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Music Therapy Conversations

Sep 19, 2023

Beth Pickard is a Senior Lecturer, Researcher and PhD Supervisor at the University of South Wales. Her music therapy teaching and practice is heavily informed by her research in Critical Disability Studies. Beth’s research explores how disability is socially constructed, interpreted and represented across disciplines and pedagogy. Beth is a passionate ally, activist and advocate of social justice and anti-oppressive practice. She is also currently a consultant for the National Music Service for Wales on developing access to musical opportunities for children and young people with additional learning needs, a researcher for Live Music Now across a range of projects informed by the Sounds of Intent framework and an evaluator for The Amber Trust's portfolio of inclusive music schemes. Beth is currently involved in a research project with Hilary Davies about the lived experiences of disabled music therapists in the UK, and with counselling psychologist Rachel Davies about service user engagement in curriculum development processes.

Luke spoke to Beth in person at USW, Newport, in July 2023. 


Low, M. Y. et al., (2023), 'Exploring the Lived Experiences of Young Autistic Adults in Nordoff-Robbins Music Therapy: An Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis', Nordic Journal of Music Therapy, 32(4), p. 341-364.

Pickard, B. (2022), ‘The Importance of Collaboration: Valuing the Expertise of Disabled People Through Social Confluence’ in King, H. (Ed), Developing Expertise for Teaching in Higher Education: Practical Ideas for Professional Learning and Development, SEDA / Routledge. pp. 69-84.

Pickard, B. (2022), 'Anti-Oppressive Pedagogy as an Opportunity for Consciousness Raising in the Music Therapy Profession: A Critical Disability Studies Perspective', British Journal of Music Therapy, Special Issue: Equality, Diversity, Inclusion and Belonging. 36(1), p. 5-15.

Pickard, B. (2020), 'Challenging Deficit Based Discourse in Higher Education Through a Social Connection Model of Disability: A Critical Disability Studies Perspective', PhD by Portfolio, University of South Wales, Available at

Pickard, B. (2020), ‘A Critical Reflection on the HCPC Standards of Proficiency for Arts Therapists: A Critical Disability Studies Perspective’, British Journal of Music Therapy, 34(2), p. 82-94,

Young, I. M. (2006), ‘Responsibility and Global Justice: A Social Connection Model’, Social Philosophy and Policy, 23(1), p. 102-130. 

Young, I. M. (1990), Justice and the Politics of Difference, New Jersey: Princeton University Press.