“But Where are you Really From?”: Approaching Music Therapy Research and Practice as an Australian of Indian Origin


  • Tanya Marie Silveira University of Melbourne




music therapy, research, intersectionality, advocacy, representation, adversity


I have always been passionate about my work and research in stroke rehabilitation but never truly understood where this stemmed from. Drawing upon accessible music making, my PhD research developed and trialed a novel approach for post-stroke rehabilitation: an intervention created to simultaneously address arm/hand function and well-being outcomes. The focus of the research was to empower stroke survivors with limited to no movement in their arm/hand, as this subset of survivors are generally overlooked by the medical system (due to a projected poor prognosis of recovery). In 2020, during my engagement with the PhD research, the Black Lives Matter movement was reignited in response to the death of George Floyd. As a Woman of Colour, this movement deeply impacted me and led to reflection about my personal experiences of adversity. Through deep reflection, I started to understand the impact of my adverse experiences on my passion for advocacy in stroke rehabilitation. This paper explores the impact of my complex identity on my current approach to music therapy research and advocacy in stroke rehabilitation. Positioning myself as an Australian of Indian origin, I share personal reflections about my journey to research with the intent of highlighting the importance of visibility and change in music therapy research and practice.


Correction notice: An error in the year for which the Portugese rule over Goa ended is incorrect in the Version of Record  (VoR) on page 5 of the PDF. The correct year is 1961, and the correct sentence should be: “Along with this, Goa, the place of my family’s origin in India, was under the rule of the Portuguese for as long as 450 years, reclaiming independence quite recently in 1961 (Kamat, 2011)”.

Kamat, P. (2011). The Road To Liberation. Retrieved November 24, 2020 from




How to Cite

Silveira, T. M. (2020). “But Where are you Really From?”: Approaching Music Therapy Research and Practice as an Australian of Indian Origin. Voices: A World Forum for Music Therapy, 20(3), 8. https://doi.org/10.15845/voices.v20i3.3171