The Shepherd Centre

Posted on 8 August 2021

ChildrenCommunityDisability and Special Needs
The Shepherd Centre

‘Chime Time’ – a world-first music therapy program for deaf children and their families                                                                             

The Shepherd Centre supports local deaf children who are overcoming the challenges of their disability by providing tools to help them thrive within the local community, and keep them on-track to reach their full potential in life!

For 50 years, The Shepherd Centre has found innovative ways to support deaf children, helping them to overcome these challenges and reach their full potential. Research shows that music therapy activities make a massive difference in development of listening, spoken language, and social skills. In response, The Shepherd Centre developed ‘Chime Time’, a program which uses the power of music therapy to help children develop these skills, in a fun, supportive group environment.

‘Chime Time’ is one of the most effective and popular programs we offer. In particular, this year we have seen a record of number of families enrolling in ‘Chime Time’ at our Canberra centre, located in Rivett, ACT.


  • 100% of children showed clinically-significant improvements in their development of listening/spoken language skills, as a result of the Chime Time program. This exceeded our target of 90%.
  • 90% of children showed clinically-significant improvements social skills, specifically their ability to connect with other children in a positive and respectful way. This exceeded our target of 85%.
  • 100% of parents reported increased confidence in managing their child’s disability, and supporting their child’s development of communication skills using music therapy techniques at home.  This aligns with our target of 100%.
  • Further, all agreed that they would recommend the program to other parents of children with hearing loss.


‘The children who participated in Chime Time Canberra 2021, exceeded our expectations for dramatic improvements in their speech/communication skills.

Through the power of music therapy, they are well-positioned to thrive in a mainstream school (rather than a special school), taking full advantage of social and educational opportunities. ‘

Chime Time also lays the foundations for them to fully participate in the local community of the ACT, despite the challenges of their disability.

They will continue to do so throughout their lives, as productive, successful and connected adults with careers and families of their own.