MUSIC, SOCIETY & MENTAL WELLBEING (2014)

Structured in two parts, the seminar started with a keynote presentation by Simon Procter. Drawing from his recently completed doctoral ethnographic research of music therapy in a community mental health setting, Simon engaged with questions regarding the politics of valuing music and health; with responses by Tia DeNora and Gary Ansdell, embedded in their collaborative study of music therapy in a non-medical mental health centre. Following lively group discussions between the attendees, the first part closed with a panel discussion (Stuart Wood, Simon Procter, Mercédès Pavlicevic (Chair), Daisy Fancourt, Tia DeNora, Gary Ansdell).On Wednesday 4th June over 90 people (including practitioners, researchers, students as well as members of the public) came together at the Nordoff Robbins London Centre for the day seminar Music, Society and Mental Wellbeing. The seminar was organised by the Research Department and featured as part of the London Arts and Health Forum’s Creativity and Wellbeing Week.

After lunch and a musical interlude (led by Max Ryz), the second part of the day provided an insight into the work of Nordoff Robbins music therapists. Neil Foster presented his music therapy work with veterans with PTSD at Combat Stress, while Emily Druce presented her work with women facing a range of mental health difficulties at WomenCentre. Both presentations illustrated how music therapy can promote mental wellbeing and build community. Both Neil’s and Emily’s presentations included an evaluation component which was presented by members of the Research Dept.

The day was brought to close with a moving performance by a client from WomenCentre demonstrating the impact that music therapy has had on her life.