Preview Mode Links will not work in preview mode

Music Therapy Conversations

Jul 17, 2019

In episode 28, Luke talks to Simon Procter.

Simon works for Nordoff Robbins, based in London, as its Director of Music Services responsible for oversight of its education, research and public affairs activities. 

Simon is a pianist, accompanist and improviser who trained as a music therapist with Nordoff Robbins in London from 1995 to 1997. He has since worked in a wide range of settings, most recently within adult mental health services, as well as in the training of music therapists. His commitment to the Nordoff Robbins approach stems from his own experience of music as fundamental to what it is to be fully human. As part of the sociology of the arts group led by Professor Tia DeNora at the University of Exeter, his PhD project was an ethnography of music therapy within a community mental health setting.

As a practitioner, he views music as a potent force for social action as well as for the fulfilment of personal potential. As a researcher, he is an ethnographer committed to attention to the detail of the apparently mundane, in musical interaction as in life more generally: this means attending to the nitty-gritty detail of the work people do when they make music together in order to learn about the musical dimensions of health and wellbeing and in particular the craft skills required of music therapists so that their work can be as useful as possible. Similarly, as a trainer he emphasises the importance of developing acute musical-personal awareness coupled with practical musical means not just of responding to people but of actively and imaginatively helping them to flourish.

Luke and Simon talk about the craft of music therapy, differing theoretical stances, how musical cultural background relates to the work, and whether Simon is, as Gary Ansdell claims, a 'contrarian'.