting surge in mental health presentations for our youth, and it places extraordinary demand on support services and the professionals who deliver them. Concurrently, it is recognised that engaging and working with young people and their mental health has its own unique challenges, and that many young people find direct ‘talk-based’ therapies confronting. This article examines the use of a model of group work practice combining the benefits of rhythmic music with reflective discussions as a response to the dual challenges of workplace burnout and client engagement. It reflects on the important role music has to play in young lives and how this can be extended into therapy in a fun and uplifting manner. It draws attention to the long history of rhythmic music within traditional healing practices and the emerging scientific evidence supporting this approach.

Practitioner Paper
© The Author(s) 2022. Published by Cambridge University Press

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