Isaac De Heer

Port Macquarie Hastings , Music therapist

Isaac de Heer has seen the positive impact of music over many years as a musician, sound engineer and teacher. Isaac has a background in Primary Education, and many years experience facilitating music programs for students in Special Developmental Schools.

Inspired to undertake a deeper exploration of music’s potential for individual growth, and health related support, he studied a Master’s Degree in Music Therapy.

Tell us a little more about your experience:
I have worked as a musician, teacher, and music therapist in a range of settings in Byron Bay, Melbourne, Brisbane and overseas. I have worked with a diverse range of people across the lifespan ranging from Neo-Natal Intensive Care units, schools, aged care facilities, palliative care settings, and even monasteries.

Why is your area of early childhood intervention so important for children?
To reach potential it is imperative that support systems are in place to give children the chance to achieve growth and experience meaningful learning and engagement within the community. Music Therapy can be effective in supporting this through early intervention in a diverse range of areas including communication and expression.

What do you most love about your job? I love seeing a child’s face light up when they connect with a particular piece of music that is special for them.

What are some of the most rewarding elements of your work?
I find it rewarding being able to use music as a framework for health-related goals. Seeing the diversity of musical interests in the people I work with also brings great reward. Also, I am exposed to a limitless scope of musical styles, tastes, and genres, and have the privilege of continued musical exploration alongside the people I work with.

What do you feel you personally bring to your role?
I come from a strength based approach which recognises each individuals potential for creative expression and therapeutic benefit through music. A sense of humour is also very important for me in keeping a playful approach to life.

What makes your workplace interesting? The people I work with and the supportive environment. It’s also nice to have my daughter at the community preschool next door.

How do you enjoy spending time away from the office? I enjoy making my own music, surfing, hiking and spending time with my family.

Anything on your bucket list you would like to share with us? At some stage I’d love to take my daughter to the guitar making village were we lived in Ecuador and make a guitar from scratch with my friends there.

Tell us about an ‘early connection’ with a child where you made a difference.

I worked with a child in the Neo Natal Intensive Care unit, who benefited considerably from music therapy. A measurable result showed the power of the therapy through clear changes in heart rate and oxygen saturation in the infant. This experience was memorable for me because it confirmed my belief in the positive impact of music, via concrete measurements in a medical setting.


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