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Introduction to Music Therapy Weekend


Course Information

Music Therapy 460

Delivery format on campus

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Please read the Short Courses Contract before signing up.

Each weekend course provides a useful background to those considering a career, or looking towards a professional training in music therapy. It will also be of interest to those working in related professions or anyone simply wishing to find out more about the work. No particular level of musical competence is required.

This weekend course allows the tutor to explore more theoretical detail, with the opportunity to see more clinical extracts and experience more music-based activities, and includes a combination of case presentations, presentation of relevant theory, and practical sessions. Many audio and visual examples will be shown of actual session material. This promotes honest and interesting discussion about the role of the music therapist, and enables participants to explore their feelings about the work.


Course Code


Course Leader

Mary-Clare Fearn & Tessa Watson
Course Description

During the course, the programme tutor will introduce the theory and practice of music therapy.There will also be practical improvisation sessions, the nature of which will be discussed and agreed by the group. Group dynamics and personal issues may be explored and discussed as appropriate to the needs of the participants.

The programme does not set out to impart particular skills and attendance does not imply a qualification to practice. It is hoped that those who attend will gain a thorough introduction to the work of the music therapist, and to the benefits that music therapy can bring to a variety of adult and children with special needs and disabilities. Those who attend may also find the course a useful preparation to making an application for the MA in Music Therapy.

Intended Audience

This weekend will be useful for anyone wishing to find out more about music therapy. It details how music therapists work in a variety of different settings. It will be beneficial to those wishing to satisfy curiosity, and also enable those who may wish to consider training as a music therapist to reflect on their motivations and skills.

Participants will be expected to engage in small group discussions and there are several practical sessions during the weekend where participants will be encouraged to explore and play a wide range of percussion instruments. Comfortable clothing should be worn and participants can bring their own instruments if they wish.


This weekend will provide an introduction to music therapy, specifically the approach taught on the post graduate MA course at  the University of Roehampton. It is very useful for anyone wishing to undertake a career in music therapy and for those who would like to find out more about what is actually involved in practice. A certificate of attendance will be available at the end of the weekend.

Presented by

Mary-Clare Fearn (Saturday November 19th)

Mary-Clare Fearn is an experienced Music Therapist who has a broad range of experience working predominantly with children in the NHS and education. She has for many years been involved in training at introductory and MA level, and following her relocation to Dorset, continues to provide training for the University of Roehampton.

Since qualifying as a Music Therapist from Roehampton in 1990, Mary-Clare has gained extensive experience of working with adults and children who have a wide range of learning, emotional and physical disabilities. She enjoys working with students and has run introduction to music therapy courses and training days for a number of different organisations.

She is a registered supervisor with the British Association of Music Therapists and part of her practice is supervising other music therapists. She is also registered with the Health and Care Professions Council.

Tessa Watson (Sunday November 20th)

Tessa Watson is a music therapist and music therapy trainer with over 20 years of experience in a variety of clinical settings. She qualified from Roehampton in 1990, and is currently course Convenor of the MA in Music Therapy. Tessa’s clinical experience has been varied, including work with the elderly, in forensic mental health, and with young people and adults with learning disabilities. Her current clinical work is with adults with learning disabilities in a joint health and social services community team, where she manages a team of arts therapists and works closely with other professionals. 

Reading List

The books in italics at the start of each section are considered to be more readable and less academic, therefore would suit those looking for an introduction of the topics covered 

Suggested reading on music therapy (general)

Darnley-Smith, R. and Patey, H (2004) Music Therapy, London: Sage Publications.

Bunt, L. and Hoskyns, S. (Eds) (2002) The Handbook of Music Therapy, London: Routledge (NB a new edition of this book is planned for 2018)

Pavlicevic, M (1999) Music Therapy: Intimate Notes, London: JKP

Bunt, L. and Stige, B (2014) Music Therapy an Art Beyond Words, London: Routledge

Compton-Dickinson, Odell-Miller, H. and Adlam, J. (2012) Forensic Music Therapy, London: Jessica Kingsley Publishers

Edwards, J. (2016) Oxford Handbook of Music Therapy, Oxford: OUP

Karkou, V (Ed) (2010) Arts Therapies in Schools, Research and Practice, London: JKP

Levinge, A. (2015) The Music of Being. Music Therapy, Winnicott and the School of Object Relations, London: JKP

Magee, W.L. (2013) Music Technology in Therapeutic and Health Settings, London: JKP

Oldfield, A and Flower, C (2008) Music Therapy with Children and their Families, London: JKP

Oldfield, A, Tomlinson, J and Loombe, D (Eds) (2015) Flute, Accordion or Clarinet? Using the characteristics of our instruments in Music Therapy, London: JKP

Pavlicevic, M (2005) Music Therapy in Children’s Hospices, London; JKP

Sinason, V. (2010) Mental Handicap and the Human Condition: an analytic approach to intellectual disability, London: Free Association Books. Revised edition

Strange, J. Odell-Miller, H. and Richards, E (eds) (2017) Collaboration and Assistance in Music Therapy Practice, London; JKP

Sutton, J. and De Backer, J (2014) The Music in Music Therapy, London: JKP

Tomlinson, J. Derrington, P. Oldfield, A.  (Eds) (2012) Music Therapy in Schools.  Working with Children of All Ages in Mainstream and Special Education  London: JKP

Twyford, K. and Watson, T. (2008) Integrated Team Working. Music Therapy as Part of Collaborative and Transdisciplinary Approaches, London; JKP

Watson, T. (2007) Music Therapy with Adults with Learning Disabilities, London: Routledge.

Watson, T. (2014) ‘Relationship and Communication in Music Therapy: A Response to North’ in Psychology of Music, 42, 800-808

Wigram, T. Pedersen I.N. and Ole Bonde, L. (2002) A Comprehensive Guide to Music Therapy Theory, Clinical Practice, Research and Training, London: JKP

Wigram, A (2004) Improvisation Methods and Techniques for Music Therapy Clinicians, Educators and Students, London; JKP

Infant interaction

Stern, D.N. (1991) Diary of a Baby, London: Fontana

Sunderland, M. (2007) What Every Parent Needs to Know: The Incredible Effects of Love, Nurture and Play on Your Child’s Development, London: Dorling Kindersley Ltd

Edwards, J. (Ed) (2011) Music Therapy and Parent-Infant Bonding, Oxford University Press Music, Music, G. (2011) Nurturing Natures. Attachment and Children’s Emotional, Sociocultural and Brain Development, Psychology Press, East Sussex

Nocker-Ribaupierre, M. (2012) ‘The mother's voice in early childhood: implications for music therapy’ in British Journal of Music Therapy 25 (2) pp.6-18

Reid S (Ed) (1997) Developments in Infant Observation, London Routledge

Rustin, M and L Miller (1989) Closely Observed Infants, London; Duckworth Publishers Ltd

Stern, D.N. (1985) The Interpersonal World of the Infant.  A view from psychoanalysis and developmental psychology, New York: Basic Books.

Autism and aspergers syndrome

Williams, D. (1993) Nobody Nowhere, London: Corgi, and other books by the same author

Atwood, T. (2006) The Complete Guide to Asperger’s Syndrome, London: Jessica Kingsley Publishers.

Baron Cohen S and (2008) Autism and Asperger Syndrome. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Higashida, N (2007) The Reason I Jump: One Boy’s Voice from the Silence of Autism, Random House; London

Silberman, S. (2016) Neurotribes: The Legacy of Autism and How to Think Smarter about People who Think Differently, London: Allen and Unwin

Tantum, D (2013) Autism Spectrum Disorders Through the life Span, London: Jessica Kingsley Publishers (2nd edition)

Trevarthen, C., Aitken, K. Papoudi, D. and Robarts, J.Z. (1996) Children with Autism, London: Jessica Kingsley Publishers. 

Autism and therapy

Alvarez, A. and Reid S (1999) Autism and Personality, findings from the Tavistock Clinic, London: Routledge.

Brown, S. (1994) ‘Autism and Music Therapy: Is Change Possible?’ In British Journal of Music Therapy, 8, 1.


Davies, A. and Richards, E. (Eds) (2002) Music Therapy and Group Work: Sound Company, London: Jessica Kingsley Publishers.

Barnes, B., Ernst, S. and Hyde, K. (1999) An Introduction to Groupwork, a Group Analytic Perspective, England: Macmillan Press Ltd.

Behr, H., and Hearst, L. (2005) Group Analytic Psychotherapy: a Meeting of Minds, London: Whurr.

Davies, A., Richards, E., Barwick, N. (2014) Group Music Therapy a Group Analytic Approach, London; Jessica Kingsley Publishers Wright, H (1989) Groupwork: perspectives and practice, Harrow: Scutari.


Pavlicevic, M. (1997) Music Therapy in Context. Music, Meaning and Relationship, London; Jessica Kingsley Publishers. Chapter 13 ‘Why do we become therapists?’

Sobey, K. and Woodcock, J (1999) ‘Psychodynamic Music Therapy. Considerations in Training, in Cattanach, A. (Ed) Process in the Arts Therapies, London; Jessica Kingsley Publishers

Baker, F. and Wigram, T (2005) Songwriting. Methods, Techniques and Clinical Applications for Music Therapy Clinicians, Educators and Students, London; Jessica Kingsley Publishers


British Journal of Music Therapy (available online via SAGE publications)

The Arts in Psychotherapy (eslevier.com)

StartEndCourse Fee 
A two day introduction to Music Therapy
19/11/202220/11/2022£265.00[Read More]

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