Preview Mode Links will not work in preview mode

Music Therapy Conversations

Apr 17, 2019

Philippa Derrington leads the MSc Music Therapy course and is a Senior Lecturer within the Division of Occupational Therapy and Arts Therapies at Queen Margaret University in Edinburgh. She is one of the editors of the British Journal of Music Therapy, and passionate about promoting and developing the music therapy profession through research, practice and teaching.

In this interview, Philippa talks about her music therapy work with adolescents at a social inclusion centre, attached to a mainstream secondary school. Although the work was primarily with young people in the centre, which became The Centre School in 2009 – a school for young people with social, emotional and mental health needs – she developed provision to a full time music therapy post and worked with students across both the mainstream and special schools. Press coverage of this work featured in The Times Educational Supplement and The Guardian.

Philippa also talks about her PhD at Anglia Ruskin University, which set out to investigate the effectiveness of music therapy for young people at risk of underachievement or exclusion, and hereby acknowledges the support and enthusiasm of her supervisors, Amelia Oldfield, Tony Wigram and Helen Odell-Miller, as well as The Music Therapy Charity who funded the three-year study.

Philippa continues to practise as a music therapist in a school for young people with complex social emotional and behavioural needs and since moving to Edinburgh in 2013, has led the MSc Music Therapy course through some major changes. Together with the Head of Division, Brendan McCormack, who is internationally recognised for his person-centred practice development and particular interest in the use of arts and creativity in healthcare research and development, Philippa is incredibly excited about the interdisciplinary potential within the School of Health Sciences and furthering new research opportunities for Music Therapy at QMU.



McFerran, K. Derrington, P. and Saarikallio, S. eds. (2019). Handbook of Music, Adolescents, and Wellbeing. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Tomlinson, J. Derrington, P. and Oldfield, A. eds. (2012). Music Therapy in Schools: Working with children of all ages in mainstream and special education. London: Jessica Kingsley Publishers.