Fortnighly Columns

30. September 2013

I had the great pleasure of attending the European Music Therapy Conference in Oslo, Norway in early August 2013 and have some reflections to share.[1] It intrigues me that participants at a large disciplinary conference all steer an uniquely improvised path through the event. Together the attendees create a mosaic of living moments, encountering the work and personalities of our friends and colleagues and admired professionals. However, individually we may have very different perceptions depending on the way we pass the unfolding time. In my experience we go to hear somebody’s work which evokes strong interest - “ I really want to hear that paper, I’ve read about this work and am excited by it”; we possibly want to support a friend or supervisee who is nervously gathering himself before a presentation; or perhaps we meet a new colleague by chance in the bathroom or a lunch queue and through conversing, spontaneously decide to go to take part in her workshop or paper; or just take potluck and go to something unusual because we happen to be in the vicinity and get really inspired (or perhaps, dare I say, a bit bored) – but that is the chance factor at work. It is the mixture of planned "route-taking" and delightful randomness of it all which make the myriad pathways through the conference forest so diverse.

19. August 2013

On 18 July 2013, South Africans exuberantly celebrated the 95th birthday of our "Tata" (father) Nelson Mandela, reminiscing stories of the greatness of this man and his contemporaries and all the "miracles" they achieved towards enabling the freedom of all South Africans. My 4 year old son rushed home from school saying, "Mommy, mommy, we all singed Happy Birthday to Mandela, and I singed so loudly that maybe he even heard me." The magic of our nation continues to touch us all. And yet, these celebrations are awkwardly juxtaposed with the current reality of a hospitalised, frail, ill Mandela, hinting at the inevitability of death and endings (Nandipha, 2013). Our thoughts are drawn to the current recession and continual politicking that has decayed a sense of faith in our leaders for so many. We wonder: what now? Where are we going? The future of our country is no longer held by Mandela and his contemporaries. Now we need to keep their legacy alive – ideas highlighted through movements like "67 minutes", where South Africans were encouraged to give up 67 minutes of our time towards building, restoring or healing our communities in honour of the 67 years of service offered by Mandela. This leads to a further question: what meaning could I have to offer this country here and now?

04. August 2013

He was a young man. But he kind of looked like Trayvon Martin, the 17-year old who was shot in Florida by a white man, George Zimmerman, a few months ago, the justification being the “Stand Your Ground” law in Florida. There is a Stand Your Ground law in 24 states in the United States. This gun friendly law gives anyone the right to shoot first and ask questions later if they feel threatened.

08. July 2013

In the recent years, government regulation regarding the practice of psychotherapy has been taking place in some countries. Government regulation protects the public from false representation or the malpractice of psychotherapy offered by people who do not have the appropriate training, competencies, and certifications. The regulation of professional practice has begun to reach the music therapy profession as well. These new regulations have serious implications for the training and practice of music therapy.

10. June 2013

In teaching music therapy assessment to beginning music therapy students, one of the rationales is that one’s musical behavioral manifests non-musical functioning skills. This understanding leads to justification that music has its legitimate efficacy of being therapeutic tool.

13. May 2013

"There are three things I have learned never to discuss with people: Religion, politics, and the Great Pumpkin." Linus van Pelt, Peanuts

The Problematization of Religion in Music Therapy

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Eleazar the Maccabee and War "Elephant" Carrying Seleucid General, Based Upon Apocryphal Book of 1 Maccabees From Speculum Humanae Salvationis (Anonymous, 14th Century)

During recent years, the United States has experienced an intensification of the discourse on the role of religion and faith-based belief systems in public policy. At the core of this discourse is a fundamental tension between the basic civil rights to freedom of, and freedom from, religion. The discourse itself is nothing new, and it certainly comes as no surprise that such a discourse would arise, in an environment where demographic diversity abounds, including divergent sets of values and worldviews; but it has taken on a distinctly amplified character over the past decade or so, during an era when the US political arena has witnessed the emergence of movements that have challenged past precedent in new ways. This discourse has tended to become controversial, contentious, and even hostile in tone, wherever it has arrived at non-negotiable, fundamental impasses around such challenging issues as religious expression in public education, reproductive rights, marriage equality, and so forth. Further complicating matters are the sometimes subtle politics of privilege that are interwoven into the fabric of these issues. In spite of the great diversity of religious orientations that coexist among members of the US population, not every orientation (including those which are non-religious in character) is endowed with the same degree of public respect and socioeconomic legitimacy. This, in turn, has established multilayered, hegemonic structures that have readily contributed to implicit or explicit glorification of certain orientations and marginalization of others.

29. April 2013

I have a feeling that a lot is happening in the field of music therapy in developing countries which so far in this regard were not on the first place on the list. Through the exchange of information, greater ease of travel and access to the publications more and more people learn what music therapy is, what are the rules, and under what circumstances it can be effective. I have an opportunity to observe this trend in my country, but also in neighboring countries.

15. April 2013

After four weeks I am still nourishing from my visit to Hamburg and therefore want to share some impressions with you. First of all: What a good idea - celebrating one’s big birthday inviting friends and colleagues, sharing food, wine, information and emotion during a whole day. This was what happened on Eckhard Weymann´s birthday-Symposium entitled: “Momente des Nicht-Wissens” or “Moments of Not-knowing”. I wonder who received more gifts, the celebrated or the visitors.

18. March 2013

One of the most important aspects of the Analytical Music Therapy (AMT) (Priestley, 1975; 1994) approach is setting the stage for music therapists undergoing music therapy themselves. In her writings, Mary Priestley (1994) stresses how important it is for therapists to experience music therapy for themselves, as increasing self-awareness is an essential part of music therapy training. This can be achieved by Intertherapy— a training method for analytical music therapists. Therefore, AMT has significant implications in music therapy training. As Priestley (1994) asserts, regardless of one’s chronological age, we have an “inner child” inside of us. She explains how important it is for the therapist to recognize his or her “inner child” when working with a client:

…the knowledge and healing of his inner child through the unfreezing of its traumatized emotion, are an essential part of his inner preparation for work. In this way he will make sure of treating his patient as separate individuals without causing them to express the emotions of his unconscious and projected damaged inner child instead (p. 214).

04. March 2013

I remember when, as a child, I saw those films and cartoons in which characters were thirsty in a desert, and the heat made them believe that a few hundred meters away there was an oasis where they could stop their agony. Finally, they dove hopefully and just found more sand. Thus, I learned that the mind could create the illusion of a supposed reality, which might not be as thought. It seems to me that it is one of the situations in which we can incur, if we believe in some of the mirages that these hyper-computerized times (and allegedly hyper-connected time) provide us.

04. March 2013

Recuerdo cuando, siendo niño, veía aquellas películas y dibujos animados en las que los personajes transitaban sedientos por un desierto, y el calor les hacía creer que unos centenares de metros más allá había un oasis en el que podrían frenar su agonía. Finalmente, se zambullían esperanzados y sólo encontraban más arena. Así aprendía que la mente podría crear la ilusión de una supuesta realidad, que luego podría no ser como creía. Me parece que es una de las situaciones en las que podemos incurrir, si creemos en algunos espejismos que nos ofrece esta época hiper informatizada y, supuestamente, hiper comunicada.

18. February 2013

As a feminist I have grown up with the catch phrase that the personal is political. To me this means that if I see something I think is wrong or problematic in the world, I can be part of the solution to that problem. By joining organisations that promote positive change, by raising my voice, by writing, and by influencing those around me to care about making real changes the world can be a better place not just for me but especially for those who have not experienced my opportunities and privileges.

07. January 2013

In her interesting column earlier this year, my colleague Sarah Hoskyns described a seven-year process of supporting students to undertake ethically sound research (Hoskyns, 2012). Her reminder that we have now facilitated dozens of students master’s research projects in our music therapy department sparked my interest to review what those projects were about. We feel quite strongly that students should have the opportunity to address questions that they are genuinely curious to answer, and we try to limit our guidance to helping them scope their projects, discussing with them the methodologies and methods they might use to answer their questions, and of course challenging them to identify and manage ethical issues that might arise. We also steer them towards research questions that, if not based directly on their own practice, are at least related to the context in which they are working.

10. December 2012

I stepped down in July from my position as an Interview Co-Editor of Voices, ending 11 years of work with Voices. In this position, I had worked with Interview Co-Editors Leslie Bunt and Krzysztof Stachyra to build the interview section to what I think is a vibrant part of Voices. Leslie had worked on this section alone before I joined him in 2007 and had brought some very interesting interviews, so we had lots to build upon. (In the listing that follows, I am including only the interviews that occurred after I joined as an Interview Co-Editor.)

26. November 2012

É com admiração e muita emoção que refaço 30 anos de encontro e trabalho pela musicoterapia.

Corria o ano de 1981 e o Congresso Mundial de Musicoterapia seria realizado em julho, em Porto Rico. Mas, quis a sorte que eu decidisse passar antes por N. York, onde eu tinha já um encontro agendando com Barbara Hesser, que coordenava os cursos de musicoterapia da Universidade de N. York (NYU). No entanto, no dia desse encontro fui informada que Barbara estava em férias e que eu seria recebida pelo diretor do Department of Music and Performing Arts Professions quem, no final desse encontro me informou que em julho do ano seguinte seria realizado um Encontro Internacional de Musicoterapia, naquela universidade.

26. November 2012

It is with a feeling of astonishment and much emotion that I survey thirty years of meetings and labor toward music therapy.

It was the year of 1981 and the World Congress of Music Therapy would be gathered that July, in Puerto Rico. However, it lucked out that I chose to first visit New York, where I had already scheduled a meeting with Barbara Hesser, the coordinator of the Music Therapy courses in New York University (NYU). To my surprise, in the day scheduled for that meeting I was informed that Barbara was away on vacations and that I would be received instead by the Head of the Department of Music and Performing Arts Professions who, in the end of our meeting, informed me that in the month of July of next year an International Meeting on Music Therapy was to be sponsored by that university.

12. November 2012

The Challenges of Research Ethics Approval Processes for Students

A surprising and intense experience immediately on arrival and during my first four years in New Zealand (I have now celebrated seven years) was the personal and departmental engagement with our University Human Ethics Committee. My first encounter with the process included meeting the Chair of Research Ethics at that time, a strong and vociferous force who had been charged with responding to the backlash following a notorious breach in research ethics in New Zealand, some years before, which had resulted in a strong sharpening-up of ethical approval process for any clinical research at all the NZ universities. All universities were taking it seriously but our chair was particularly steely and knew that confidence in research ethics had to be regained.

29. October 2012

Imagine my delight when my friend and colleague Lia Rejane Mendes Barcellos greeted me on my first day of teaching with the words: “Bom dia! Oh, you look just like a cariocas!” She explained that the term cariocas referred to the local Rio dwellers. So, from the beginning of my work and visit to Rio de Janeiro, I felt welcome and somehow like I “belonged”

15. October 2012

Here is a young man I will call Thabiso. He appears isolated – he is the only who has arrived at our introduction to the young offenders music therapy group unaccompanied by a caregiver. He makes little eye contact. He makes no attempt to connect with other group members. Information gathered from his file suggests he was once well cared for, he received some good education, he had a family with means to provide for him. Since his mother passed away, however, he has been sent to live with relatives.

01. October 2012

Now, in September 2012, the first students of the Master of Developmental and Dementia Music Therapy graduate from my University in Wuerzburg in Germany. Sometimes for me it even today feels like beeing in a dream. I don’t know if other colleagues worldwide also can feel this when a new program really starts, when new colleagues really come or when a research project after plenty of applications and preparations becomes true.

03. September 2012

I have been challenged recently to think more deeply about my rejection of the word “client.” I’ve been trying not to use the word for a number of years, and frankly, it’s been a hard habit to break. But I had made a very conscious decision in opposition to what I perceived as the institutionalised power imbalance invoked when the client was framed as a recipient of my expert treatment. The use of the word “institutionalized” refers to the unconscious use of the word; the fact it was just accepted that people who participate in music therapy in all places and various ways should simply be considered to be one amalgamated whole, rather than the unique, context bound beings that they are. “Power imbalance” referred to my belief that music therapy, as I practice it, is more of collaborative act than one directed by my superior understanding of a vulnerable person's needs. I use “recipient” as suggestive of passivity on the part of the people who participate in music therapy, in contrast to the well-documented need for active commitment as fundamental to the success of therapy. “Expert treatment” refers to the assumed use of a treatment model, which in my opinion is a very specific model involving formal stages of referral, assessment, goal setting, implementation of the planned activity, followed by evaluation of efficacy.

25. June 2012

It is intriguing to realize how our understanding of music from the musicological context changes or expands in music therapy. Rhythm was the utmost important component in music when I learned it in the early school education and it still remains as the most profound musical component in therapeutic use of music. I had a moment to examine the definition of rhythm and how the definition expanded with time and through its application. I would like to discuss the multi-dimensional attributes of rhythm, formulating more integrated definition of rhythm.

10. June 2012

We can look at music therapy through many perspectives and underpin the practice with wide-ranging theoretical references, for example, from the fields of psychoanalysis or neuroscience. In some recent presentations it has been rewarding to explore some of the parallel processes within composed and improvised music, before making further links with music therapy in practice when working with people of all ages and in very different contexts.

27. May 2012

Among the more pervasive understandings of how and why music therapy works—the kind represented in the popular news media, for example—is one generally analogous to a biomedical and/or behavioral practice, wherein natural scientific mechanisms resulting from manualized, procedural interventions (preferably in measurable dose-response proportions) serve as the bases for health outcomes. In this understanding, aesthetic (artistic) and relational (roles, interpersonal dynamics, empathy, etc.) components of music therapy are sometimes acknowledged, but are generally viewed as additional variables in the functional mechanisms that bring about the target outcomes (much in the same manner as medicinal adjuvants help facilitate a target physiological response). Moreover, from this perspective, the sort of evidence prized as most valuable and legitimate is of the positivist, natural science variety supports assertions about the "truth" of music therapy's technical effectiveness.

But does it really make any sense to assert that music therapy works as a technical, natural science?

14. May 2012

With each passing year I see more clearly the importance of creativity in human life. I have become convinced that it is an integral part of our personality and functioning. Every person is born creative. And yet I have been surprised to note how, in practice, these issues are ignored by the education system and how little of what goes on at school, despite its focus on forming the young person in the modern world, is focused on the development of creativity. I speak mainly about the education situation in Poland, but I think that what I write applies to many other places on Earth.

30. April 2012

This time I would like to share with you a very recent interpersonal experience which caused an impact on me and an authentic reaction materialized by the exclamation “really?” I suppose that the impact was a real moment of surprise.

02. April 2012

By writing these words, I intend to open a forum for dialogue and exchange about the new definition of Music Therapy introduced by the World Federation of Music Therapy, which is inadequate and not entirely appropriate from my point of view.

As I already stated in a previous column (Schapira Diego (2005) I am convinced that the individual and daily work of each music therapist anywhere in the world represents the work of the entire professional community. I confirm this every time I have the chance to speak to professionals from other disciplines (psychologists, occupational therapists, doctors, psychomotor skills specialists, etc.) that are in contact with a music therapist, or with someone that has known the work of a colleague. Each one of the music therapists carry out the changing in the vision of our profession in the social imaginary, according to the rigor and ethics that we apply to our professional activity.

02. April 2012

Es mi intención al escribir estas palabras que podamos abrir una instancia de diálogo e intercambio acerca de la nueva definición de Musicoterapia que ha presentado la Federación Mundial de Musicoterapia, que desde mi punto de vista es insuficiente e inadecuada.

Como ya manifesté en una columna anterior (Schapira Diego (2005) estoy convencido de que el trabajo individual y cotidiano de cada uno de los musicoterapeutas, en cualquier lugar del planeta, representa al trabajo de toda la comunidad de profesionales. Lo corroboro cada vez que me toca hablar con profesionales de otras disciplinas (psicólogos, terapistas ocupacionales, médicos, psicomotricistas, etc.) que están en contacto con algún musicoterapeuta, o con alguien que ha conocido el trabajo de algún colega. La modificación de la visión de nuestra profesión en el imaginario social la realizamos cada uno de los musicoterapeutas, de acuerdo con la rigurosidad y ética con que nos desempeñamos.

05. March 2012

The present text is a revised version of a paper presented at “Commemorative Seminar. The Academic Life of Professor Tony Wigram” arranged at Aalborg University November 5, 2011. I was invited to talk about Tony Wigram’s academic contribution to the Nordic Journal of Music Therapy (NJMT) and to the Nordic music therapy research community more generally. Since Tony was such an important figure in international music therapy and since NJMT is a “sister journal” of Voices, I find it pertinent to present these reflections as a Voices column:

06. February 2012

To music is to take part, in any capacity, in a musical performance, whether by performing, by listening, by rehearsing or practicing, by providing material for performance (what is called composing) or by dancing” Christopher Small (1998)

18. October 2011

Lately, I have been reflecting on "new ways of being." As some of you may know, I am an instructor in Tae Kwon Do. My husband and I have a Tae Kwon Do Club at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia. We teach our students many different kicking, punching, jumping, and blocking techniques.

03. October 2011
We have just passed the 10th anniversary of 9/11/2001. This anniversary and its extensive coverage provided us with an opportunity to not only review the horrendous event itself, but, in addition, to try and make meaning out of what has occurred within the last 10 years. There are still many emotions associated with this event, of course, and much of the coverage provoked intense emotions again. I would like to briefly address some the significant aspects that music played particularly as we mark this 10th anniversary. I wrote about this topic 10 years ago, and some of what occurred this year is related to what I wrote at that time. Then I will share my reflections on the importance and visibility of music therapy in the 10 years between 9/11/01 and 9/11/11.
19. September 2011

On the Contemporariness and the Challenges of Clinical Practice

The first generation of Brazilian qualified music therapists[1], in which I belong, emerged on the seventies and began to provide clinical practice within the line of the third music production networks conceived by Jacques Attali (1978) – to wit, repetition – that consists in the possibility of sound recording, a recent phenomenon in human history, and in the reproduction and listening to of these sounds in the absence of those who first produced them. Initially, gadgetry involving radio, discs, tape spools and, cassettes, as well as the handling of some of said technological advancements, like "tape clipping", allowing for a larger set of sound possibilities was employed. These afforded us the instruments for creating together sounds designed and mixed along with others, thus broadening our sound-producing tools. Such portable tape recorders were also used to bring in the tunes my patients required or to record their own music endeavors, which is an important source for research to this day.

05. September 2011

I have been feeling quite awry with myself in the last 14 months. Something of my natural order and understanding of hopefulness about living and survival has been challenged by recent experiences of loss that have come much closer to me than ever before in my life. I do not mean to sound morbid, or sorry for myself – as I often feel lucky to be in my second fifty years of life, before this has happened to me – but it has certainly felt profound, and brings me closer to understanding something about the practice of my music therapy colleagues working in palliative care, whom I much admire.

07. August 2011

June 24th we lost Tony Wigram. Many of us lost a very good friend, a colleague, a teacher, a researcher and past-president. From my point of view he was a great music therapist, may be the greatest ever.

18. July 2011

Theory is on my mind at the moment. It's not exactly the most peaceful state to be in, and at this point I would even describe it a slightly challenging for of existence. In past columns I have reflected on topics such as motherhood and meditation after my second child was born; or the importance of dancing the tango after the World Congress of Music Therapy in Argentina. But as I prepare for the World Congress in Seoul, I am on sabbatical in Bergen, thinking, talking and dreaming about theory – quite a Norwegian experience perhaps. I will take the opportunity of this column to reflect on the topic at a personal level, by pondering my relationship with theory and describing it as an experience of walking around and around in circles. I will offer this discussion without reference to hermeneutic exercises of circle walking (please see: Kenny, 2006), and without discussion of philosophical understandings of the nature of reality (please see: Rykov, 2011). This is not because they are irrelevant, but because I am choosing to offer a more casual and subjective story about my own experience.

20. June 2011

Let’s consider an important conference theme: “Music is the center of our work as Music Therapists.” This is an important theme and one, which could surely serve as a daily mantra for Music Therapists.

My talk this morning will focus on “being.” I will attempt to give being its proper place within the context of our music therapy practice.

30. May 2011

Music Therapists for Peace

Music Therapists for Peace, Inc. (MTP) originated in the 1980s in the United States thanks to music therapist Edith Boxill’s (1916-2005) initiative. I first became aware of the movement MTP in 1988 as an undergraduate student attending a music therapist’s presentation by Christine Routhier, on a special project with children with the Sisters City Project from New Haven, Connecticut and Leone, Nicaragua. At the time, Nicaragua was in a state of civil war and Routhier (1988), with two other music therapists, went to work with an organization helping war victims. Once back, Routhier was approached by Edith Boxill to be part of the movement Music Therapists for Peace (C. Routhier, personal communication, November 10, 2007).

04. April 2011

The title of this column essay can be parsed in at least two distinctly different ways. In one sense, it can signify a point of termination, whereupon music will be no more. In another way, it can signify a goal--as in the "end" following certain "means." Although the intention here is to address the latter (i.e., music as an "end"), the former actually does hold a certain degree of relevance in the context of this essay.

21. March 2011

A few years ago I met a person who shared similar views on therapy through the arts and ways of working with people with a range of disabilities. Michal Stanowski is a drama therapist, but also – or maybe most of all – the originator and initiator of an artistic movement of people with health problems, their therapists, instructors and volunteers. All of us together, through systematic artistic activities, by organising various events, and in our daily work strive towards facilitating the personal growth of people within the movement and more broadly to change the situation of people with disabilities within our society. The movement is called “Untrodden Path” and now it is not only in Poland, but also in Ukraine and Belarus.

07. March 2011

We live in a single world, but we also live different experiences, in different parts of the world. Like the visionary he was, Borges wrote about parallel realities many decades ago. The wonderful chance of contacting and sharing information so easily between distant places, only adds to the harshness of this situation.

07. March 2011

Vivimos en un mismo mundo, pero también vivimos en realidades diferentes, en distintos lugares del mundo. Como un visionario, Borges escribió varias décadas atrás acerca de las realidades paralelas. La maravillosa posibilidad que hoy tenemos de contactarnos e intercambiar información tan fácilmente entre diferentes lugares del mundo, nos muestra con crudeza esta situación.

28. February 2011


On December 11th, we organized an interesting symposium entitled “Intercultural aspects in therapy” at our Musiktherapiezentrum at the University of Berlin. We had about 40 external participants additionally to our 35 master students. All four presentations treated the phenomena of immigration and discussed the importance of “intercultural awareness” of therapists. The lecturers, Sladjana Kosijer‐Kappenberg, Dorothee Storz, Verena Heidenreich and the author of this column, presented a rich and diverse theoretical framework concerning the social, emotional and cognitive impact of immigration in a person and the impact on society as a whole.

07. February 2011

A few weeks ago Dr Alison Ledger graduated from her PhD at the University of Limerick. Alison is a University of Queensland music therapy graduate, earning a BMus and an MPhil from UQ. She came to Ireland in 2005 to work with me on a project for which I had received funding from the Health Services Executive evaluating the effects of the introduction of music therapy and art therapy into a dementia service in Limerick. We finished the project within 18 months, and she returned to Australia. She came back to Ireland soon after, teaching on the course and leading the development of a local schools based parent-infant music therapy programme.

27. December 2010

I am writing this column having just completed my PhD work; my thesis has been in circulation for just one week, and graduation is just two weeks away. I hope then, I can be forgiven for devoting a Voices column to reflecting on an aspect of my PhD process, that of ‘getting started’. Bunt (2004) gave us permission to indulge in such a practice, it seems, when he said that music therapists have a need to tell stories, not only of patients and clients, but their own stories of entering the profession, the ‘spark’ that led to training, early musical memories, and so on. Our stories reinforce who we are, sustain us in times of trouble, and motivate us towards ends we might not envisage (Mair, 1989), and they are particularly important during times of significant transition (Crossley, 2007). Thus I acknowledge that telling my story at this momentous transitional period in my life might be personally beneficial, but I trust it might also be of interest to readers.

13. December 2010

A couple of weeks ago, I had the privilege of presenting on a panel at the National Conference of the American Music Therapy Association with 10 other co-editors of Voices, representing five countries: Brian Abrams, Jane Edwards, Carolyn Kenny, Lucanne Magill, Katrina McFerran, Rune Rolvsjord, Brynjulf Stige, Lisa Summer, Guylaine Vaillancourt, and Barbara Wheeler. The panel session was entitled Voices and the Open Access Revolution: Culture, Ethics, and Authenticity. As I was listening to the other panellists, I found myself in awe for the collective wisdom at this (quite long!) conference table and the deep care for authentic exchange of ideas.

15. November 2010


Placements lie, of course, at the centre of student learning in music therapy, and I am regularly sobered to remember that however impressive we might be in choosing lecture topics, improvising, or facilitating discussion at the University or Conservatoire, it is out in the field, with patient needs and inspiration that student therapists-in-training find their feet and learn to think like music therapists – putting frameworks, ideas and methods into action.

01. November 2010

I am happy to take this opportunity to tell those who have not heard that I will be retiring from my teaching position at the University of Louisville at the end of this academic year, the end of May 2011. This is an exciting point in my life—and the beginning of a big transition. Writing this column presents an opportunity for me to reflect on what it means to me and how it relates to other events in my professional and personal life.

17. October 2010

With approximately 45 million inhabitants, Colombia is the second most populous country in South America and its capital city, Bogotá, built on a 2,640-high plateau, boasts a population of almost seven million people.

In the Andes Eastern Range, 2,640 meters closer to the stars, the IV Latin-American Music Therapy Congress was hosted by the Colombian Association for Music Therapy (Asociación Colombiana de Musicoterapia) in July 2010, therein represented by Juanita Eslava, Álvaro Enrique Ramírez, and Patricia Ramos Pardo, backed by the Latin-American Music Therapy Committee – [Comitê Latinoamericano de Musicoterapia (CLAM)] – then chaired by the Brazilian music therapist, Marly Chagas.

19. September 2010

August 2010 presented arts therapists, activists and educators from across the African continent with an invaluable opportunity to interact, share stories, ask questions, inspire and encourage one another at the Drama for Life Africa Research Conference held in Johannesburg, South Africa.

05. September 2010

I have just finished editing a book about music therapy and the elderly with a specific focus on dementia. Lots of good colleagues and graduates of contributes in this book and it will be really new in this field of clinical practice of music therapy for Germany. One thought, which occurs in me while writing and reading the chapters of the book, was that we do NOT have enough music therapists for the future. Why?

25. August 2010

As a music therapy lecturer, I often reflect on the fact that I have ended up being more of a teacher than a therapist. This is particularly interesting to me in light of my personal history since both of my parents were school teachers and I was always quite determined that teaching would not be my destiny. Yet I am very pleased and proud to have reached this point in my career. In the following essay I would like to take the opportunity to consider the steps that led me to this place, taking the opportunity to remind myself of the bigger picture with the (fairly indulgent) hope that this might be of interest to students or colleagues.

13. June 2010

On Music (excerpt)

Music: you stranger. You feeling space. Growing
Away from us. The deepest thing in us, that,

Rising above us, forces its way out. . .

A holy goodbye:
When the innermost point in us stands
Outside, as amazing space, as the other

Side of the air:
Not for us to live in now. (Rainer Maria Rilke)

Rilke reminds us of the profound nature of music. The next part of this story may seem rather whimsical. But I encourage you to view this video. Then read on.

16. May 2010

It so happened that the time I had for writing this column was May 1. So what? It’s the 121st day of the year, with 244 days to go before we need another datebook. According to Wikipedia, May 1 was also the date of the first cricket match in America in 1751. Some years later it was the date of the opening night of Mozart’s opera "The Marriage of Figaro." Do I care? Not really. These are distant events for me.

02. May 2010

It is exciting to see how music therapy is developing globally and internationally, and how each country is establishing their own characteristics of music therapy in both academia and profession.

Speaking with many musicians and health related practitioners throughout the countries of Asia, many had some concerns regarding authentic use of cultural and musical resource in the process of music therapy development. These discourses trigger subject matter regarding both internationalization and globalization of music therapy.

18. April 2010

Juggling is a beautiful action, a rounded and balanced flow of movement. I certainly do not have the skills to juggle but my life as a musician and music therapist seems to have many parallels with such an action. Whilst engaged in a range of work how can I keep the movement of different ‘hats’ in play? How can there be a sense of flow and balance when trying to juggle the various hats? How can such differing demands and challenges find their rightful place alongside family and personal life?[1]

04. April 2010

Music therapists encounter a wide variety of potentially vexing misperceptions, misunderstandings, assumptions, and stereotypes about their work. As a result, many of them quickly learn how to dialogue with uninformed or misinformed members of the public in tolerant, patient, diplomatic ways, in the interest of advancing the music therapy profession.

22. March 2010

My article concerns cooperation, because this is one of the most important subjects for me. Cooperation between music therapists, institutions, countries, continents... It is very important that a human is needed for all kinds of cooperation and a human is the most important in the process of cooperation. The value of cooperation lies in the human being. This is a very humane approach.

08. March 2010

A few years ago, with a group of psychotherapists and doctoral students at the Psychology Institute from the Universidad Católica in Santiago de Chile, we started a qualitative research project about “The Voice in Psychotherapy”. The intention was to investigate on the importance of voice tone from therapist and patient within the psychotherapeutic context. We developed two questionnaires, one for each group, and applied them to 25 experienced psychotherapists and 20 out-door patients with depressive and anxious disorders. We also realized in-depth-interviews with two external therapists and three of the patients who had participated in the study. The first part of the study was realized in Santiago de Chile, the second one in Berlin in collaboration with music therapy students from the Master Program in Music Therapy at the Universität der Künste (Bauer et al., 2009). As a music therapist and clinical psychotherapist I found it especially interesting and promising to get information about how patients and therapists perceive the “music” contained in therapeutic discourses. We wondered if both, patients and therapists, would recognize emotions or intentions from the voice tone and if they would use their own voice consciously in the therapeutic relation.

22. February 2010

The tragedy happened in Haiti have deepened wounded us. Looking at TV news within so strong, huge horror, desolation, and grief, I saw a few images which shocked me by surprising me. In the first image there was a woman, taken out from rubble, laying on a stretcher, who sang a song for thanking her rescuers. In the second clip a young woman watched at her destroyed house, she raised her arms, singing a song to compassionate herself for the loss. Finally a group of survived orphans play and sing in the middle of ruins. Almost the same happened after the earthquake in L’Aquila. There the famous conductor, Riccardo Muti, organized concert with musicians only from that area to support survived people who lost everything and lived in tent.

08. February 2010

The subject of identity is a huge topic in the field of sociology and has been given considerable attention in Voices in relation to music therapists (Forinash, 2009; Igari, 2004; Lee, 2008; Oosthuizen, 2009; Schapira, 2005) and their clients (Ahmadi, 2009; Forrest, 2001; Lotter, 2007; Moore & Baker, 2009) and to the profession as a whole. The concept of Community Music Therapy for example has heightened a process in which music therapists wonder and debate about their professional identity, and what music therapy might mean today and in future societies (see Ansdell, 2002, and subsequent moderated discussion). Holidays can be a time for reflecting on identity, so it has been for me over recent weeks. I have been prompted by various circumstances to share some simple examples of issues relating to personal identity later in this column.

25. January 2010

The nature of social communications has been changing at a rapid pace due to widespread use of online social networking sites such as Facebook, MySpace, and Twitter. Traditionally private conversations have become public and this blurring between private and public has resulted in a new social construct, e-professionalism, or the impact of online behavior on one’s professionalism.

11. January 2010

In Argentinean Music Therapy there is a long tradition of work in the field of mental health, in the treatment of several kinds of disabilities, in prevention and in community music therapy. But there is scarce development in Music Therapy in medicine. This story is about an experience in this field, in the General Hospital Bernardino Rivadavia, in the city of Buenos Aires.

11. January 2010

En Argentina tenemos una larga tradición de trabajo tanto en el campo de la salud mental, como en el tratamiento de diversos tipos de discapacidades, en prevención, y en musicoterapia comunitaria. Pero hay un desarrollo menor en musicoterapia en medicina. Esta historia habla de una experiencia en este último campo, en el hospital Gral. De Agudos Bernardino Rivadavia, de la ciudad de Buenos Aires.

28. December 2009

I find myself involved in searching for information on several aspects of our music therapy past. I feel honored to be able to learn about important people and events, sometimes in ways that are not easily accessible, and to share this information with others. I am fascinated by much of what I am learning about people and events and would like to share some of my experiences.

14. December 2009

Developing a New Field of Performance

Experience lends us some assurance. We think that, when we have a long life of clinical practice we can feel confident whenever we begin a job within a new field of performance. On the other hand, we also know about the challenges to face in any new area we ingress, but we can count on the knowledge of our peers and, standing on their former work, we can find a point from which to depart.

19. November 2009

Three weeks ago I had meetings and was guest teacher at the Temple University in Philadelphia, USA. It was a very exciting time. I got plenty of presents of thoughts over there. I also became aware of Philadelphia as not only a very special and unique place of Music Therapy, but also as the place of the birth of the USA.

16. November 2009

Horomona Horo, a distinguished Māori musician[1] opened a recent national choral festival in Rotorua, New Zealand ‘Sing Aotearoa 09’, with a most arresting sound. A soft "Toc… toc, toc", which changed in intensity, pace and loudness over a period of perhaps two minutes, created a wonderful sense of calm listening, regulated our breathing and a evoked a link with ancient lands. He was playing two pieces of pakohe or argillite [2] – one large, in the palm of a hand, the other smaller, in the opposite hand, tapping like a bird’s beak. He explained later that the argillite – a naturally occurring mineral in Aotearoa New Zealand – was particularly suitable for making these sounds and not quite as hard as the much treasured Māori pounamu or greenstone, which is also used for tools and making koru symbols and other jewels. The cupping of Horomona’s hand changed the pitch across the range of about an octave and a half, which was amazing to see at close quarters in a workshop that he ran for Sing Aotearoa participants later in the festival weekend.

02. November 2009

An awkward silence. Some women turn towards each other and mutter hushed commentaries in Tswana. I look hopefully at my "translator", and wait. Eyes turn downward, faces look concerned and agitated. I feel tension building in the room, but I don't understand. I also get the feeling that no-one is about to let me in on what's happening. Right now it seems irrelevant that I have put so much thought into my plans for this session, irrelevant that I have a sense, still, that this session will be a good experience for all of us. At this point I feel completely isolated and angry at my inability to discern this language that is being spoken. In this room full of black Tswana speaking women, I feel so useless, so English…so white!

20. September 2009

Experiences From Improvisational Music Making

In music, I listen.
In music, I listen to what I feel.
In music, I listen to what I take risks for.
In music, I listen to the others who take care of me with their music.

I immerse myself to what I may not know.

And then come back from the place where I went by myself
                                   to the place I feel at home

In music, I am listening to my own home.

06. September 2009

Leaving the City and Going Bush

I begin the drive into the bush early in the morning, as the sun pokes its head above the city horizon. It"s a little misty and my car warms up slowly in the Australian winter air. I thank God once again for the invention of the iPod and head for the highway. The first part of my journey swings around a major ring road and I drive past a combination of industry and ever-burgeoning outer suburbs. Within forty-five minutes I am free of the flat, grey metropolis and my car is roaring up into the Victorian highlands. It is increasingly green and undulating and I change my music from the contemporary attitude of Lily Allen (2009) to the remorse of Jeff Buckley (1994). The first black gum tree stumps soon come into view and I begin to focus on my purpose. Within in the hour I will have arrived at a small, local high school and teenagers will be arriving at the music room door constantly throughout the day. As I drive, I notice the progress being made on the new houses that are being built to replace those burned in the Black Saturday fires. I am amazed at how healthy parts of the bush look. The re-growth covers the blackened wood and the road I travel seems mostly untouched by the tragedy of last summer.

23. August 2009
Said, "I’m going down to Yasgur’s Farm
Gonna join in a rock and roll band
Got to get back to the land
And set my soul free" (Joni Mitchell, 1970)

Today (August 15, 2009) we celebrate the 40th Anniversary of the famous Woodstock Art and Musical Festival, held in a huge alpha field at the Yasgur Farm near Woodstock, New York on August 15th and 16th, 1969. ( The festival included many great performers like the Grateful Dead, Jimmy Hendrix, The Who, Joan Baez, Canned Heat, Janis Joplin, Crosby/Stills/Nash/Young, and many others.

26. July 2009

Research might feel like it is reserved to a certain type of people, somehow expert and already very knowledgeable. At least that is how I felt, that I did not have the necessary qualities or expertise to do music therapy research. I did not feel a real connection with research. I saw it as complicated and aloolf from real life and people. It is only when I read about the democratization of knowledge that Paolo Freire (1970) introduced in the 70’s that I started to think that research and knowledge are accessible to all.

28. June 2009

The past year has brought about some big transitions in my life and these transitions have prompted me to think about my identity both as a music therapist and as a person. Having been a music therapy educator for many years, I have had the honor of watching many students develop into music therapists. One of the aspects that is most exciting is watching them develop their sense of identity as a music therapist and how they integrate that into their larger personal identity.

31. May 2009

The Asian Symposium of Music Therapy held in Japan, March 9th, 2009 served to be a meaningful opportunity to bring together people directly and indirectly involved in the field of music therapy. Those from countries who are just starting to establish the foundation for developing the concept of music therapy anticipated gathering facilitative ideas, practical information, and facts about that of other countries. It was indeed a place for interaction and network building among music therapists and other related professionals.

03. May 2009

Crisis. This word has been in the media much too often. Can anything be done in the time of crisis? Or would it be better to wait for the end of it? Being pelted with bad news by the media surely has a bad effect on many people. Still, it’s good to know at such moments that the crisis is in the banks, not in us.

03. May 2009

Kryzys. To słowo ostatnio pojawia się w mediach zdecydowanie zbyt często. Czy w czasach kryzysu można coś zrobić? Czy może lepiej przeczekać? Stałe atakowanie przez media złymi informacjami z pewnością na wiele osób nie działa dobrze. Ale warto sobie wtedy uświadomić, że kryzys jest w bankach, ale nie w nas!

19. April 2009

After reading Lia Rejane's column about Easter Island, about secrets and musical traditions of this wonderful culture, I felt inspired to show another face of music and culture in Chile. It is perhaps the most violent contrast to Lia’s excursion, but it is worth being mentioned as it shows, how our feelings toward music are conditioned by life circumstances and how music can be misused to cause damage and destruct personality on one side, and used to survey and resist, on the other.

05. April 2009

Some Colleagues of mine invited me to participate at a symposium on music and health. I was very pleased for this opportunity since the group included professionals from various European countries.

23. March 2009

Over recent years, in my various roles as music therapy practitioner, researcher and lecturer, I have engaged in considerable reflection on the concept of Community Music Therapy - what it might mean and how it might impact, if at all, on the practice of music therapy in New Zealand. Much has been written about Community Music Therapy (Pavlicevic & Ansdell, 2004b) and interesting philosophical, theoretical, and practical positions have been espoused. I do not intend to engage in further in-depth discussion or debate at the philosophical and/or theoretical level, but I am interested in thinking about how the ideas relate to music therapy practice in this country, particularly to special education which is a field I have a special interest in. In writing this column I draw on almost twenty years experience as a music therapy practitioner in the field; close involvement for the same amount of time supporting the development of music therapy in this country at a national level; informal interactions with colleagues; and my recent research which involved interviewing New Zealand music therapists to gain their views on a proposed music therapy protocol for collaborative consultation with teams who support students who have special education needs.

09. March 2009

On Friday February 27, I attended a keynote address by Jane Golden, Director of the Philadelphia Mural Arts Program, at the Second Conference of Temple University’s Arts and Quality of Life Research Center. This was the third time I heard her talk about the Philadelphia Mural Arts Program that she started 25 years ago. Again, I walked away deeply inspired by her actions, accomplishments, passion, and energy.

23. February 2009

This column is based on the text of the speech made by Jane Edwards at the 10 year celebration of the MA in Music Therapy in November 2008.

The MA in Music Therapy at the Irish World Academy of Music and Dance is celebrating its 10th birthday. In a moment of inspiration this anniversary has been titled "reflecting the vision." This moniker gives the perfect opportunity to consider the contribution of the music therapy training programme to the wider context of the university, and in general to the country in which it was founded and resides. It has also been a wonderful chance to invite alumni back to the campus for a celebration. I was delighted to see so many people back with us in November, with each student cohort represented at the event.

09. February 2009

After five hours flying over the Pacific Ocean, a deep-blue sea sprinkled with foaming waves, Rapa Nui[1], or Easter Island, appears in the fringe of the horizon. So isolated, so far away from everything and everyone else this portion of land is, that everything that happens in it turns to inside and is intensely lived through, leading the natives into watching and caring for each place in the island as if it were the last one or the only one ever created by Make Make, the god of Rapa Nui. Indeed, everything that happens there is noteworthy: the aromas, the tastes, the textures, the colors, the sounds, everything results from the surfacing life, be it volcanic or marine.

12. January 2009

As a new parent, I was not prepared for the many sleepless hours I would spend rocking and holding my son. Every hour that passed as he continued to squirm and cry and look around with wide-open eyes left me feeling increasingly despondent, hopeless in my role as a parent and exhausted. I found myself battling between a deep love for this child, a desperate longing to "make everything alright" and wanting to just put him down and run...

17. November 2008

I have been having some good conversations with colleagues recently about research in music and related disciplines. During this year I have been engaged in the opening stages of a research project based on what music therapists (at various stages of their professional lives) think about the place of research in a clinical training, and it has been fascinating to share ideas with others on this topic.

03. November 2008

My last weeks and months were full of very new experiences and perspectives. First of all, we welcomed a newborn son. The things we did with him for the first time - the first time bathing him, the first walk outside - were exciting experiences. Even though we have done these things a thousand or millions of times in our life, doing it for the first time with him changed our perspectives and perception in a unique way. When the magic of such moments touch my family and I, we are thankful for it by being fully present and by pausing time. This could be also the origin of pauses in music, where everything stops for a moment, where everything is possible and where everything is encompassed by the music.

03. November 2008

Die letzten Wochen und Monate waren für mich voll neuer Erfahrungen und Perspektiven. Zuallererst wurde uns ein Sohn geboren und kam zu uns. Es sind völlig außergewöhnliche und einmalige Erlebnisse wie zum Beispiel sein erstes Bad, sein erster Spaziergang im Kinderwagen – all die ersten Erfahrungen und ersten Male, welche wir bereits tausendfach oder sogar millionenfach in unserem Leben erlebt haben, welche mit ihm unsere Wahrnehmung des Momentes so wunderbar verändert. Es ist der Zauber eines jeden Momentes, mit dem ich und meine Familie in Berührung kommen und dankbar sind mit der Fülle eines Erlebnisses bereits in einem Augenblick und die Zeit kurzzeitig inne hält. Das ist vielleicht auch der Ursprung der Pause in der Musik, in der alles inne hält, alles möglich ist und alles darin steckt.

28. October 2008

Another September has come to an end. After so many years as a student and then faculty member, fall always feels like the real beginning of the year to me. My two children are now old enough to also be plugged in to this annual cycle; so it was an especially busy month in our household as we adjusted to the new and continuing programs for both of them. Among these my eldest, 9-yr-old Sarah, has resumed piano lessons for what will be her third year. Naturally, with her increasing capability the material is becoming more complex and the expectations higher.

22. September 2008

Recently, I had a consulting job with a Music Department at a small liberal arts college in the States. The department was engaged in a great deal of change. They hired me as an organizational consultant to help them through the change. Why was I shocked when the group of 11 was so resistant to including some type of musical experience in their two - day retreat? I suggested musical improvisation. I suggested a music and imagery experience. Nope. They were not interested.

21. September 2008

Recently, I had a consulting job with a Music Department at a small liberal arts college in the States. The department was engaged in a great deal of change. They hired me as an organizational consultant to help them through the change. Why was I shocked when the group of 11 was so resistant to including some type of musical experience in their two - day retreat? I suggested musical improvisation. I suggested a music and imagery experience. Nope. They were not interested. Finally, I came up with a musical experience that I thought would help them to include more than just talk in their retreat, an experience that would engage their senses and take them to a deeper level of getting to know each other through their aesthetic selves. I asked them to "interpret" two pieces of music. The first was Phillip Glass’ "The Plant Boy" from his opera, The Witches of Venice. The second was Arvo Part’s "Sarabande" from his Collage über BACH. This time I did not ask if they wanted to do it. I just started the activity!

07. September 2008

The Tango is a dance that originated in the lower class districts of Buenos Aires and was a powerful influence at the latest World Congress in Buenos Aires. My understanding is that as a dance, the Tango requires partners to work in complete unison, improvising a set of steps from an array of known moves. In watching skilled dancers at Diego Shapiro’s local Milonga after the conference dinner, it was clear that this is an intensely serious process, requiring a shared understanding of power and balance. This interplay can be understood as a metaphor for many of the power-related issues raised at the Congress. The growing power of music therapy across the globe. The power of access to resources. The power of the dollar. The powerful voice of Feminism. And most concretely the power in numbers of the Argentinian music therapy students attending the event.

03. August 2008

Working with cancer patients in oncology and palliative care brings us closer to the precious and fragile nature of life on a daily basis. Given the immediate impact of receiving a diagnosis of cancer or terminal illness, a persons’ life span suddenly becomes tangible and there are so many things that one would like to accomplish. Since I started as a music therapist in the hospital setting, I have met patients, families and caregivers whom have deeply touched me by their way of living life fully. The life lessons are numerous, coming from young to older patients; they teach us to challenge ourselves and to appreciate every moment we are granted.

03. August 2008

Le travail quotidien auprès de patients en oncologie et soins palliatifs nous rapproche encore plus de la précarité de la vie. Tout à coup, à l’annonce d’un diagnostic de cancer ou d’une maladie terminale, la vie devient précieuse, on réalise qu’elle ne tient qu’à un fil et qu’il y a tant de choses à accomplir encore pour certains. Au cours des années, j’ai côtoyé des patients, des familles, des équipes soignantes qui m’ont touchée profondément par leur désir de vivre l’essentiel. Les leçons de vie sont nombreuses, qu’elles proviennent de patients jeunes ou âgés; ils nous apprennent à nous dépasser et à apprécier la vie à chaque instant.

20. July 2008

The multiple relationship issue in therapy is crucial for a health therapeutic process to take place. It has been conceptualized and developed to be one of the basic ethical standards in therapy. In the beginning, multiple relationship was a strict ethical code that therapist had to refrain oneself from having any extra-therapy interactions with the client, which may lead to anything other than therapist-client relationship. However, in 1980s and 1990s the issue and demand for redefining this multiple relationships have been raised by many psychologists (Pope & Vetter, 1992). Questions about boundaries were discussed from various perspectives including therapeutic approach, value system and professional discipline, etc (Pope, Tabachnick & Keith-Spiegel, 1987). In 2002, such debates contributed in bringing amendment in APA Ethical Standards on multiple relationships and additional statement was provided as following: "Multiple relationships that would not reasonably be expected to cause impairment or risk exploitation or harm are not unethical (http://"

29. June 2008

When health is seen within an ecological framework, the sociological theory of "social capital" is highly relevant (Putnam, 2000). Social capital evolves as a shared resource of trust and reciprocity when people listen to each other, work or play together, and care about each other. Simon Procter (2004) and several other music therapists have suggested that participation in music may contribute to the accumulation and accessibility of social capital in a community.

15. June 2008

The opening images of Seamus Heaney’s (1969) poem At the Wellhead are of someone singing with eyes closed, the songs curving back in time like a well-known road. High hedges create boundaries for the road, providing both a sense of familiarity and safety, even if it can be a little lonely at times. Heaney implores his singer to keep on singing and to draw from the deep well from where the singing comes.

01. June 2008

Wydarzenia ostatnich dni były znaczące dla mnie osobiście, ale przede wszystkim dla rozwoju muzykoterapii w Polsce. Pokazały jak wiele może zrobić niewielu. Ukazały znaczenie przyjaźni i współpracy międzynarodowej. Pewnie zastanawiacie się co takiego wydarzyło się w ostatnich dniach w Polsce?

Spotkali się trzej przyjaciele – muzykoterapeuci. A spotkanie to stało się inspiracją do zorganizowania konferencji, na którą przybyli młodzi studenci i adepci muzykoterapii z całej Polski, ale również z Francji i Ukrainy.

01. June 2008

The events of the last days were significant for me personally, but most of all for the development of music therapy in Poland. They showed how much can be done thanks to so few people. They also proved the importance of friendship and international cooperation. Now you probably wonder what exactly happened lately?

Three friends - music therapists - met and that meeting became an inspiration for organizing a conference which gathered students and adepts of music therapy from all over Poland, but also from France and Ukraine.

18. May 2008

1st Movement: Introduction and Allegro

When I think about my life, I have an image of waves moving rhythmically, at different levels and in different directions, each producing different sounds. These sounds reflect me interacting with other people in various environments. Perhaps I have developed this metaphor as a musician trying to understand what is going inside and around me emotionally. It is a kind of an ecological perception in which each wave, whether sonic or emotional, becomes a meaningful presence.

04. May 2008

Like most music therapists I enjoy ruminating on, discussing, and debating issues which relate to humans and their music making. I am therefore excited by the New Zealand School of Music’s new initiative to have all postgraduate students from their various disciplines including performance (classical and jazz), musicology, composition, and music therapy, sharing ideas at a weekly forum to consider how we can learn from each other and strengthen our research work. Staff members who instigated the forum are keen for it to be student led and it is gratifying to be able to participate as a PhD student, rather than a music therapy lecturer.

20. April 2008

A presentation at the recent conference of the Mid-Atlantic Region of the American Music Therapy Association (March, 2008) has inspired me to focus this column on evidence-based practice. During a 4-hour lecture, Cheryl Dileo (Professor of Music Therapy and Director of the Arts and Quality of Life Research Center, Temple University, USA), Brynjulf Stige (Professor of Music Therapy, University of Bergen; Head of Research at GAMUT, Norway), Brian Abrams (Director of Music Therapy, Immaculata University, USA), and myself (Assistant Director of the Arts and Quality of Life Research Center, Temple University) presented on principles and perspectives of evidence-based practice in music therapy. The presentations and the discussions that ensued were truly fascinating and inspiring to me. At the end of the lecture, several attendees shared a similar sentiment and strongly encouraged us to continue the dialogue about evidence-based practice in music therapy.

06. April 2008

Durante el mes de enero tuve la oportunidad de viajar a Cuba, para dictar clases inaugurando la maestría en musicoterapia. Es el segundo curso de estas características en Latinoamérica, junto con el que se dicta en Colombia. Esta maestría se cursa en la Universidad de la Habana, una institución con 280 años de antigüedad, y en el Instituto Superior de Arte (ISA), en el que se forman prestigiosísimos músicos de ese país.

06. April 2008

On January I had the chance of traveling to Cuba, in order to give a course in the Music Therapy Master. This is the second course of its kind in Latin America, together with the one that takes place in Colombia. The Master is a joint project of the University of Havana (Universidad de La Habana), a 280 year old institution, and the National Institute of Arts (Instituto Superior de Arte –ISA-), an institution in which the most prestigious musicians of Cuba are educated.

24. March 2008

Two recent columns in Voices offer thoughts around the value of silence as an integral part of music and music therapy (Bunt, 2007), and a reflection on the consistent background muzak that seems to accompany much of everyday public life (Edwards, 2008). My own cultural and contextual background would generally lead me to concur with the thoughts offered in both columns. I value the powerful effect that an acknowledgement of silence can have within music, music therapy and life. Similarly, I can become annoyed at the presence of music that I am forced to listen to in public spaces, due to its apparent ability to make me buy more at a shop, or relax while waiting to see the dentist. The past year, however, led me towards some very different perceptions of noise, sounds and silence.

10. March 2008

I have been thinking about the choices that we make—and more specifically, choices that I have made and where they have led me. I will share some of these—big choices and little choices—as they have occurred in my own life and then share some more general thoughts about choices.

25. February 2008

Spinning and weaving are activities whose genesis is lost within History’s tangled strings, which were warped as responses to those needs that sprang from natural and cultural proddings. To perform such activities, animal or vegetal fibers are raveled and from these the threads are prepared that will grow into tissues of manifold textures, imprints, hangings, and thicknesses. [1]

11. February 2008

"For poetry makes nothing happen" – Auden (poem In memory of WB Yeats)

... rushing and feeling stressed I dashed into the bank to attend to some difficulties with my account. I waited impatiently in the long queue noting the background music; Celine Dion singing My heart will go on. As well as Celine, there was a television loudly advertising products available in the local area. As I waited I started to feel my heart beat faster. I could not get away from these loud sounds. I felt hot and agitated. I tried to focus on the singing but the advertisements intruded. I focussed on the advertisements but Celine’s voice was going up and up and up. I was forced to listen to both sources. When I was eventually waved over to the teller the noise of the music and the ads meant I could not hear what the woman behind the counter was saying. "The TV and music are on at the same time," I mimed "I actually can’t hear you." So she raised her voice a little while adding in some miming gestures of her own. "Doesn’t it annoy you?" I mouthed at her. "Oh I can’t hear it in here," she mimed back.

28. January 2008

I have recently returned from being involved in co-organizing and teaching on a January World Song, Rhythm and Dance Summer School (please note NZ is in the southern hemisphere!) in which a rich mix of song, rhythm, dance and creative activity were experienced by the twenty-plus participants during a lively week. One morning we had an interesting combination warm-up which began with some Tai-Chi exercises and ended with a round of juggling. To give you an idea, here on the left is Amanda our facilitator, a musician and circus school graduate, accompanied on the right by Eileen, a summer school member and juggling-apprentice.

14. January 2008

Happy New Year I wish to all readers of our world forum for music therapy.

Three months ago also for me starts an important new period with my new position as professor of music therapy in social work in my new University of applied sciences of Wuerzburg and Schweinfurt in the south of Germany. One of my first new trials I did in my teaching was a little survey research with my new students. This should be the basis for a practical project of Community Music Therapy in my new home town of Wuerzburg.

31. December 2007

One music therapist confessed, "Although I profess myself as a 'music therapist,' I cannot keep my own peacefulness when I deal with the personnel problems at the work, and sometimes I blame myself for it." This person is the leader of a music therapists organization. Another young music therapist said, "While I declare to lend a helping hand to the clients, I have so much of the egotistic mind in myself, which I am ashamed of."

31. December 2007




17. December 2007

I always enjoy how music fits so well into such a variety of contexts. Music can set, reflect or intensify the emotional tone or message of an event. As is well discussed in the music therapy literature music is such a basic, primordial human endeavor that it's pairing with other human endeavors makes for an overall experience with a "punctuated" (Ruud, 1998) or an "amplified" (Kenny, 2006) meaning; a sense of spirit brought to bear. As music therapists this awareness is our business, our daily mode of operation. However, in my culture it is easy for music making to remain compartmentalized within the context of music therapy. Therefore I also always appreciate it when music finds its way into life beyond my work in music therapy.

03. December 2007

It is a paradoxical platitude to say that cultures differ, and yet cultures have similarities. Otherwise, what justification is there for anyone, a European for that matter, to refer to a phenomenon in Africa as "music" if the African has a different concept of the phenomenon? Again what justification is there for anyone to expect people of a different culture to respond to music the way it pertains in one's own culture?

19. November 2007

Most of the time we Music Therapists are talking or writing about our clinical work, our research, issues of culture, theoretical ideas. But seldom do we stop to talk and write about the important friends, the non-Music Therapists, who support our work. This Fall 2007 we have lost two very important Friends of Music Therapy – one in Canada and one in Iran.

05. November 2007

Last week I attended the 33rd National Australian Music Therapy Association Conference. I always look forward to the conference, both as a time to hear about clinical work and as an opportunity to talk about people's lives, both work and personal. There is a wonderful atmosphere of networking at these events that is rich with enthusiasm and pleasure.

21. October 2007

I am typing this piece in a tiny town in Portugal. We are here visiting my husband's family to introduce our small twin boys. Last week we were in England spending some time with my own family. My sons are half Portuguese, a quarter British and a quarter South African (although that last quarter has some rather diverse roots too if traced a few generations back). In England, my children played with my cousin's daughters – who are half British, a quarter Israeli and quarter Polish. This week they are playing with a different cousin who is half Portuguese and half New Zealander and another who is three quarters South African and one quarter British. At home they have second cousins who are half Portuguese, a quarter South African and a quarter Hungarian. As one can see, my family's nationality is rather blurry – as is the concept of nationality itself. Somehow – my immediate family at least – has found some shared identity to call our own. We have a sense of what it means to be a Dos Santos.

07. October 2007

VOICES is the opportunity to reach out to music therapists from all over the world. The section "Country of the month" makes us travel and know more about the state of music therapy in many countries. In some country where music therapists are isolated, they have much work to develop music therapy awareness. Meanwhile, as I witnessed at the 7th European Music Therapy Conference in the Netherlands in August 2007, music therapists have benefit greatly from workshops, conferences and rich experience sharings. We learn what is happening elsewhere in music therapy. We usually come back from Congresses highly energized.

07. October 2007

VOICES nous donne la chance de rejoindre des musicothérapeutes du monde entier. La rubrique "Pays du mois" nous fait voyager et connaître la situation de la musicothérapie dans plusieurs pays. Dans certains pays où les musicothérapeutes sont assez isolés, ceux-ci ont une tâche considérable pour faire connaître la profession. D’autre part, comme j’ai pu le constater au 7e congrès européen de musicothérapie tenu en Hollande en août 2007, les ateliers, conférences et échanges professionnels constituent un grand enrichissement pour plusieurs musicothérapeutes. On y apprend aussi ce qui se fait ailleurs. Évidemment, on revient gonflé à bloc de ces congrès.

23. September 2007

In the previous column, What "Makes" a Music Therapist, Michele Forinash has raised the common concern for the music therapy teachers which evolves as we educate and train students in academia. It also has been my concern how we, as their teachers and mentors, guide them to become better music therapists in the limited time during the course of education/curriculum.

09. September 2007

This week I embark on the beginning of another fall semester at my university. I met with the incoming master's students last week at a beautiful retreat in New Hampshire, about one hour north of Boston, MA. At this retreat we went over the expectations of the program – clinical expectations, academic expectations, and personal development expectations. I was inspired by this group of students who seemed enthusiastic and ready to undertake the rigors of graduate school.

26. August 2007

In Norse mythology, Ragnarök (or Ragnarok in modern Norwegian spelling) is the final battle between the gods and the powers of evil. The word means something like “the judgement of the gods” and according to the legend the gods themselves will perish in an apocalyptic fire, together with the world as we know it. Ragnarok thus is a legend about destiny and merciless battle, but it is worth remembering that it was developed in a culture where dying in battle was the highest honour a man could hope to attain.

12. August 2007

People from all over the world are drawn to visit sacred places such as Assisi in Italy and the sounds of many different languages fill the small streets and picturesque squares from morn to night. This year it is noticeable that even more tourists are flocking back to a beautifully restored Assisi after the damage caused by the earthquake a few years ago. Signs written in many languages are to be found in the many sites sacred to the memory of St. Francis, one of the most common instructions being to be respectful of silence. At times in the great Basilica built over the Saint's tomb any rise in the sound level is punctuated by a loud and highly resonant 'Silenzio' from one of the Franciscans charged with taking care of the space. A few relatively silent moments follow during which it feels for that brief period of time that a deep sense of community is created amongst the visitors of all ages and from so many different countries. As Max Picard (1952/2002) writes: "Within the realm of creative silence the individual does not notice any opposition between himself and the community, for the individual and the community do not stand against each other, but both face the silence together" (p.65). In the Basilica this sense of joining and facing the silence in the present moment is almost palpable. The imagination is also given space and time to make unspoken connections with the millions of people who have shared similar times of quiet stillness and reflection in this space, this year being the 800th anniversary of St. Francis' conversion.

29. July 2007

Having just returned from a journey to Perth where my colleague Sarah Hoskyns and I presented music therapy papers to the Australian Music Education conference, I looked to that visit for inspiration for this essay. While the most immediate issue was to find a way to manage the sudden and extreme drop in temperature we experienced on our return from warm and sunny Perth to storm ravaged New Zealand, I also pondered the pros and cons of presenting to colleagues in related fields, when to do so might mean that the chance to share directly with music therapy peers might need to be forfeited because of limited time and funds. I will return to this latter point later in this essay. But first, I want to articulate some ongoing thoughts about issues relating to the development of music therapy for and by people who work particularly in remote communities which were provoked by my experience in Perth.

14. July 2007

When this column is online, we will be attending the V Latin American Congress of Music Therapy (V Congreso Latinoamericano de Musicoterapia) in Santiago de Chile, under the motto "Music and Identity". This event takes place every three years in a different city and gathers music therapists from the whole continent, from Mexico to Argentina. Since the previous congress, a special out-of-the-region guest is also invited; in 2004 we enjoyed the lovely presence of Clive Robbins in Montevideo (Uruguay) and on this occasion Even Ruud will share his experience with us.

14. July 2007

Cuando estas líneas se publiquen estaremos asistiendo al V Congreso Latinoamericano de Musicoterapia, que con el lema "Música e Identidad" se realiza en Santiago de Chile. Un evento que cada tres años reúene en alguna ciudad a los musicoterapeutas del continente, desde México hasta Argentina, y que desde el congreso anterior cuenta con un invitado especial de otra región. En el 2004, en Montevideo (Uruguay) disfrutamos de la hermosa presencia de Clive Robbins. Este año es Even Ruud quien aportará su experiencia sus más recientes reflexiones.

01. July 2007

I was excited when, earlier this year, I was invited to join the editorial team of Voices. I firmly believe that awareness of global music therapy practices greatly enriches our clinical work, theories, and research. In addition, the international essays on Voices help us gain a better understanding of the world views, values, and traditions of different cultures. When I read the many international voices on this forum, I am often reminded of my experiences of coming to the US to study music therapy at Temple University. I was born and raised in Belgium. I had just obtained a Master's in Music Pedagogy when I came to Philadelphia. "Maak je geen zorgen, ma, ik ga er gewoon 2 jaar studeren en dan kom ik terug! Ik zou nooit in Amerika willen blijven wonen!" [Don't worry, mom, I am just going to study there for 2 years and then I will be back! I would never want to stay in America!]. And so here I am, 13 years later, still living in the US, married to the most wonderful man, mother of two precious daughters, and loving my job as the assistant director and researcher at the Arts and Quality of Life Research Center at Temple University.

17. June 2007

A while back, I was with two colleagues from other countries. We had some free time between activities and were able to spend a relaxed few hours over lunch with nothing that we had to do. Since all three of us work very hard, we commented on how unusual it was that we would take this kind of time just to do "nothing." It was a real pleasure!

03. June 2007

The theater’s large steel doors slowly open. These are emotional moments highlighting a time in which expectation springs out of the event, especially for those who watch and listen to a Symphony Orchestra for the first time. Present are official personalities representing the State of Rio de Janeiro and the city of ‘Nova Iguaçu’, located in one of the most violent areas of this state. Within the theater’s closed spaces, sheltered, cozily seated and "well-groomed", are 450 invited guests. By and by, as the large steel doors gradually open, 4,000 more members of the community, not endowed with an official invitation, but welcome, and more than that, hoped for, have also arrived. These people, exposed to the whims of weather, standing, casually dressed but showing the respect the occasion requires, took over the most lively and busy square in the Rio’s downtown area, bearing a highly suggestive name – the Peacemaker’s Square. Also invited and expected by everyone, never denying to show up to the theater so often mentioned in the newspapers are: Bizet, Ravel, and Villa-Lobos!

20. May 2007

A week ago I participated in a barbecue competition in Limerick city. Forty-six registered teams represented countries in what was called the ‘International Barbecue Cook Off’. Each team cooked samples of their country’s food and gave them out to anyone who stopped by. Teams also prepared competition entries for the fish, chicken and vegetable heats. The barbecues were ringed in a double line on one of the old canal paths in the city with a barricade around so that we couldn’t be mobbed by the general public; who arrived before the barbecues were lit at midday and kept coming all through the afternoon.

06. May 2007

Southern Cross by Moonlight @Christopher J. Picking

Southern Cross by Moonlight @Christopher J. Picking

Haere mai, haere mai;
Tena koutou, tena koutou, tena koutou katoa.

26. March 2007

この3 月いっぱいで、私が3年間勤めた日本音楽療法学会の理事の2004-2007年度の任期が終わろうとしている。この間、日本音楽療法学会は、101人の評議員、2人の監事、23人の理事を擁したが、これは会員から選挙で選ばれたはじめての役員だった。その前の任期、2001年から2003年までの役員は、学会の創立時に当たったため内部調整によって決められたのである。この二つの任期の理事の顔ぶれを大まかに比較するとこのようになる(便宜上、2001〜2003年を第1期、2004-2007年度を第2期と呼ぶことにする)。

26. March 2007

At the end of March, I am leaving my three-year term of office for board director of Japanese Music Therapy Association (JAMTA) 2004-2007 fiscal year. During this period JAMTA held 101 councilors and 23 directors, and they were the first election-selected board members. The board members of the 2001-2003 fiscal year term were selected through internal negotiation, due to the founding time of the association. Here is the rough comparison between the director lineups of the two terms. (For convenience I call the 2001-2003 as the first term, 2004-2007 as the second term.)

12. March 2007

The concept of musical identity has long been of interest to me. It was the starting place and central theme in my research and is a cornerstone in my approach to teaching music therapy students. More recently it has led to a niche in my private therapeutic practice of working with injured musicians. Not surprisingly, it is also a notion that figures prominently in my own sense of identity.

26. February 2007

If there is anything worth describing as a new development in the consciousness of the world today, it may be summed up in one word: globalisation—by which ethnocentrism and myopic or parochial world views or cosmologies are fast crumbling to make way for new all-embracing world views—thanks to Anthropology and other similar academic pursuits and the awareness that all human beings on our planet have a common destiny.

12. February 2007

After struggling for several weeks over who to employ for my grand daughter’s piano lessons, I finally made the big decision to teach her myself – at least for the first year or two. It’s time for little Isabella to begin her more formal musical journey. She is six years old.

15. January 2007

It is inevitable that the events of one’s life affect our presence as a therapist. It is equally true that our training and experience of being a music therapist have an influence on our private lives. I sometimes find the balancing act between these two parts of myself to be strenuous. The greatest guidance I have found in the endeavour of juggling these roles came from a book called The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People (Covey, 2004) which was recommended to me on a leadership course within the University where I work. The author validated my experience of multiplicity and suggested naming the many roles that we each have within our lives, and valuing them equally. My list was, and still is, made up of: Mother; Wife; Researcher; Colleague; Friend; Teacher; and of course, Music Therapist. It was incredibly liberating to be given permission to value each of these roles. Not only did it mean that I could write ‘To Do’ lists for every part of my life (a favourite past-time), but it provides a constant challenge for me to strive for balance in my life.

01. January 2007

The first months of 2006 met a group of young South African music therapy graduates, eager to find any and as much music therapy work to do as possible. My colleagues and I soon realised that our actual working experiences as music therapists were not quite as we had expected. We took up a number of job opportunities, mostly in places where we would be the first and only music therapist to be employed, working for people who found the proposals we offered interesting and exciting but had little idea about what we did (and quite a few who had alternative hidden agendas for what our roles would or should be). We entered what were often less than satisfactory work situations where music therapy was not a priority. Our training course had luxuries like co-therapists, intensive supervision or peer group discussions that were sorely missed as we found ourselves attempting to balance group dynamics, instruments, music, therapy and institutions, with a constant watchful audience of employers wondering whether this music therapy act would make it.

18. December 2006

Josée PréfontaineLast August, the Association Québécoise de Musicothérapie lost one of its greatest music therapists. Josée Préfontaine died after a year and a half of combat against leukemia, at age 53, leaving two wonderful daughters.

18. December 2006

Josée PréfontaineEn août dernier, l’Association québécoise de musicothérapie perdait une de ses plus grandes musicothérapeutes. Josée Préfontaine, âgée de 53 ans et mère de deux filles superbes, nous a quittés après un combat contre la leucémie qui a duré un an et demi.

04. December 2006

It’s been over 7 years since "introduction to music therapy class" has been offered as an elective class to undergraduate students at Ewha Womans University. In Korea, music therapy is offered at the graduate level, therefore, the primary purpose of this class was to let the students know that there is graduate program in music therapy for those who are interested.

20. November 2006

This fall I celebrated by 25th anniversary of entering the profession of music therapy. I believe that anniversaries are import to mark and celebrate and I have spent some time this fall thinking about these past 25 years and the reality that I have now been a music therapist for half of my life.

06. November 2006

One of my favourite quotes about music, relative to its therapeutic effects, is:

Music is a moral law. It gives a soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination, a charm to sadness, and life to everything. It is the essence of order, and leads to all that is good, just and beautiful, of which it is the invisible, but nevertheless dazzling, passionate, and eternal form (Plato). (Wordsworth Dictionary of Musical Quotations, 1991, p. 45).

22. October 2006

I have been reading, writing, and thinking about standards of qualitative research lately. Thinking about research involves thinking about knowledge which involves thinking about problems and possibilities of interpretation and understanding. According to the philosophical hermeneutics developed by Hans-Georg Gadamer (1960/1989; 1966/1977), there is a universality to the hermeneutic problem. It does not belong to the domain of research practices (solely). It is thus not a methodological problem; it is a life problem that includes but also goes beyond the question of what to do or not to do.

08. October 2006

It is possible to read too much into a run of synchronous moments, making a series of coincidences out to become more than just that. But the following examples took me rather by surprise over the last few months. Could there be a link to working in the fluid medium of music where, as both musicians and therapists, our antennae are particularly open to apprehending such moments? The examples also seem to have a curious life of their own, a kind of internal logic, something again that we find so often in the music therapy process with our patients/clients working through similar patterns over time, their internal patterns synchronising with the external world of shared music-making. I would appreciate any of your ‘readings’ of the following. You may think they are all just pure coincidence or maybe there are other connections at work. So here goes…….

24. September 2006

One of the high points of my music therapy work was my work with children with multiple severe disabilities. I thoroughly enjoyed my work with these children, and my curiosity about this pleasure led to a research study that I did several years ago on my pleasure in working with children with severe disabilities, “Experiencing Pleasure in Working with Severely Disabled Children.” [The article can be accessed from this site. Open pdf file 8.1 MB. The article is reprinted with permission of the American Music Therapy Association] I hope that those who are not familiar with the article will read it, but will also share some of what I discovered here.

02. July 2006

As a music therapist I have often had the opportunity to observe in my clinical practice the importance of knowing, respecting, and employing the kind of music that belong to the patients’ cultural roots. This aspect has been stressed by music therapists/authors from different countries, since the first books on music therapy were written till the present time. Among these we can quote: Gaston, 1968; Benenzon, 1985, 1988; Millecco, L. A., 1977; Leinig, 1977; Barcellos, 1992, 2004; Millecco, R. 1997; Bruscia, 2000; Brown, 2002; Wigram, Pedersen and Bonde, 2002. They all consider the employment of this kind of music extremely relevant to the development of the therapeutical process.

18. June 2006

Four years ago I wrote in Voices about my very enthusiastic impressions of one UK community centre (Wosch 2002). The centre was directed by Leslie Bunt, realized and presented at the World congress in Oxford by Beccy Read and Eleanor Tingle. Back in Magdeburg/Germany I could also influence some of my students, who are now alumni, with this great idea. Last year they founded the Magdeburg music therapy centre Grammophon – Mobile Music Therapy e.V. (see also ).

04. June 2006

On its west riverside the Rio de la Plata (de la Plata River) kisses the lips of Buenos Aires, capital city of Argentina. On the opposite margin Montevideo, capital city of Uruguay, rests and dreams. It is such a broad river that Spanish conquerors on their arrival in the XVI century called it "sweet sea." Standing on its bank it is difficult to imagine that beyond the horizon it is still the same continent, the same land.

04. June 2006

En la orilla oeste del Río de la Plata moja sus labios la ciudad de Buenos Aires, capital de Argentina. Sobre la otra orilla descansa y sueña Montevideo, la capital del Uruguay. Es un río tan ancho que los conquistadores españoles del siglo XVI, cuando llegaron a sus aguas, lo llamaron "el mar dulce". Parado en una de sus márgenes es difícil imaginar que más allá del horizonte seguimos en el mismo continente, en la misma tierra.

21. May 2006


21. May 2006

The life of Japanese music therapists is busy. The sessions that can't wait, the accumulating session documents, the demand to obtain knowledge extending to 360-degree, the latest treatises to be read, the seminars to attend, investigation and purchase of the useful instruments and equipments, teaching, writing articles and reports on requests, conference presentations, practicing the instruments, and if all these works do not make enough income, we have to schedule the jobs outside our field too. Meanwhile we have to somehow take every meal, keep the dwelling minimally livable, wait in the line of doctor's when feeling sick, and secure the time with the family. Furthermore, we can never rest on our laurels of the employment and the work environment, and have to be always in an active mode or at least to put the antenna around. The only reason that we can live such a superman-like life is that we love this work, but it is not surprising if we sometimes become exhausted, hurt by the trifles, or get suspicious about what (s)he and the others are doing. However, the reality of the music therapists' does not give us enough time to ponder such problems. We have to keep going every day.

07. May 2006

Various studies have been undertaken in industrialized countries over the years to find out how music may be used in industry either to increase productivity or to reduce errors and also avoid accidents. Management commissioned some of such studies and findings have influenced subsequent strategies. Unfortunately no such studies have ever been carried out in Ghana. But paradoxically, music is performed at some workplaces in Ghana through the initiative of some individuals. It is for the purpose of finding out more about this development that this writer has conducted a study into the nature and purpose of workplace choral groups. The findings of this study may well be an invitation for the use of music therapy in industry in Ghana as a way of managing stress rather than anything else.

23. April 2006

A glow in the aftermath of trauma
A whisper in a moment of peace
Rilke exalts "music, you growing space"
That reaches within us
To the deepest part

And grows into the world
As the other side of air.

Raven sings the first humans
Into existence
When they prefer to hide
In the sand beneath a clam shell
On the beach
HiyaHoHey! Hiya, Hi!

Music is the common sense
Attempting to unite hearts and minds
Because it is the beating of hearts

22. April 2006

Thinking about the new column for voices three thoughts came into my mind. I want to share these thoughts with you and may be you can share your reflections on this with me in our discussion section.

09. April 2006

Its a beautiful and warmy sunday morning in the city of Montevideo. I just came back from a walk by the Rambla, just beside the "Río de la Plata" [The Silver River], river by which this city spreads out. The sun shinning...The river, called "river broad as the sea", just looked as silver today.

26. March 2006

When music therapists embark on a research project they typically articulate a question to guide and focus their endeavours. This process is a significant stage of the research journey and is often the first moment of focused thinking and deliberation on the selected the topic. Although a great deal of research is pain-stakingly detailed and meticulous work, I always find this in-depth thinking to be an equally challenging aspect of the research experience. It requires the researcher to achieve a state of deep mental focus on the selected topic, which I liken to the experience of meditation. Once this state has been achieved, I usually undertake a kind of debate, with myself, my peers and sometimes a supervisor, about the nuance of the question and its expression. The results are often fastidious - minor word changes, experimentation with more appropriate synonyms to capture the real intention of the question, and deliberating issues of phrasing and grammar. But the process is conceptual, creative and intellectual. This has been detailed in the music therapy literature (Bruscia, 2005; Wheeler, 2005).

13. March 2006

Wheeler (2005) reminds us of the powerlessness we feel at times as therapists and as human beings when faced with circumstances out of our control, when becoming aware of the desperate plight of others and when clients who could benefit from therapy refuse to attend sessions. I would like to dialogue with some of her thoughts with particular reference to the role of self-reflection.

27. February 2006

Music therapy is a discipline and profession of mixed origins. This is often commented upon in the literature, directly or indirectly, as indicated by some of the recent columns and discussions in Voices. For example; Jane Edwards (2006) writes about thresholds between practice and research and elicits a response from Helen Shoemark (2006), while Leslie Bunt (2006) reflects upon the relevance of films, poetry, novels and the world of myth for our work as music therapists. Music therapy seems to be very much about the balancing of art and science, practice and theory, process and product. Each of these terms is in turn multifaceted; there are several forms of art, practice, and process and several types of science, theory, and product.

13. February 2006

A few weeks ago a new group of students began their three-year process of training in music therapy as members of the new MA in Music Therapy at the University of the West of England. It seems that at the start of each new course the amount of written material handed out is very much on the increase. The students become weighed down with the various university and course handbooks and regulations. During the first meeting of this course I found myself resisting adding to the amount of written material and not handing out the book list for the first part of the course.

30. January 2006

While a research imperative has driven much of the scholarly work that has been published in music therapy, especially in refereed journals, my own experience of research is that the reality of practice-work, the "doing" of music therapy, is sometimes at risk of marginalisation when inquiry about music therapy takes place. I have therefore found the "signature practitioner" concept (Melrose, 2003) an interesting notion to try to translate across to practice in our field. Her suggestion has helped me consider whether we have thresholds between practice, practice-research and writing that could be further developed as a recognised "register" of scholarly work.

02. January 2006

One of the privileges of academic life is the opportunity to take sabbatical leave—usually a period of six months that is set aside to complete a project that will enhance teaching and research. At the University of Melbourne sabbatical leave is difficult to obtainthe instructions indicate that sabbatical leave must be taken overseas and must involve the development of new knowledge and/or skill that can then be imparted to students back in Melbourne. It is interesting that knowledge and skill can apparently only be obtained by going overseas! In my application I explained that I was writing a book, and needed the convenience of my own office and my library of books and professional journals, and that to go overseas would require me packing up all these resources to take with me. The University offered an alternativeI could stay in Melbourne if I attached myself to an institution other than the University! A curious option, but one that I took. Fortunately this option became an essential part of writing the book, as will be explained later in this column.

19. December 2005

This past November, as part of the American Music Therapy Association's annual conference I hosted an international panel of distinguished guests from around the world. Panelists included Marcos Vidret from Argentina, Maria Hernandez from the Dominican Rebublic, Moahn Sundararaj from India, David Akombo from Kenya, Kris Stachyra from Poland, Thomas Wosch from Germany, Masoud Nematian from Iran, Inge Nygaard Pedersen from Denmark, Robert Krout representing New Zealand, Paige Robbins Elwafi representing Qatar, Alexander Grauer from Italy, Sandi Curtis from Canada, Fumio Kuribayashi from Japan, Byung Chuel-Choi fromKorea, Patsy Tan from Singapore and a spontaneous panelist from Cypress whose name I did not get.

05. December 2005

I began writing this column in a location that reminded me of what I wanted to write about. I was sitting in an airport, having arrived several hours later than planned due to problems with my connecting flight—thus missing my next flight, which meant that I would also miss the final connecting flight to get home.

21. November 2005

A couple of weeks ago, the 1st Patagonian Music therapy Congress and 1st. meeting of music therapists from the Mercosur (South American Common Market) took place. It was held in Neuquén, a city used to winds of more than 100 km per hour, and very hard winters, which contrast with the warmth of the music therapists who received us. There were colleagues from Argentina, Chile, Uruguay and Brazil and also visitors from Spain, Germany and the Netherlands. Each one of them with its own soundings, conforming a very particular musical kaleidoscope. Sixteen hours after their departure from Buenos Aires, two buses full of students arrived, singing with their guitars and wanting to see "what's new" in the Music therapeutic field. No doubt, a very unusual scenario for Music Therapy events in South America.

21. November 2005

Hace un par de semanas terminó el I Congreso patagónico de Musicoterapia I Encuentro de Musicoterapeutas del Mercosur (Mercado Común de Sudamérica). Se hizo en Neuquén, una ciudad acostumbrada a vientos de más de cien kilómetros por hora ya crudos inviernos, contrastantes con la calidez de los musicoterapeutas que nos recibieron. Allí se dieron cita colegas argentinos, chilenos, uruguayos y brasileros, además de visitantes de España, Holanda y Alemania. Cada uno de ellos con sus sonoridades particulares, conformando un muy particular calidoscopio musical. Hasta allí viajaron dos ómnibus de estudiantes que, dieciséis horas después de su partida de Buenos Aires, llegaban cantando con sus guitarras y sus ganas de ver "qué hay de nuevo". Sin duda, un escenario poco habitual para los eventos de musicoterapia en Sudamérica.

07. November 2005

Carolyn Kenny, one of the editors of Voices, visited Japan this summer, and gave a lecture titled "Beautifying the World" at the Kunitachi College of Music. The content of this lecture will be published soon, I hear, so here I would like to introduce one of her statement given as the answer to a question from the audience. The question was about the difference between music recreation and music therapy, and she answered as follows: "The goal of recreation is often to activate. The goal of music therapy, on the other hand, is to build and hold a relationship."

07. November 2005

 この夏、当ジャーナルの編集長でもあるCarolyn Kennyが日本を訪れ、国立音楽大学で “Beautifying the World”という講演をした。その貴重な内容については近々出されるという彼女の出版物に譲ることにし、その講演の最後に、聴衆の質問に答える形で彼女が言った言葉を紹介したい。質問は音楽レクリエーションと音楽療法の違いについてであり、彼女はこう答えた。「レクリエーションの目的は、しばしばactivate(=活性化)することです。それに対して療法の目的は、relationship(=関係)をつくり、維持することです」。

 レクリエーションと療法に関する質問は、未だ成熟したとは言えない日本の音楽療法の現場においてこれまでも数多く繰り返され、さまざまな答がなされてきたが、このKenny の答は私にとって最も印象深いもののひとつであった。

13. October 2005

During the summer break I and my colleagues involved in training music therapy students in Bristol, UK have been kept busy writing many documents and getting use to a whole new jargon and way of describing music therapy training. We are transferring the post-graduate Diploma in Music Therapy from the Department of Music at the University of Bristol to the Faculty of Health and Social Care at the University of the West of England (UWE). Both universities are in the same city, their main sites only a few kilometres/miles apart!

25. September 2005

My memories take me back to 1972. At that time I was a piano student and a music education teacher, and it was also at this time I first heard of music therapy, even though I had been working with music in a special school for mentally handicapped children.

29. August 2005

It is difficult for me to imagine an environment as nurturing and supportive as the gathering of music therapists in Brisbane last month. The World Congress provided an opportunity to listen, talk, sing, play, eat and drink with colleagues both from my home and from the global music therapy community. The quality of presentations was high, as was the level of collegiality. There was music everywhere and frequent opportunities to share in it as an active participant. The food was plentiful and an atmosphere of openness pervaded the environment. I was proud of all these things as a representative of the host culture.

14. August 2005

A Ghanaian daily[1] carried a news item in its February 26, 2005 edition of a road- accident victim who became unconscious shortly after he was rushed to the University Teaching Hospital in Kumasi, which is the second largest city in Ghana. The hospital authorities did not know his relatives nor could they guess anything about the patient's identity apart from his name, which he was able to mention before falling into coma. The news item, which also carried a photograph of the patient's face with the characteristic fixed gaze of an unconscious person, was therefore a plea to the public to help identify the relatives of the victim.

31. July 2005

South Africa recently celebrated Youth Day on which we commemorate the 700 school children who lost their lives in 1976 protesting against the introduction of Afrikaans as the medium of instruction for half of their school curriculum and against the Apartheid Bantu education system in general. Black South Africans paid a very high price to be granted the recognition of equality.

03. July 2005

In a recent Voices column, Thomas Wosch (2005) asks: "Which Academic Education in Music Therapy Do We Need?" He refers to the local fight for the future of the music therapy education program in Magdeburg in Germany and links this to the changes in the university systems all over Europe. This he uses as a starting point for more general reflections on academic education in music therapy.

19. June 2005

"Where there's music, there can be no evil."
Miguel de Cervantes

"Each one speaks for everyone"
Diego Schapira (

Cervantes' often quoted statement seems certain, natural and believable however recently I took pause to consider the alternative view. An excerpt from Jon Ronson's book, The Men who Stare at Goats published by Picador in November last year, was reprinted in the Guardian newspaper (

05. June 2005

This time we have to fight a lot for our music therapy course in Magdeburg. However, this fight starts for me and us a new thinking about academic music therapy training in Germany and in many other places around the world.

22. May 2005

I have had the privilege to attend 6 World Congresses of Music Therapy over the past 15 years (from 1990 to the present day), and as we head into the 11th World Congress in Brisbane, Australia (July 19th-23rd, 2005) it is timely to reflect on the importance of these 3-yearly events and how they contribute to the development of the profession of music therapy. What follows is a personal account of memories from six World Congresses and the musical offerings that resonated with the region of the world in which the congress was located, and how each Congress expanded my geographical and historical knowledge of the world.

08. May 2005

I am currently serving as the President of the American Music Therapy Association. As the United States is quite a large country, our association, while it functions nationally, is also divided into 7 regions. These regions have their own annual regional conferences in the spring. The AMTA regions are New England (where I live), Mid Atlantic, Southeastern, Midwestern, Great Lakes, Southwestern and Western. Part of my presidential duties is to travel to these various regions and attend the regional conferences.

24. April 2005

I have become very aware of the words that we use to speak of people with disabilities. In the U. S., there is an effort made to use what is called "person-first" language, meaning that when we speak of people, we speak first of the person, then of the disability. For instance, we would say "a person with autism" rather than "an autistic person" or "a child with mental retardation" rather than "a mentally retarded child." This language has been stressed in our laws (much of it has been an outgrowth of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, IDEA) and in our writing (the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association, 5th Edition, emphasizes using bias-free language), and many journals have adopted policies by which this language is required for publications.

10. April 2005

A partir de una situación que observo reiteradamente en Buenos Aires, entre los recién graduados que salen a buscar su primer trabajo, me permito reflexionar acerca de lo que insisto en llamar "comunidad de musicoterapeutas" como parte de una comunidad global. Vinculo estos pensamientos con las palabras de Jane Edwards en su columna "Giving Thanks" (Agradeciendo), cuando dice:

10. April 2005

Among the new graduates who start looking for their first job as music therapists, I observe repeatedly the same situation. I allow myself to reflect about what I insist in calling "the community of Music therapists", as part of a global community.

27. March 2005

Spring—The season to have a breather. Every year, from late March to early April, I have a little break in my work schedule. Looking forward to this time, I keep running for weeks and months. "In the spring break, I will order my work space to make it more convenient; I will read the books that suit to my own heart; I will have a time to play my own music; I will arrange the children's toys and create an exciting play-time together; I will go out to town and meet people in my region; I will go to at least one movie or concert....." However, spring is a season too unstable and moody, to receive all of such hasting dreams firmly. Just one gust easily carries me up on its shoulder and pens me in the caves of melancholy.

14. March 2005

During the past few years, when I send an original case study article to a refereed journal, I usually get comments concerning the first person writing style. The reviewers usually ask me to be more "objective", to write in a more "objective" manner and to bring more "scientific" sources of information. The main comment I get is that extensive use of first person references greatly reduces the professional tone routinely contained in juried journal.

08. March 2005

class="jpfirst">春..一息入れる季節。毎年3月後半から4 月始めにかけて、私の仕事にはほんの少しのブレイクがやってくる。「そのときが来たらやりたいこと」を楽しみに思い描きながら、私は何週間も何ヶ月も走り続けてくる。仕事場を整理してもっと使いやすくしよう、自分の心の欲する本を読もう、自分の音楽を奏でる時間を持とう、子供のおもちゃを整理してやってわくわくするような遊びをいっしょにしよう、街に出かけて地域の人と新しい出会いをしよう、ひとつでもいいからいい映画やコンサートにいこう.。しかし春と言う季節は、そんな心急く夢をすべてがっしりと受け止めるにはあまりに不安定で気分屋。ふとした突風が軽々と私の心をかつぎ上げ、憂愁の洞窟へと誘い込んでしまう。

28. February 2005

One of my students gave me a greeting card. On the front is a photograph of an artwork by Deidre Schere titled "Woman and Cello". The work is made of fabric and thread. The woman is old. Her hair is entirely white. The joints on her hands are somewhat disfigured, perhaps by arthritis. She plays the cello. Her eyes are closed. She is deeply engaged. Though she plays, creating the action on the instrument, she is in a receptive posture, hugging the cello, as in relationship, and receiving what the cello has to give.

14. February 2005

The words of Tom Jobim give me wings and my eyes take me to Christ, who is in front of me with His opened arms. From the top of the mountain, He seems to look at and bless me. My mind starts traveling and I feel as if I were over there. Next moment, I am descending the mountain in my car, crossing the streets of Rio de Janeiro. Immediately, I am facing the red traffic light and my car stops, as if it was driving itself. Suddenly, I can see many children and adolescents in front of me.

31. January 2005

I would like to begin this column by quoting a sequence from the previous column here in Voices. In a piece focusing upon thresholds and transitions, Leslie Bunt writes:

How many links could be made with transitions in music? What about the invitation we give in every music therapy session to our patients and clients to move across a threshold into a music space? (Bunt, 2005).

17. January 2005

I have been rather obsessed for a few years now with thresholds and transitions. Perhaps this happens to all of us who reach middle age! So it should not be too surprising that an early draft of this column explored themes connected with crossing over the threshold of a new year. How many links could be made with transitions in music? What about the invitation we give in every music therapy session to our patients and clients to move across a threshold into a music space?

16. January 2005

I was very interested in reading Barbara Wheeler's last column about powerlessness (Wheeler 2005). Yes, there seem to be a lot of moments in every university teachers' and researchers' life, being powerless and experiencing timelessness. Of course in every job you do, home, at work, with relatives, everyone will feel powerless, if she or he does it with her or his heart, does it very intensively with forgetting her- or himself. Such special moments we try to experience also together with our clients, looking for new perspectives, for new experiences, for richness of every once inner world.

03. January 2005

[1]I have a memory of the inner city church that my family attended when I was a teenager in Melbourne, Australia. Every year we had a harvest thanksgiving festival. This would be a time to give thanks for having food to eat, enough work, shelter and safety. We would cover the altar area of the church with bounty - fruits, vegetables and cloths and flowers. It made the church look so different, like a bazaar rather than a place of worship. At the end of the celebration, all the things at the front of the church were given to charity. We gave thanks, and then we went home.[2]

20. December 2004

In the second half of 2004 I had various ideas for my December column; I wanted to write about my contact with the Maori culture during my academic stay in New Zealand, about the wild and civilized moments of music therapy due to the Maori legend of Pania; I wanted to write about the individual kernel of community music therapy, which thoughts I got as a mentor of an excellent thesis of my student Ulrike V?ker; and I wanted to write about Franz Schubert and Tony Wigram, about prison and freedom, with thoughts about the differences between some composed music and clinical impr

06. December 2004

As Chair of the Scientific Committee for the World Congress in Brisbane, July 2005, I have had the chance to preview the paper and workshop proposals. What stood out to me immediately was the number of papers and workshops on music therapy with children and adults who have been traumatised, either through domestic violence, war, or acts of terror. We read each day about violence and terror, and see horrid images on television to verify that a large number of people in the world are living in places where they do not have security or safety.

22. November 2004

The past several months have been quite interesting in the US. We have recently re-elected our President to serve another term of office. It was quite an intense campaign to say the least. The weeks leading up to the election were filled with supporters of both candidates being quite adamant that their candidate was by far the better choice to lead our country. I have close friends and colleagues who supported these each of these opposing sides. I witnessed much heated debate at parties, gatherings and even the school bus stop.

08. November 2004

One of the things that I find very exciting about being a music therapist at this point in time and in my career is the opportunity that it allows for the exchange of ideas. I first became acutely aware of this in my life when I was preparing the first edition of the research book that I edited, Music Therapy Research: Quantitative and Qualitative Perspectives.

10. October 2004

From September 4-5, 2004, the forth annual conference of Japanese Music Therapy Association was held in Kurashiki-city. For this conference we had the two key-note speakers from abroad, Brynjulf Stige and Colin Lee. Stige's lecture was about "Community Music Therapy," and Lee's was about "Aesthetic Music Therapy. " It was a long waited opportunity for a group of Japanese music therapists who have been keen to the forefront of international music therapy scene, to hear these lectures and to meet the speakers.

26. September 2004

A few weeks ago, I moved to my new house in a small village called Givaat Yeshaayahu, which is located in the Jerusalem Mountains and surrounded by nature. When I wake up in the morning, I hear the birds singing and the wind brushing through the leaves. During the day I can see and hear my new neighbors, dogs playing and sometimes barking and cats miauwing. At dusk I can see the shepherd with his herd, at nights I can hear the jackals howling and pipettes watering the grass.

12. September 2004

Yesterday (September 11, 2004), I had the great pleasure to participate in a one-day Symposium, "Music: A Universal Language for Harmony". The purpose of the symposium was to explore the cultural and therapeutic impact of music. We gathered in Melnitz Hall at the University of California Los Angeles for the event, which was sponsored by The Ethica Society, the Nour Foundation, the UCLA Collaborative Centers for Integrative Medicine, and the University of California Irvine Susan Samueli Center for Integrative Medicine.

29. August 2004

El amplio salón estaba lleno de gente: argentinos, brasileños, chilenos, una cubana, una peruana y uruguayos. Perdón, y un inglés/americano: Clive Robbins, el invitado principal del Congreso. Entre ellos había musicoterapeutas profesionales y estudiantes; psicólogos, músicos, educadores musicales y profesionales de otras disciplinas interesados en la musicoterapia.

29. August 2004

The large room was full of people: Argentineans, Brazilians, Chileans, a Cuban, a Peruvian and Uruguayans. Sorry, and a British/American: Clive Robbins, the main guest of the Congress. They included music therapists: professionals and students; psychologists, musicians, music educators, and other professionals interested in music therapy.

01. August 2004

I would like to share with you some thoughts I have had lately on the value of striving for the unattainable. I could start by quoting the motto of the Norwegian Association for Mentally Challenged People: "Community for Everybody."[1] It is such a natural claim but seems to be rather impossible to attain. In other words; it may be the most valuable aim.

18. July 2004

There were many "faces of music therapy" at the recent European conference in Finland as proposed in the title of the event. We were presented with the usual range of theoretical and practical papers with what seemed from conversations with many colleagues to be a marked increase in the number of research papers connected to the completion of MA or PhD projects. Personally one abiding memory of the conference is the continual need to tell our stories.

20. June 2004

You may ask why it was that a few weeks ago I happened to be sitting in a police station waiting room near midnight in the village where I usually live in Ireland, or indeed, how it was possible I was able to answer the question 'where on earth are all the Gards[1]?' put to me by an older woman, possibly in her 70s, who was pacing back and forth in her slippers at the inquiry hatch.

06. June 2004

In 1998 I established a research unit at the University of Melbourne, which has as its purposes to promote postgraduate research studies, and to develop collaborative research projects. We now have a healthy number of 15 postgraduate students who are researching in a diverse array of music therapy efficacy projects. And we have collaborations with the University of Aalborg in Denmark and the University of Witten-Herdecke in Germany.

23. May 2004

My husband and I have been on sabbaticals from our respective universities during this spring semester. We took this opportunity to take our children (ages 4, 8, and 10) out of school for two months of travel in Italy, Germany, Greece, and Lebanon. We feel that international travel is an essential ingredient in educating children.

09. May 2004

I have been thinking about the title of this column, "How Do We Hear All of the Voices?," in relation to several situations in my professional life. Writing this column gives me an opportunity to share a few of my thoughts.

25. April 2004

Dentro de unos meses el Dr. Clive Robbins visitará la ciudad de Montevideo (Uruguay) como invitado al II Congreso Latinoamericano de Musicoterapia y IV Encuentro del Comité Latinoamericano de Musicoterapia. Este hecho, que para muchos colegas de diversos lugares del mundo puede ser "una parada más" en el interminable itinerario que el Dr. Robbins realiza hace tantos años, para quienes vivimos "al sur del sur" será un hechoque considero histórico por diversos motivos.

25. April 2004

In a few months Dr. Clive Robbins will be visiting the city of Montevideo (Uruguay) as a special guest to the II Latin American Music therapy Congress and IV Latin-American Committee Meeting. This fact, which for most of our colleagues around the world is "one more stop" in the endless itinerary that Dr. Robbins is having since a long time ago, for us who live "southern south", is a fact which I consider historical for various reasons.

11. April 2004

Since music therapy is a relatively new field, one of our important works is to teach it to different kinds of people. According to whom we talk to, the contents, the levels, as well as the ways to knock their doors are all different. In this column I would like to introduce one of these teaching opportunities that I have been practising a lot lately.

11. April 2004


28. March 2004

I have been teaching music therapy for the past 24 years. At the beginning, when the music therapy program at Bar Ilan University was created, I was the only music therapist there and taught all the MT courses. Over the years, the university allowed us to expend and we slowly hired more music therapists as teachers. Now we have 10 teachers teaching two tracks: a beginner track and an advance track (for music therapists who hold a diploma and want to complete their MA studies in music therapy). During the past two years I have been teaching fewer courses in the beginner track and more in the advance track.

28. March 2004

He estado enseñando musicoterapia los últimos 24 años. Al comienzo, cuando el programa de MT de la universidad de Bar llan se creó, yo era la única musicoterapeuta allí y dictaba todos los cursos de musicoterapia. Con el correr de los años la universidad nos permitió aumentar el presupuesto y lentamente fuimos contratando más profesores musicoterapeutas. Ahora tenemos 10 profesores enseñando en 2 niveles: un nivel de iniciación y uno avanzado (para musicoterapeutas que ya tienen un diploma y quieren completar su MA en MT) . En los últimos 2 años he estado enseñando menos cursos en el nivel de iniciación y más en el avanzado.

15. March 2004

At a recent Community Music Therapy meeting here at the University of Pretoria, South Africa, Sunelle talked about work with a group of ten-year olds at Sea Point primary school in Cape Town. The children were preparing a music 'item' for the school concert when one of the children noticed her shoes.

15. March 2004

En un encuentro reciente de musicoterapia comunitaria aquí en la Universidad de Praetoria, Sudáfrica, Sunelle habló sobre su trabajo con un grupo de niños de 10 años de la Escuela primaria de Sea Point en Ciudad del Cabo. Los niños estaban preparando un número musical para el concierto de la escuela, cuando uno de los niños se fijó en los zapatos de Sunelle.

01. March 2004

To invite foreign music therapists, from different cultures, to lecture or to give courses in our country, that means that people interested in attending these courses will not only gain more knowledge in the field but they will also have many experiences and exchanges among themselves and the teacher. The teacher invited brings along not only his/her thoughts, ideas, and concepts about the area but, also, aspects from his/her culture, and the curiosity in knowing more about the country s/he is visiting.

01. March 2004

Invitar a musicoterapeutas extranjeros, de culturas diferentes, a disertar o a dar cursos en nuestro país, permite que las personas interesadas en asistir a dichos cursos no solo obtendrán más conocimientos sobre un campo específico, sino que también podrán tener experiencias diversas e intercambiar con los demás participantes y el profesor. El invitado no solo trae sus pensamientos, sus ideas y conceptos sobre un área determinada, sino también aspectos sobre su cultura, así como su propia curiosidad por conocer más sobre el país que está visitando.

16. February 2004

In the opening section of a book about the politics of performance, Kelly M. Askew describes how she was taken by pleasant surprise when she in the mid-nineties returned to the US after three years of fieldwork in East Africa and discovered that an African saying had infiltrated popular American consciousness: "It takes a village to raise a child" (Askew, 2002, p. xiii). This is probably a befitting beginning of a book focusing upon performances as negotiations of relationships.

02. February 2004

Throughout the years, many of my music therapy clients have been psychologists who work primarily in the verbal therapies. My work with one of these psychologists was documented as a case study in Ken Bruscia's book Case Studies in Music Therapy. (Kenny, 1991). Many of these clients come to music therapy because they want to expand their repertoire of receptivity and expressivity. They sometimes complain that both in their own growth and in their professional practice, using "only words" is not "enough".

19. January 2004

'Ich komme nach Australien aber ich wohne in Irland'. Thus I explained myself to the people I met when I was living in Berlin, 'I am an Australian but I live in Ireland'. Why was I in Berlin when I work in Ireland? Well, I am currently entering the fifth month of 12 months of sabbatical leave. Basically this means I am paid by my university to leave the country and pursue opportunities to research and publish.

05. January 2004

For me, the last quarter of 2003 was filled with international and especially European perspectives on teaching and research. Beside the teaching and the research at my university in Magdeburg (Germany) I've been teaching and giving papers in Ukraine, Austria and Denmark. But Europe was also always a part of my thinking at my university. One point is: I came back from my teaching in Ukraine together with two Ukraine students, now they are guest students for one year in Magdeburg.

22. December 2003

In response to my last column (on the influence of required reading on the education of music therapy students), John Lawrence made some interesting comments about music therapy research, and I have taken that topic for this final column of 2003.

08. December 2003

Acabo de retornar de la Conferencia Anual de la Asociación Americana de Musicoterapia (AMTA), que se llevó a cabo en Minneapolis, Minnesota. La Conferencia Anual es siempre una experiencia renovadora para mí, y este año no fue la excepción.

08. December 2003

I just returned from the annual conference of the American Music Therapy Association in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Our conference is always a renewing experience for me and this year was no exception. I work hard at the conferences, including many meetings and presentations that I attend, and also look forward to networking with colleagues and catching up with many good friends in music therapy. I was not disappointed by any of this - the conference was really good for me!!

24. November 2003

Years ago, when I was in graduate school pursuing a Master's degree in music therapy, I had a teacher who taught us about the difference between expectation and expectancy and the significance of these differences in one's therapeutic attitude. At first I was very baffled by this, they seemed the same to me. Both had to do with expecting something to happen. Over the course of several weeks Edith Boxill, my teacher, patiently kept explaining the difference to those of us in her class.

10. November 2003

Regularmente trabajo en dos ciudades cercanas. Montevideo (Uruguay) los lunes y martes, y el resto de la semana en Buenos Aires (Argentina), donde vivo. En esta última hay muchos musicoterapeutas graduados, y muchos estudiantes de musicoterapia en tres universidades. Es un mundo en ebullición, con continuas actividades. Entre ellas, un par de semanas atrás, tuvimos la suerte de tener a Barbara Wheeler dictando unos cursos. Fue ella quien, en una conversación, me permitió advertir esto que quiero comentar.

03. November 2003

Regularly, I work in two close towns: in Montevideo (Uruguay), where I work on Mondays an Tuesdays, and the rest of the week in Buenos Aires (Argentina), where I live. In the latter there are plenty graduated music therapists and Music Therapy students in three different universities. It is an ever-changing and dynamic world, with continuous activities. Among them, we had the chance of meeting Barbara Wheeler, who came to dictate some courses a couple of weeks ago.

27. October 2003

Japanese Music Therapy Association (JMTA, former Japanese Federation of Music Therapy) started to certify music therapists since 1997 on the association base, and presently there are more than 700 certified music therapists in Japan. On the other hand realizing the state approved music therapist's has been one of the most critical issues for JMTA, because it is expected to raise our position in society. However, it is not an easy subject considering the diverse levels in practices throughout the nation and the short history it has been handled as an academic field in this country.

12. October 2003

A few months ago I organized a one-day conference on the subject of "Music in the context of the Holocaust - therapeutic aspects in the past and present". The first part was dedicated to the past. Two musicologists talked about music during the holocaust.

28. September 2003

There has been a recent flurry of international activity on the electronic super highway over Barbara Wheeler's highly anticipated Second Edition of her edited text Music Therapy Research, Edition 2, which will be published sometime next year by Barcelona Publishing Company. The flurry has to with the exchanges of drafts of various chapters between colleagues for the purpose of seeking feedback.

14. September 2003

When the first Music Therapy Program was formally established in Brazil in the early 70's,[2] and when the clinical work was already being done in many institutions, one of the most discussed subjects was if patients should take part in public presentations.

31. August 2003

One night in July this year I walked on the beautiful South Bank of the Brisbane River, through a stunning park with beautiful trees and paths, art museums and university buildings, restaurants and pubs. I walked by the venue for the forthcoming World Congress of Music Therapy in 2005, the Brisbane Convention & Exhibition Centre. I came from Boundary Street in West End, where I had had my first taste of Emu and Kangaroo after a drink of Pink Billabong, and was heading for the Story Bridge. I walked in solitude, but was thinking about the community of Australian music therapists.

12. August 2003

In a recent article, Edward Said once again expresses his frustrations at the global imbalances of power, economics and justice. I usually listen closely to Edward Said, having chosen to invest him with some kind of morally sound intellect, and having decided, rather intuitively, that I trust what he says. An awful responsibility for him to carry, no doubt.

03. August 2003
"I don't want to be a tree, I want to be its meaning"

(My Name is Red by Ohran Pamuk, from the chapter "I am a Tree", p. 61).
29. June 2003

One of the major influences on the development of music therapy students' understanding of music therapy practice is provided through the music therapy literature. Educators therefore have a significant responsibility in shaping students' perspectives of music therapy when choosing reading assignments.

15. June 2003

I have just recently returned from Bergen, Norway and the 4th Nordic Music Therapy Conference. This was my first trip to Norway and I was quite impressed with the beautiful countryside and the friendly nature of the people I encountered. The headmaster at the Fana Folkehøgskole was particularly welcoming and the nearby arborett with beautiful flowers in bloom provided a peaceful setting for quiet walks.

01. June 2003

I gave the keynote address at the conference of the Southeastern Region of the American Music Therapy Association in March, 2003, in Chapel Hill, NC. I was very pleased and honored to be asked to give this address, helping to open the conference which focused on interdisciplinary approaches in music therapy. Although I had not thought a great deal about this topic prior to preparing this talk, I found developing it to be very interesting, and I realized as I worked that I and all music therapists are very involved in being interdisciplinary music therapists.

18. May 2003

Vivimos en un mundo tan diverso, con realidades tan diferentes y contrastantes, que temo que al escribir estas líneas alguien de lejanas latitudes pueda imaginar que es un relato fantaseado. Sin embargo, intento hacer una breve crónica de un hermoso trabajo realizado en el marco de una dura realidad.

18. May 2003

We live in a diverse world, with many different and contrasting realities. I am afraid that while I write these lines, someone from far away can only imagine that it is a fantasized story. Nevertheless, I intend to write a brief chronical of a beautiful work done within a very difficult reality.

04. May 2003

Recently I received a newsletter from the parents' union of public
nursery schools. My children attend one of the nursery schools represented by the union. The lead article of the
newsletter was about privatization of public nursery schools due to
the cost performance problem. Subsequently, my husband and I had a discussion about "personnel expenses" in general. We were left with an unresolved question. In this essay I will share the controversy
we had, and ask for the readers' opinions.

20. April 2003

On April 4th I came back from the 1st Art Therapy World Congress that took place in Budapest, Hungary, March 30th-April 2nd, 2003. The congress was organized by Dr. Erzsbet Hasz, Chairwoman of the Hungarian Art Therapy Association and Tamas Koves, director of Meeting Budapest Organizer Ltd. App.

07. April 2003

Music therapy scholars are always trying on new sets of theoretical clothes in an attempt to find the best fit, the one that rings true for our practice. Playing with categories is fun. And in the academy we get lots of kudos for our creative category play. Beneath this abstract proliferation of categories, one usually finds a sincere effort to come to terms with ineffable phenomenon like music or music therapy that defy many standard categories. Perhaps that's why it is hard to "land" on a set of categories that totally rings true all the time, in every situation in our music therapy worlds. The strength and the weakness of such category play is standardization.

24. March 2003

Brazil is traditionally a Catholic country. Among its 175.941.698 inhabitants, there are 124.980.132 Catholics and 26.184.941 Evangelists, the latter being distributed in many branches. However, this situation is presently changing fast because there is an increase of Evangelist branches that are provoking changes in the Catholic Church and its members.

10. March 2003

Students doing a cabaret at the opening of the Music Therapy Unit at the University of PretoriaFor many of you reading this editorial, music therapy is familiar, established and economically viable (more or less). In this corner of Africa, we are at the beginning. And this week saw the opening of the first music therapy unit in the region, at the University of Pretoria.

24. February 2003

To acknowledge that biology matters has not been so common in the humanities and the social sciences as one might have expected. While it is rather obvious that we all have a body, the exact role of biology in human development is not so obvious. Is human nature so flexible that by all practical purposes it can be neglected in the study of humans as social and cultural beings, or are in fact humans determined by their biological heritage?

10. February 2003

From time to time over the early Summer, despite having the requisite protection, birds would fly down the chimney and flutter and flap against the glass doors at the East end of the lounge room. In order to liberate these guests, I would have to go around the outside of the house and open the glass doors for them to fly away. One morning I heard the familiar sounds that heralded the arrival of a new bird.

27. January 2003

The new year is very young and every youth has a lot of new ideas. But in the process of one year the power of change is changing and some things are going on as last year. In spring we will have our fifth entrance examination for a new music therapy class. Especially in these examinations I think very lot about the problem, which pre-conditions of musicality are necessary and can be examined, if young women and men want to study music therapy.

13. January 2003

This is the first column I am writing as new sub-editor for the Australasia region. I follow in the footsteps of Morva Croxson (New Zealand) who was the inaugural editor of this region for Voices. It is appropriate therefore to thank Morva for her writings for Voices, and the leadership she has shown.

30. December 2002

As 2002 draws to a close I have taken some time to look back on this year. It has been a reflective year for me both personally and professionally. This deeper reflexivity no doubt has to do with the changes that have happened in the USA since September of 2001 as well as with the current political climate that is unfortunately leading us to the brink of war. It has led me to think about the role of public versus private discussions. When do we need to say things in a public forum and when is a private conversation more useful?

16. December 2002

I have been thinking about, and concerned about, how music therapists get information to inform and support their research and clinical work. I love the exchange of information that happens through Voices, which I conceive broadly as columns and articles on various topics of interest to music therapists, then with the opportunity for discussion of these, primarily through the Moderated Discussions. This is one of the most exciting developments in music therapy for me, since it provides a forum for the international exchange of ideas.

02. December 2002

The heat of late November in Buenos Aires announces that the summer is close, and marks the end of another academic year at the University. I have the good fortune to be a professor in the 4th and last year of the Music Therapy training program at the University of Salvador in Buenos Aires, where I am in charge of the Music Therapy class. In a few weeks, my students will be, I hope, brand new colleagues. I watch them, with their fears, waiting for their final exams, preparing of their theses, and all of their expectations and enthusiasm to start their work as music therapists.

18. November 2002

In the December 30, 2001 column "Music Therapy Theory: Yearning for Beautiful Ideas," Kenny described the importance of theorizing music therapy with the language unique to music therapy, and she also referred to the healing practice which is deepened and inherited not so much with words but by "feeling in one's body, heart and soul" and "belief" as follows:

04. November 2002

It is 5.30 AM. Lately I have been waking up early, very early in the morning. At the beginning I really disliked it and tried to get more sleep, but by now I have gotten used to it and even enjoy it. It is very peaceful and quiet time. I put on Bach's Mass in B minor and listen to it with my eyes closed. This is such a beautiful piece of music; it always lifts me up and touches my spirit. It might sound ridiculous, but I always feel a better person when I listen to this music.

20. October 2002

Recently I taught a course entitled "Cultural Perspectives on Healing" to graduate psychology students here in Santa Barbara at Antioch University. This was a one-day course. So the challenge of covering such a broad topic in a seven-hour day was difficult. I opted for the scholarly approach, hoping that a common sense scholarly introduction would help to open their minds to the complex issues of culture.

06. October 2002

Lights. Colors. Action! And even cameras of journalists from around the world! Kings... queens... and vassals, but also baianas and many other different people... . Almost like a movie. It could be fantasy. But it is not. It is reality. The fire works indicate that the show is beginning.

22. September 2002

I love old books, and I'm lucky enough to live close to the first Booktown in Norway, which is part of an international network of Booktowns. Every summer the tiny village of Fjærland goes through a metamorphosis. Throughout the whole winter this village - located by one of our more spectacular fjords - is as quiet as any Norwegian village can be, and that's quite quiet. In summertime a dozen bookstores with second-hand books of every kind bring life and people to this place.

08. September 2002

It is Spring, on this early Sunday morning, and the women's gaol on Constitution Hill in Johannesburg is silent, despite the hum and buzz of the World Summit sustaining itself some miles down the hill. The gaol is empty and my steps echo on the tired grey floor. I hear the whispers of women whose spirits now invade these cells triumphantly: the gaol is now a Healing Centre.

25. August 2002

Back from Oxford in the second week (I'm writing this column in the second week of August) the impressions of that very exciting world congress are still in my mind. First of all I want to say thank you to Nigel Hartley and all British music therapists, who organized this very important event and this really very special "Oxford experience" in a complete sunny week on the British Island.

11. August 2002

I have just returned from the 10th World Congress of Music Therapy in Oxford, England and wanted to share some of my thoughts from attending this inspiring event.

28. July 2002

One of the results of my involvement in Voices, both as an editor and as a reader, has been an increased awareness of cultural aspects of music therapy. This has led to a question that I will bring up below. But first I would like to talk about my increased awareness of this aspect of music therapy.

14. July 2002

Periodically I fall into a pit of despair about the possibility of music therapy having a community of scholars who are actually connected to one another. Yes, I know there are pockets of small groups who work together intensively on scholarly works in music therapy. There are think tanks and special interest collectives. I have had the privilege of being in a few of those groups myself. But I'm hoping for something much more inclusive, complex, and challenging.

30. June 2002

In Japan, the school semester starts in April and ends in March. In April I started to use Voices for one of my classes in Tokyo National University of Fine Arts and Music. This class is Special Study of Applied Musicology, which, for all practical purposes, is a class for music therapy. The main target students are the graduate musicology students who focus on music therapy, but it is quite open for anybody who wishes to as well as capable of participating in it.

09. June 2002

A few days ago a friend of mine, who is an actor in a playback theatre, called me and asked if I would like to come and improvise music for their playback performance that took place the day after. As she was approaching me with the subject I started to feel an inner tension and some anxiety rising. After a few moments of hesitation I said to her that I would be glad to do it.

21. April 2002

Recently I had the pleasure of visiting a local museum in Agadir, a city of the Atlantic coast of Morocco. This museum had a rich exhibition of Berber jewelry from the Atlas mountains. While the tradition of Berber jewelry was not well known to me, I found it easy to enjoy the patterns, shapes, and colors of the necklaces, and I was enthused by the exquisite details of the ornaments. It was not difficult to imagine that this beauty carried deep meanings for the Berbers. Looking at this beautiful art I started to read the information which was provided for the tourists.

25. March 2002

Participants in a large group

Two things are on my mind as I write: the first is Zimbabwe and its grim inability to tolerate differences of opinions, reminding one of the bad old days of apartheid South Africa.

11. March 2002

There was something in Diego Schapira's Fortnightly column of Feb 11-24 that seemed to stay with me after I read it, though it took several days of reflecting and mulling over his column before I could really articulate what I was feeling. I think that I was resonating with the concept of the "unknown" that he writes about. While he doesn't call it that, it is clear that he is saying that we don't know what emotional response a particular sound might invoke in our clients.

25. February 2002

The tragic events of September 11 have had an enormous impact on us in the United States - decreasing our sense of safety and increasing our awareness of vulnerability. National security, possibilities of terrorism, and the war in Afghanistan dominate the news.1 This is my sense of what is occurring from my home in Louisville, Kentucky, far away from New York City and Washington, DC, where the attacks occurred. I am not intending to reflect what things are like closer to where the tragedies took place. Things in these cities are, I believe, much more immediate and personal.

11. February 2002

It's Friday night in Buenos Aires. I'm walking along the streets, a few blocks away from my house, and I hear the rumbling of the drums. The Carnival season is about to start and in each neighborhood there is a "murga" (a band of street musicians) rehearsing.

28. January 2002

In the column I wrote in October (October 8, 2001: How to Win in Music Therapy Work?), I referred to the patriarchal value and the matriarchal value. At that time I was in my 8th month of pregnancy, and now I am writing this with the twin-baby-boys sleeping beside of me.

14. January 2002

In October 2000, three weeks after I came back to Israel from my peaceful and beautiful sabbatical in NY and Kauai, the second "intifada" started and has been going on ever since. We, Israelis and Palestinians, have been living with terror constantly. Every day I expect the worst and wonder where it will happen today, how many people will get killed, will I know anybody who got killed? Will I come home safe at the end of the day? Fear, restlessness, pain and despair have become part of my life.

31. December 2001

I came to my interest in music therapy theory in 1981 out of a sense of disappointment. These days I spend a lot of time watching my little grand daughter strive to name things. As I observe her, I have an even deeper understanding of that drive in all of us "to name", "to represent", in some ways, "to fix" our understanding of things in the form of words. In fact, one can feel a little crazy at worst or inauthentic at best, when the naming of things does not match our experience of them.

17. December 2001

I was working in my office at the University of Pretoria recently, when I became aware of a growing noise outside the window. It got louder and bigger and more intrusive, like thousands of voices all talking, cheering, singing, whooping at the same time, and when the telephone rang I could not hear the person talking to me.

02. December 2001

Everyday lives are affected by a strange multiplicity of influences. Always one has to centre on day-to-day responsibilities and usually one treats media messages with a degree of disbelief. But the impact of world tragedies cannot be ignored because repeated media images do not let the shock leave our consciousness.

19. November 2001

Who is Nora of "A Doll's House"? In the Norwegian dramatist Henrik Ibsen's play, written in 1879, everything seems to be the opposite of our first impression. When reading or viewing the play we realise that the weak are strong and the strong are weak, that the ill-willed have kindness, and that the gentle simmer with dark passions. The play is about a world of play, or maybe rather about the illusions of our real world.

05. November 2001

As reaction to the my last column in Voices Barbara Wheeler ask me about my experiences, that I got in the East-European context, coming from a country, which was situated in East-Europe and in which now exist the values and norms of West-Europe. So I want to start today three "short-stories" about these experiences, which I had in situations, where East and West went into contact with each other in the last ten years.

21. October 2001

The past month and a half have been tumultuous here in the United States. My local music therapy and neighborhood communities are grieving, for we have suffered personal losses. Yes, we are now living with the terror that many cultures and countries face and have faced on a daily basis for years.

07. October 2001

The other day, my husband and I had a long chat about our twin children who are to be born soon, just like any new parents-to-be, full of hope and concern. In this complex world, what is the best education we can give them? - especially in Japan where the traditional and progressive value systems are mixed, the economy is loosing its former power, but no significant natural resources exist?

23. September 2001

The last time that I wrote this column, I spoke of how we limit ourselves by paying attention to things and people that "fit" with what we know and with whom we are comfortable and of the desirability of learning about ideas and people that are out of our normal awareness (see June 18 column). In this column, I would like to develop some ideas that have evolved from my previous thoughts.

27. August 2001

Lately there has been an increasing interest for aesthetic aspects of the music therapy process. I welcome this warmly. While in many contexts it is essential to underline functionalistic aspects, it will be very limiting to music therapy if issues of meaning, narrative, and aesthetics are neglected. To include aesthetic aspects has its own pitfalls though, since the western concept of aesthetics have certain romantic and elitist connotations to it. I will try to illuminate the problem by using an allegory.

12. August 2001

Early in July The New Zealand Society for Music Education (NZSME) and the International Society for Music Education (ISME) hosted an event in Auckland, New Zealand. Its title was Taonga of the Asia Pacific Rim, and it was a Regional Conference, Trade Exhibition and Performance Festival. There were four strands each of which emphasised cultural difference.

29. July 2001

This title is a paraphrase from something that Itzhak Perlman, the violinist, said to the audience after he finished playing a concerto with a violin that had only 3 strings instead of 4.

22. July 2001

Music Therapy will have a hard time shedding a reputation for being the new kid on the block. As our literature develops we have more access to ideas about our discipline. Much of this literature is focused, of course, on the clinical experience. And much of the discourse about this clinical experience must be a highly specialized, closed discourse among a specific community of professionals with a shared knowledge base, as described by Thomas Kuhn (1962/1970).

15. July 2001

I recently had the opportunity to have several GIM (Guided Imagery and Music) sessions. In them I began to re-examine my relationship to music. Revisiting my lifelong connection to music has prompted me reflect on my first experiences with music and how my relationship to music has grown and changed over the years.

08. July 2001

You do not read very much about political changes in music therapy journals. For me, and for my point of view in music therapy, such changes have been very important.

01. July 2001

The main language of Voices is English. For some, myself included, this creates quandaries of translation. With English as our second, third or fourth language we may feel unable to find the words needed for clear communication of our ideas. Or - if we find words - we may feel that they are inaccurate, that other words would be better if we just could find them. So, here we go, in circles.

24. June 2001

I was brought up in the Japanese culture, and as some of you might know, compared to Western culture, our culture tends to put less emphasis on expressing self. Traditionally our value system rejects an assertive attitude both verbally or nonverbally, this causing confusion for Western people trying to make sense of our true feelings, based on the limited self expression we offer. Personally, compared with ordinary Japanese people, I have a character of expressing myself, but even I felt a great cultural difference when I was studying and working in the States.

17. June 2001

I attended the European Music Therapy Conference in Naples in April and had a wonderful time! I found the conference to be stimulating, the presentations to be excellent, the setting to be serene, and the company - old and new friends and colleagues - to be delightful.

10. June 2001

Earlier this week I sat in a locked ward at the local adult psychiatric hospital, observing two music therapy students in a group music therapy session with women suffering from severe psychotic conditions, and deeply medicated. The session began with all talking at once, apparently not understanding each other and constantly getting up and sitting down, moving around the circle and swapping places.

03. June 2001

Last year I was on a sabbatical leave and spent 5 months in Kauai, Hawaii. It was an amazing place where I experienced a very powerful inner journey. The outer beauty affected me and helped me (re)discover my inner beauty. The need to give expression to both inner and outer beauty was tremendous, but I didn't have a piano or any other musical instrument there, so I couldn't really express myself through playing.

27. May 2001

In 1969 I began my work in music therapy. At that time, in America there
was only one respectable book in our field, which had been published in
1968. It was of course E.T.'s very own Music in Therapy. In the United
States at least, this was the one textbook, the one source of academic
knowledge or to put it another way, The Bible of Music Therapy. Now more
than thirty years later, it's no longer possible to keep up with the music
therapy literature. Each year more and more books are published on music
therapy. And there's also an abundance of journals and newsletters from
around the world. Music therapy literature is written in many languages

20. May 2001

To dream the impossible dream

To fight the unbeatable foe

To bear with unbearable sorrow
To run where the brave dare not go
To right the unrightable wrong
To love pure and chased from afar
To try when your arms are too weary
To reach the unreachable star
This is my quest
To follow that star
No matter how hopeless

No matter how far
To fight for the right
Without question or pause
To be willing to march into hell for a heavenly cause

13. May 2001

The pathways to music therapy must be as varied as the colours in the rainbow. Strong instincts, serendipitous events, a personal enlightenment about the power of music, seeing someone use music as an effective change agency.. do any of these scenarios fit your memory banks as well as mine? Younger people today have a more direct line to music therapy in many continents as quality courses and experienced therapists open eyes and minds to a special career path that makes music central yet permeates social and spiritual landscapes.

23. April 2001

I was 14, and it was about 100 years since Livingstone searched for the sources of the Nile. Living in a small savanna town, young enough to be an explorer and old enough to know the sources of the Nile, I concentrated my efforts on investigating the tiny valley of a river on the outskirts of town. It was a separate world; no people, no houses, only running water and small waterfalls, enormous green trees with colorful flowers and mystical networks of lianas, and - not to forget - huge lizards sunbathing on beautiful rocks in the midst of the water. I almost believed that nobody had seen anything like this before.

07. April 2001

This week is a very special one for me - I started my first online internet lectures in music therapy with Ukrainian students. The "setting" is following: I stay in a studio in our university in Magdeburg, Germany and Ukrainian students in Zaporizhzhe, a city on the river Dnepr with one million inhabitants, can see and hear me and ask questions or can comment on-line in a chatroom that I see on a screen in front of me. It's quite an unusual experience. - I am familiar with working with a chatroom. We did this last year once a week in an open discussion forum with interested students from all over Germany and even one from France. But giving lectures before a camera is quite different. There is something "unknown." The unknown part is the reaction of the other side - the not real "audience." But, after the first hour when I received the first questions from the Ukrainian side, this unknown part wasn't there at all. The questions were very specific to what I had spoken about earlier and I could also read names of students whom I know very well from my real contacts in the Ukraine. After that the camera was not longer a liveless thing or object, it became more and more a medium of communication.