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Music Therapy Conversations

Jun 12, 2019

In Episode 27, Luke talks to free improvising trombone player, educator and music therapist Sarah Gail Brand.

Born in London in 1971, Sarah Gail Brand began playing the trombone in 1979 and qualified as a Music Therapist in 2001. Since qualifying, she has worked in special needs education and adult psychiatric and learning disability services in the NHS and currently runs a private music therapy practice.

Sarah is a professor of Improvisation at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, London, where she trains music therapists on the MA Music Therapy programme and teaches in the Dept. of Jazz Studies. Sarah also lectures at Canterbury Christ Church University on Music, Health and Well Being.

Described by The Wire magazine as ‘the most exciting trombone player for years’, Sarah has performed on the international Jazz and Improvised Music scene for over 25 years. Sarah has recorded for many artists and has released 5 records under her own name. Sarah also works as a session player and brass arranger. As well as collaborating with musicians, Sarah has worked with a variety of performers including writer and comedian Stewart Lee.

Sarah is in the final year of her PhD at Canterbury Christ Church University, where she has undertaken practice-based research on the impact of ensemble interrelationships in performances of Improvised Music. 

For more info:


Bailey, D. (1980). Musical improvisation: its nature and practice in music. Prentice-Hall.

Bruscia, K. (1987) Improvisational Models of Music Therapy. Springfield Publishers.

Toop, D. (2016). Into the Maelstrom: Music, Improvisation and the Dream of Freedom: Before 1970. Bloomsbury Publishing USA.