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Nordoff Robbins at the World Congress of Music Therapy

Every three years, the worldwide music therapy community comes together for a World Congress of Music Therapy. This event moves around: six years ago it was held in Austria, three years ago it was in Japan, and this year it is in South Africa. This is really significant as it is the first time that the congress will happen in Africa.

It is also the first World Congress since the death of Professor Mercédès Pavlicevic, our much-missed colleague who not only worked so hard to develop our own research and training activity here in the UK but also helped to develop the profession and set up the first music therapy training course in her home country of South Africa. The congress will, therefore, be devoting time to honour her achievements and her vast contribution to music therapy both in the UK and in South Africa.

Due to the CoVid-19 situation, this year’s event has now been moved online. However, it retains an African identity, and it is taking place this week.

Gary Ansdell, our Research Associate, is co-ordinating the tribute to Mercédès. Simon Procter, who oversees our education work, is also contributing to this, part of which has already been filmed in advance. Gary is also participating in roundtables on research and spirituality in music therapy as well as introducing his current research project – “Care for Music”. Oksana Zharinova-Sanderson, who oversees our quality assurance work, is leading a workshop entitled “Learning from Music: Paul Nordoff’s ‘Talks on Music’ and contemporary approaches to teaching improvisation within the Nordoff Robbins music therapy training programme.” We are also proud that two graduates of our PhD programme (Claire Flower and Giorgos Tsiris) as well as a current PhD student (Maren Metell) are also presenting.

We are proud of our identity as a music therapy organisation and we are delighted to be able to participate in this event online along with music therapy colleagues from across the globe.

Read Simon and Oksana reflections from #WCMT2020 in this blog post.

More information about the congress can be found on their official website.