Introduction to Music Therapy

Music Therapy Introduction Course

1 Day



Course Delivery

Online (via Zoom)

or on campus


Places are awarded on a "first paid first serve" basis due to demand




Whitelands College, University of Roehampton, Holybourne Avenue, London SW15 4JD

Course Details


This one day course will explore theoretical concepts and will include case presentations and practical sessions. Audio and visual examples will be shown of actual session material which will promote honest and interesting discussions about the role of the music therapist and enables participants to explore their feelings about the work.

Intended Audience

This day 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 participants will be encouraged to explore improvisation both with small percussion and their own instruments if they wish.  Comfortable clothing should be worn. 

Outcomes/What you will learn

This day 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.

An electronic certificate of attendance will be emailed on successful course completion.

Suggested Reading

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 (


Online Teaching

Date: 4/3/2023

Time: 10am - 4.30pm

Bookings now open until 26 February 2023.

On Campus Teaching

Date: 4/3/2023

Time: 10am - 4.30pm

Bookings now open until 26 February 2023.