European Music Therapy Conference Vienna 2016


Music therapy and neuroscience
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Foto Wendy Magee Wendy Magee
Neuroscience and music:
Translating evidence into meaningful practice
About | Dr. Wendy Magee is Associate Professor in the Music Therapy Programme at Temple University, Philadelphia. She has practiced in neurological rehabilitation since 1988 as a music therapy clinician, researcher, manager and trainer (USA, UK and Australia). She is an active researcher with diverse neurological populations and a published Cochrane reviewer: the updated Music Interventions for Acquired Brain Injury is being published in 2016. Her research topics and training expertise span evidence-based practice in neurorehabilitation; measurement for populations in rehabilitation and chronic care; music therapy and identity; and new and emerging music technologies in health and education with her published book Music Technology in Therapeutic and Health Settings. Recent editorial and publication projects include a guest editorship of a special issue of Frontiers of Psychology: Music and Disorders of Consciousness: Emerging practice, research and theory. She is the recipient of a number of research awards including a Leverhulme Fellowship in the UK (2009), the AMTA Arthur Flagler Fultz Research Award in the USA (2015) and research awards from Temple University and the Mid-Atlantic Region of the AMTA (2013, 2016).

For more information, see:
Abstract | Neuromusicology provides a wealth of evidence that can underpin clinical music therapy practice. Yet, translating the emerging evidence into everyday application is much more of a challenge. The evidence debate positions neuroscientific evidence highly due to its absolute truth. However, neuroscience also needs clinical practitioners to guide questions that are relevant.

Despite disparate paradigms of the two professions, a symbiotic relationship between neuroscience and music therapy can benefit both fields of study, and can also be beneficial to the patient populations whom the science and health professions serve.


Improvising and composing
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Foto Johanna Doderer Johanna Doderer
Music, the other language
About | The Vienna-based composer Johanna Doderer was born in Bregenz in 1969 and studied with Beat Furrer in Graz and then composition and music theory with Erich Urbanner and film and media composition with Klaus Peter Sattler in Vienna. The focus of her work lies on opera. Besides many works for chamber music, she has also written several works for orchestra. Her compositions are performed throughout the world. Johanna Doderer’s music has become established in the great musical centres of the world next to the classical and contemporary repertoires and has long been loved and enthusiastically interpreted by internationally successful artists throughout the world. Hence, her co-operation and friendship with eminent interpreters, starting with Patricia Kopatchinskaja, to whom she dedicated her own violin concerto (ORF CD), Marlis Petersen (CD), Angelika Kirchschlager, Sylvia Khittl-Muhr, Yury Revich, Nikola Djoric up to Harriet Krijgh, form the core of her work.
In 2014, Johanna Doderer was awarded the Ernst Krenek Prize of the City of Vienna, the highest honour the City of Vienna can bestow in this category. Further honours and scholarships: 2001 - Vienna Symphony Orchestra Scholarship; 2002 - Austrian State Scholarship for Composers, Cultural Prize of the City of Feldkirch, Cultural Prize of the City of Vienna; 2004 - SKE Publicity Prize, Composer in Residence at the Wiener Concert-Verein; 2012 - Artist in Residence Teheran/Iran.
Abstract | After grappling with techniques of contemporary music for many years, Johanna Doderer has found her own compositional language, which keeps away from avant-garde or academic styles of composing, and does not exclude tonality. Her work has its roots in improvisation which means for her that music has been present long before the ability to read music, or write musical pieces – “right from the start”. She also felt that composing has always been a part of her, and being able to do this as a profession now is perceived just like a liberation by her. She doesn’t know of musical taboos, and she likes anything that sounds good, be it Puccini, Strauss, Luigi Nono, Lutosławski, or techno.

To experience time simultaneously with emotional and actual spaces is of great significance in her music. “You need to let yourself get involved with it – if you don’t, then you’re trapped. I assume that we unknowingly experience several times at once, and I believe that music has the ability to intervene in those spaces of time”, she once said in an interview.

In a conversation with the moderator of the session, Johanna Doderer will talk about the essential components of her creative work – improvisation and composition –, and present two filmed examples of her work.
Foto Dorit Amir Dorit Amir
Improvisation in music therapy:
a symphony of sounds and words
About | Prof. Dorit Amir, D.A., CMT, has been the founder and the head of the music therapy M.A. program at Bar Ilan University in Israel, since 1982. She finished her Masters and Doctorate degrees in music therapy at NYU. Prof. Amir has taught and supervised students and professional music therapists in Israel, USA, Europe, Australia and New Zealand. Her book: Meeting the Sounds: Music Therapy Practice, Theory and Research, was published in 1999 in Israel, in Hebrew. Prof. Amir has published many articles and chapters on various subjects in music therapy.
Her research projects include: meaningful moments in music therapy, musical and verbal interventions in music therapy, humor in music therapy, music therapy with Alzheimer patients, music therapy with children at risk and adults who suffer from PTSD and multi-cultural aspects of music therapy. She is on the review board of Barcelona’s monograph series of Qualitative inquiries in music therapy and The Arts in Psychotherapy journal. Prof. Amir has vast clinical experience with a wide variety of client populations. This academic year, Dr. Amir is a visiting scholar at NYU, USA.
Abstract | Perceiving my work as a music focused form of psychotherapy, there are two focal points: 1. Improvisation as a powerful here and now experience; 2. Improvisation as a symbol/mirror to the intrapersonal and interpersonal world of both client and therapist. Overall, I see my work as a symphony of music and words. Sometimes, the musical experience is enough and no words are needed. Other times, words are needed to further understand intra- and interpersonal issues.

There are three types of clinical improvisations: Improvisations made by client alone, improvisations made by therapist alone, and shared improvisations by therapist and client. Some clients need to play alone – they want to create their own musical space and play with it. They want me to listen to them. Here my role is that of a witness – I am a listening presence, witnessing their journey. Some clients are encouraged to play alone. This happens when I sense that they become too dependent on my sounds, and believe that they can be more independent.

There are three occasions in which I play alone: before a session, to prepare myself for my client; after a session – to reflect and deal with my feelings; during the session – when a client needs to relax and wants to listen to me playing.

In this presentation I will further discuss the two focal points and each of the three types of improvisation. Clinical-improvisational examples will accompany the talk.


Music therapy and economy
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Foto Christian Köck Christian Köck
Changing health care in a time of austerity
About | Prof. Christian Köck, M.D., Sc.D., is CEO of the Health Care Company, which was incorporated under his leadership in 2001. He holds a doctorate of medicine from the University of Vienna and is licensed in the fields of general medicine and psychotherapy. In addition he holds two masters degrees and a doctoral degree from Harvard University in health policy, health economics and health management. He is a professor of Health Care Policy and Management at the medical faculty of the University of Witten/Herdecke, Germany, where he was Dean of the Faculty of Medicine and Executive Vice President of the University between 2001 and 2004. He is President of the board of University of Witten/Herdecke Foundation, a major share holder of the university. He is also a member of the boards of the Vienna City Hospital Association, one of the largest public health care providers in Europe, and of Dr. Soliman Fakeeh Hospital in Jeddah, KSA. His research focuses on international comparisons of health care systems, health care finance and the link between quality, efficiency and finance structures. Furthermore, he is concerned with the development and financing of health care systems in a time of austerity and issues of equity and access to care. Abstract | Health care systems of developed countries have been under increasing economic pressure for many years: epidemiologic and demographic changes, ever advancing technology and increasing complexity of delivery processes are some of the reasons. Since 2008, the beginning of the economic crisis, public financing of health care has made it more difficult to maintain one of the cornerstones of European societies, the principle of access to health care for all, independent of income or other factors.

Under these circumstances, new or non-mainstream methods of patient care such as music therapy are facing a challenging situation: Relatively diminishing public funds will increase competition of different methods to gain access to public moneys. The decisionmaking process for admission to reimbursement inherently favors treatments which can be evaluated using large data sets or randomized controlled trials.

For music therapy, it is a necessary yet not sufficient condition to provide outcome and cost-effectiveness analyses of its methods to have any chance to receive a significant share of public funds. The other necessary condition is political engagement, to force a discussion about fairness and solidarity in the field of health care. Even though such an engagement might not be obvious, it probably is none the less necessary to secure the further development of the field and at the same time defend the defining foundations of European societies, the principle of solidarity.
Foto Brynjulf Stige Brynjulf Stige
Creating posts for music therapists within the changing realities of contemporary health care systems – how is that related to theory, research, and ethics?
About | Prof. Brynjulf Stige, music therapist, PhD, is Head of Research at GAMUT – The Grieg Academy Music Therapy Research Centre, University of Bergen and Uni Research Health, and is also the leader of POLYFON knowledge cluster for music therapy. Stige graduated from the conservatory in Oslo in 1983, and belonged to the fourth cohort of music therapy students in Norway. At the time, almost all music therapists in Norway lived and worked in Oslo, and much of Stige’s career has evolved around the process of establishing music therapy in Western Norway. From 1983–1988 he worked with a group of colleagues to establish community music therapy practices in rural areas, and in 1988 he was the founding leader of the music therapy education program in Sandane. Since 2006, he has been part of the team developing music therapy as a research discipline and education program at the University of Bergen. Stige’s research interests include areas such as participatory practice and critical music therapy theory. He was founding editor of Nordic Journal of Music Therapy from 1992–2006, and since 2001 he is founding co-editor of Voices: A World Forum for Music Therapy, currently together with Sue Hadley, USA, and Katrina McFerran, Australia. Abstract | The literature on the development of new posts in music therapy to a large degree focuses on how individual therapists manage to negotiate their way into a specific institution. This interest in individual forerunners might reflect a belief in steady progress. If only our achievements as practitioners and researchers continue to be good, society will eventually recognize what the forerunners demonstrate; there is a need for music therapists. Perhaps weak economy is the only threat to progress. One alternative to this narrative would be to acknowledge that the growth and demise of professions relate to political struggles. Financial resources will always be limited and priorities are political, not just technical. The changing realities of contemporary health care and social services include increased market orientation, with increased request for evidence based practice and for service users’ empowerment. Are these processes compatible, or do we need to choose between optimizing the profession’s competitive strength in the market and its contribution to social change and equity? Such questions invite exploration of the development of music therapy within partnerships for change. I will qualify this claim through use of examples from the Norwegian context, with particular focus on POLYFON knowledge cluster for music therapy. In POLYFON, researchers, service deliverers, practitioners, and service users together explore music therapy’s role within hospital and community services. How well do the collaborating voices go together? The current and upcoming development of music therapy within medication free services for people with psychotic disorders illustrates several dilemmas and contradictions.


Dialogues on European music therapy professional development: Various practices, one goal
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Moderator: Adrienne Lerner
Adrienne Lerner
EMTC general-secretary
Hanne Mette Ridder
EMTC president
European music therapy: Background, benchmarks and building blocks
Ferdinando Suvini
EMTC vice-president, treasurer
Structuring a collaborative network
Rut Wallius
The European Music Therapy Register, EMTR
Ingeborg Nebelung
The EMTC Website – An open window to the members
Alice Pehk
Hosting conferences and general assemblies
Albert Berman
The European Music Therapy Day
Ranka Radulovic
The Serbian’s model of music therapy development – The role of association
Tessa Watson
The journey to regulation in the UK
Esa Ala-Ruona
The Vision and Mission Think Tank working group
Logo emtc Abstract | In this dialogue session we celebrate 25 years of collaborative work on developing the music therapy profession in Europe. This will be marked by a series of presentations from a group of people involved in the European Music Therapy Confederation, EMTC. Since the mid-1900s and onwards several pioneers independently of one another started up music therapy practices across Europe. They shared music experiences with clients in various settings and in various ways. Despite different ways of understanding the function of music, “music therapy” was an overarching concept that unified the idea of creating this new profession, as well as developing training courses, proposing theories and applying research. Music therapists started to form international networks, which were formalized in guidelines for a European association. Now, 25 years have passed and the profession has grown, matured, began to settle, and the collaborative bonds across borders have strengthened.

We will picture the primary meaning of the EMTC and set the goals for future achievements. Furthermore we will clarify the relevance and the role of a European music therapy register.