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Music Therapy Takes Centre Stage at QMU

Posted: 4th April 2016

Young musicians, researchers and practitioners from around the world will come together in Edinburgh to look at how music therapy can be used to help teenagers.

Queen Margaret University, (QMU) will host an international symposium ‘Adolescent Development and Music Therapy: Dialogues in Action’ on 11th April.

Guest speakers are travelling from Australia, Finland, Norway, Germany, England and Scotland to contribute to the event which is the first music therapy symposium to be held at QMU. The symposium will provide a melting pot for creative ideas and best practice and will help practitioners identify how this important therapy can be best used to help teenagers.

Dr Philippa Derrington, Programme Leader of the MSc Music Therapy at QMU, is delighted to welcome her colleagues in the field to join in the first event of its kind in the UK.

She explained: “Music therapy offers young people a safe space and an accessible and creative way to work through difficult feelings. Young people experiencing social, emotional and behavioural difficulties are often misrepresented and frequently misunderstood. However, there is increasing research evidence to show that young people want to use song-writing, rap for example, and play music to express themselves. It is a relevant and effective way for young people to become more self-aware, confident and find new ways of relating to others.”

She continued: “I hope that the event will offer an exciting opportunity for music therapists to share ideas and for other professionals to learn how music therapy can be used to help the young people that they work with. This is a free event and is open to all, thanks to the generous sponsorship and collaboration between Queen Margaret University, The Music Therapy Charity and ELJAM (East Lothian Youth Music Forum).

Dr Fiona Coutts, Dean of Health Sciences at QMU, said: “This kind of international exposure for music therapy at QMU is unprecedented and is vital in enriching the student experience, developing current practice and promoting research. It is also an excellent example of QMU’s work in improving quality of life and becoming renowned as a university of ideas and influence. ”

‘Adolescent Development and Music Therapy: Dialogues in Action’ will take place at QMU on Monday 11th April from 9.30 –18:00.

For more information about the event visit

For further information about music therapy visit:

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