European Music Therapy Conference 2019

Eight members of Nordoff Robbins staff, from our music services and research teams, are attending and participating in the 11th European Music Therapy Conference in Denmark

This week, eight members of Nordoff Robbins staff, from our music services and research teams, are attending and participating in the 11th European Music Therapy Conference in Denmark. The overall theme of the conference is “Fields of Resonance,” aimed at inspiring music therapy professionals, researchers and students to present their perspectives on the use of music in various settings and situations, resonating with colleagues and peers in a growing clinical and academic field.

Our Director of Music Services, Oksana Zharinova-Sanderson said:

“We are delighted that a team of music therapists are representing Nordoff Robbins at this year’s European Music Therapy Conference, which is focusing on the rich and diverse developments of the discipline of music therapy in Europe. The congress aims to highlight the recent developments and innovations in music therapy as it is becoming an integrated part of health care, preventive health, educational settings, intercultural work and social services. As an organisation, Nordoff Robbins contributes to this development by being committed to making our services accessible to those who need it most, as well as to providing high quality music therapy training.”


Within the congress, our music therapists will be delivering a range of presentations and workshops centred on the innovative ways of working as a Nordoff Robbins practitioner in a range of different settings.

On Thursday, our music therapists Grainne Ravani Foster and Francesca Borghi ran a workshop on the impact of audio sampling and looping as a technique applied in music therapy, and how it can affect experience.

On Friday, music therapist Kristen MacDonald will co-present a workshop entitled ‘Resonance, Risks, and Dialogue: Music Therapy within Forensic Settings.’ Kristin will be sharing her experience of working in forensic mental health setting, focusing on how Nordoff Robbins music therapy can help individuals who are hard-to-reach and at high-risk.

Saturday will see music therapists Antonia Beardsall and Kerry Atchison presenting ‘Raising Your Voice, Being Heard, Shifting Perceptions – Working with people seeking asylum and refugee status as a Nordoff Robbins music therapist.’ During the session, they will share their experiences of music therapy with refugees in Manchester and London and focus on the importance of placing their musical and cultural expertise at the centre of their work.

Also on Saturday, our Director of Music Services Simon Proctor, will present “Micro-acts within music therapy practice, reflection and thinking.” Simon summarised the contents of his presentation saying:

“One of the hallmarks of the Nordoff Robbins approach to music therapy is our attention to the detail of the improvised music-making that happens. We can link this detail directly to people’s experience of making music with us, which is especially important when we are working with people who can’t tell us about their experience themselves. We can learn about this not only from our own experience and what people tell us, but also from other disciplines which study the micro-level of non-verbal social interaction. Scholars of racism have pioneered the concepts of ‘micro-aggressions’ and ‘micro-affirmations.’ During the presentation I will be exploring the value of these concepts as we think about our work with people who have daily experience of discrimination, and the lessons we can learn from this for our training and research.”


Finally, our Head of Research Craig Robertson will present on Sunday, sharing the initial findings of the recent six month ethnographic study our research team conducted into Nordoff Robbins music therapy in educational settings. During the study, the research explored perceptions about music therapy, and how decisions were made about the music made, what happens in the session, and in how music therapy provision was allocated.

We’re delighted that our team have been able to represent Nordoff Robbins at the conference this week, sharing knowledge, learning from other professionals and celebrating the life-changing power of music therapy.

Find out more about the European Music Therapy Conference 2019: