Erinn Epp

PhD student

Erinn is a music therapist based in Grand Rapids, Michigan, USA. She completed her music therapy training at Wilfrid Laurier University (Ontario, Canada) and the Nordoff-Robbins Center at New York University. Her music therapy career has taken her into a wide variety of healthcare, educational, and community-based settings in different regions of North America, where she has worked with children and adults of all ages and abilities. Some of her most memorable professional experiences include piloting music education and music therapy programs in a school for the deaf and hearing impaired, in a psychiatric outpatient program for traumatised women, and in a community music school serving children of diverse abilities. In addition to practicing music therapy, she also teaches undergraduate music courses, frequently presents lectures and workshops on music therapy and inclusion in the arts, and serves as the Continuing Education Coordinator for the state music therapy association Michigan Music Therapists.

Currently, she is involved with two Community Music Therapy projects. Since 2009, she has been the director of a choir for adults with disabilities that frequently collaborates with other local groups to put on community performances. She also directs a choir of incarcerated undergraduate students which serves as the centrepiece of a music therapy-informed music program in a medium-security men’s prison.

Her work with performance groups in Community Music Therapy projects has led to a research interest in the social dimensions of musical performance and a desire to understand how people separated by social differences might encounter each other in these events. Her PhD research focuses on the activity and engagement of audiences in Community Music Therapy (and related) performances. In an upcoming project she will be looking at performance through an ‘ecological’ lens, asking what the audience does during a performance and if/how their experiences become part of future attitudes and actions. Through ethnographically-informed interview methods, She aims to find out what the nature of audience engagement is in order to better understand the ways in which performances may open up new possibilities for thinking about, experiencing, and interacting with others.

Publications:

Epp, Erinn (2007). Locating the Autonomous Voice: Self-Expression in Music-Centered Music Therapy. Voices: A World Forum for Music Therapy7(1). https://doi.org/10.15845/voices.v7i1.463