In October 2016, we were excited to have Professor Colwyn Trevarthen come to talk to us about “Nurturing Musicality, for Wellbeing, and for Joy in Companionship”. His wide-ranging, multimedia presentation highlighted how infants look for connection and dialogue from the very beginning. Their musicality in sound and movement through pace, form and tone helps to shape their sense of self, their interaction with others and their ability to share emotions, including pride and shame.
Prof. Colwyn Trevarthen is Emeritus Professor of Child Psychology and Psychobiology at the University of Edinburgh, Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh and a Vice President of the British Association for Early Childhood Education.
SMTT was delighted to host Jackie Robarts to run a one day workshop in November 2015.
Therapists from across the country came to attend the day, which focused on symbolic play in music therapy, working with themes metaphors and narratives in music and other art forms.
To clarify therapeutic techniques and processes, case study vignettes were linked with musical, developmental and psychodynamic theory in a model of Integrative Music Therapy (Robarts, 2014).
We also explored safe boundaries and ways of working musically and verbally with the material that children & adults bring into the therapy process, along with safeguarding issues.
Jackie Robarts has worked in NHS child & adolescent mental health, child development services, special needs and mainstream nurseries and primary schools. Over 3 decades as a practising music therapist she has developed an integrated musical, psychodynamic and developmental approach, and has published on her work.
Formerly Head of Music Therapy at an NHS children’s hospital, City University Research Fellow, and Senior Therapist & Clinical Tutor at Nordoff Robbins, she now has a private professional development practice offering advanced training workshops, clinical supervision, and improvisation lessons. She teaches and supervises in the UK and abroad. www.jacquelinezrobarts.com
We had a great workshop with music therapist and vocalist Harley Loudon in March 2015.
A group of music therapists and other musicians gathered to explore using our voices in a powerful and stimulating evening. We travelled the world exploring gypsy songs, African songs, Blues, improvisations and vocalisations.
The evening finished with a facilitated discussion about using our voices in a therapeutic environment.
Many thanks to Harley and everyone who attended for their contributions!
Harley is a vocalist, singer songwriter, composer with various musicians and poets in spoken word, folk, jazz and world music. She trained with Nordoff-Robbins as a music therapist working with dementia, premature babies, CAMHS, pre-school early intervention family groups, primary and secondary school children and young people with severe learning difficulties and challenging behaviour.
October 2014 saw Professor Adam Ockelford give a thought-provoking lecture to the SMTT about autism and music. He discussed how people with autism may process music and language differently to the wider population, and provided practical examples drawing on his work with children and adults with autism.
Adam has had a lifelong fascination for music, as a composer, performer, teacher and researcher. While attending the Royal Academy of Music in London, Adam started working with children with special needs – a number of whom, he noticed, had special musical abilities too – and he became interested in how we all intuitively make sense of music, without the need for formal education. He has pursued this interest through his academic career. Recent publications include ‘In the Key of Genius: The Extraordinary Life of Derek Paravicini’ and ‘Music, Language and Autism: Exceptional Strategies for Exceptional Minds’.
Pete Vilk facilitated a memorable and inspiring workshop for the SMTT in February 2014. Pete is a highly experienced drummer, percussionist, sound designer, music producer, music workshop leader and creative collaborator on a wide variety of music projects. It was an insightful evening full of inspiring ideas!
In December 2013, SMTT was joined by Philippa Derrington, the new music therapy course leader at Queen Margaret University. Philippa spoke to a packed room about her three-year research project on the benefits of music therapy for young people with emotional and behavioural difficulties in secondary education. The event was followed by festive refreshments.
Music therapist Tessa Watson gave a presentation to the SMTT in June 2013 about her work with adults with profound and multiple learning disabilities within a music and sensory therapy group. Tessa works for the NHS in London and is also course convenor for the MA in Music Therapy at the University of Roehampton.
November 2012 saw psychotherapist Valerie Sinason from the Tavistock Clinic speak to a packed room of arts therapists and professionals working with people with learning disabilities or who have experienced trauma. Her theme was “The Language of Trauma, With or Without Words”.