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Music Therapy Conversations

Feb 13, 2019

Episode 23 is all about therapeutic songwriting. Luke speaks to Jane Lings and Bob Heath.

Jane Lings works freelance as a music therapist, supervisor, and educator. She has extensive clinical experience in palliative and bereavement care having worked for 15 years in an adult hospice. She has worked in many different clinical areas with children and adults, most recently a successful music therapy pilot project in a women’s prison. She was Senior Lecturer at UWE on the MA music therapy for 14 years and continues as associate lecturer. She is involved in lecturing and running workshops in many contexts
including medical humanities. She runs a community choir and is involved in a regular music session for ex-offenders.

Bob Heath has worked extensively in Palliative and Bereavement care both as a clinician and a lecturer/teacher and also has many years of experience working in Mental Health and Special Educational settings. He has published work in various books and journals and continues to work as a therapist and supervisor in End of Life Care, Community Mental Health and private practice. Bob has presented his work at a wide range of events including The Hay
Literature Festival and Medicine Unboxed and continues to offer and facilitate training courses and workshops for therapists and health care practitioners.

Over the last 15 years Bob and Jane have worked together to help promote the use of therapeutic songwriting in music therapy practice. They continue to develop and offer a range of workshops in the UK and Europe and have recently delivered the UK’s first academic therapeutic songwriting module at The University of The West of England.

Luke speaks to Jane and Bob about their approach to therapeutic songwriting, including their own processes of incorporating these techniques into their music therapy practice. Why did this seem, initially, an unusual, even controversial, way of working, and why does songwriting continue to be somewhat neglected in music therapy practice?