Jo Parsons

PhD student

Originally from Newfoundland, Canada, Jo has been living in the UK for five years. In 2009, she received an Honours BMus in Music Theory and Composition from Memorial University of Newfoundland and completed the Master of Music Therapy programme from Wilfrid Laurier University in 2011. During her career she has worked with adults in long term care, children with special needs and socially vulnerable groups and communities. Jo’s practice has taken her to a variety of countries, including Canada, Nepal, Uganda and my current location, England, where she works in the mainstream school system as a music therapist, music teacher and inclusion team member. Jo is currently a PhD student at Nordoff Robbins Music Therapy, Goldsmiths University.

Jo’s integrated and diverse role in the mainstream school where she currently works has inspired her to develop her understanding of the potential of music therapy practice within such a non-clinical setting. This has been strongly influenced by perspectives from Community Music Therapy.

PhD Research Project

Jo’s ethnographic pilot project observes the interchange between music therapy practice and aspects of the school-community environment by studying how, why and to what extend such practices may have overlapped and developed over time. She is particularly interested in the presence of lay expertise in children’s everyday musical practices and the relationship this has with music education and music therapy practices within the school. She has thoroughly enjoyed developing methods of analysis that have been inspired specifically by her work at the school and plans on developing these methods in the further stages of her thesis.


Parsons, J. (2018). Conference report: “The 2018 BAMT Doctoral Research Symposium”. Approaches: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Music Therapy, 10(2), 235-237.

Parsons, J. (2018). Reconstructing the Boundaries of Dementia: Clinical Improvisation as a Musically Mindful Experience in Long Term Care. Voices: A World Forum for Music Therapy, 18(2).


Jo Parsons profile photo