A WIRRAL based music therapist is hoping to help people living disabilities through groundbreaking facial expression technology.

Director of Vibe Music Therapy Greg Hanford has created a new facial analysis tool that detects changes in the face which can be translated into the understanding of an emotional expression.

Using the facial analysis coding system (FACS) Greg has been able to see the impact of music therapy on those who have difficulty expressing themselves.

Greg told the Globe: “It’s difficult with any therapy to gauge the impact treatment has on a client who had difficulty expressing themselves due to a physical or learning disability.

“When speech is simply not an option how are you to understand how a person is feeling or whether progression in sessions is occurring?

“Up to now clinicians relied on their own judgement, measurement scales that have been defined by other people or feedback from relatives and support workers.

“If a patient was receiving treatment for cancer we would not rely on a Doctor’s opinion alone, we would want hard evidence, scans, toxicology reports etc,.

"With this new technology we are able to identify the slightest changes in facial expression and compare to previous sessions as well as changes in and out of the therapy room.”

Marcos, 21, from Chester lives with a severe physical disability has been going to music therapy sessions with Greg.

Only available to verbalise through certain words, Marcus is now able to paint on a canvas in art sessions due to Vibe Music Therapy.

Greg added: “We felt Marcos would benefit greatly from one to one time to give more focus and attention on developing his gross and fine motor skills as well as his social interaction.

“By supplementing music therapy sessions alongside Marcos’ physio and existing group activities we have achieved great results.

“Due to this new technology we are able to see hard data evidence of changes in clients’ expressions which we can then use to compare and view progression week on week.

“In Marcos’ case we have seen gradual increases in many different areas and after comparing that to data specifically tailored to Marcos we can now see that he is expressing happiness or joy in music therapy 150% more than when he not involved with music therapy.

“We have also witnessed an increase in vocabulary with the data on mouth movement to support this.

“This is powerful information that supports the range of anecdotal evidence from support workers and family members that know Marcos well.”

Greg also provides music therapy to people who are homeless, have addictions and have mental health issues.

He said: “Vibe music therapy is always looking at ways to support the local community. We can offer support to anyone in the North West and Cheshire regions who would benefit from short term or long term projects.

“If you know anyone who would benefit from the experience of Music Therapy please feel free to contact us to discuss how we can help.”

For more information visit www.musictherapy.co.uk