Mercedes Pavlicevic

It is with great sadness that we report the death of Mercedes Pavlicevic.  She died peacefully, after illness, in June 2018.  Mercedes was a member of the Research Committee of the Music Therapy Charity, previously was Director of Research at Nordoff-Robbins, London.  During a career dedicated to Music Therapy, Mercedes worked with children, adults and older people in a range of institutional and community settings in England, Scotland, South Africa and Lebanon.  She co-instituted South Africa's first accredited music therapy training programme and was Director of the Master in Music Therapy programme at the University of Pretoria until 2006.  Mercedes was author, co-author and editor of many key music therapy publications, and her enthusiasm, passion and expertise within the field of music therapy is greatly missed.

New Large Grant Offering

The Music Therapy Charity is delighted to announce that we are now inviting applications from institutions for funding of a PhD Fellowship in either music therapy and dementia or music therapy and early years.  See here for further details and application process:

New Small Research Grants Call



The Music Therapy Charity is currently inviting its next round of proposals from music therapists (including research students) to support research.  Grants may be made to help with such costs as part-time salary for fixed periods, academic or clinical supervision, and collection and analysis of data.

With a limited annual research budget (currently £15,000) we invite applications for small grants to go towards funding of projects, some of which are likely to be co-funded from other sources.  All arease of music therapy research will be considered.  To apply, please submit a concise summary of the project using the application form provided at

Typical grant sums awarded are up to £1,500.

The deadline for submissions is 31 July 2018 and funding outcomes will be communicated to applicants bythe end of September 2018.

Submissions should be sent by emailto:

Professor Ian Cross, Research Committee Chair, The Music Therapy Charity

MTC doubles its MA Bursary funding

The Governors of the MTC are delighted to announce that for the next academic year we are doubling the funding of MA Bursaries from £2,000 per music therapy school per year to £4,000.  This is in response to a demand from students who are finding it increasingly difficult to obtain funding.

MTC awards two new Small Grants

Following the December Call for Small Grant applications the MTC is pleased to announce that it has awarded 2 new grants:

Maya Sherwin who is researching "The role of traditional Amazonian songs as therapeutic tools in psychol-emotional healing: A phenomenological study of musical experiences during the ceremonial practice of traditional medicine at Takiwasi."

Irene Pujol Torras who is researching "The use of Group vocal improvisation in a mental health setting."

The Roundhouse Rising Festival

The Music Therapy Charity, together with BAMT (British Association for Music Therapy) will be hosting a stall at the Roundhouse Rising Festival on Saturday 3 March.  We look forward to seeing you there.

World Music Therapy Day

The Music Therapy Charity is proud to be supporting #WorldMusicDay today and to be funding vital research into music therapy.

BAMT Conference 2018 - Music, Diversity & Wholeness

BAMT Conference 2018

"Music, Diversity & Wholeness"

16-18 February 2018
The Barbican, London

See here for further details

What would life be - without a song or dance, what are we? - A report from the Commission on Dementia and Music

We are excited to be able to report that the International Longevity Centre - UK (ILC-UK) has published a report examining the existing landscape and future potential of using therapeutic music with people with dementia.

Here is a link to the Guardian article of 18/01/18 which itself includes a link to the full report.

World Music Therapy Day: 1 March

World Music Therapy Day is now to take place on 1 March each year from 1 March 2018.  See here for more information:

The World Federation of Music Therapy is working with Music Heals in Canada to prepare material for people to share on social media - more to follow on

Small Research Grants - Call for Proposals - December 2017

The Music Therapy Charity is currently inviting its next round of proposals from music therapists (including research students) to support research.  Grants may be made to help with such costs as part-time salary for fixed periods, academic or clinical supervision, and collection and analysis of data.

With a limited annual research budget (currently £15,000) we invite applications for small grants to go towards funding of projects, some of which are likely to be co-funded from other sources.  All areas of music therapy research will be considered.  To apply, please submit a concise summary of the project using the application form provided on the Small Grants - How to Apply page under the heading What We Fund.

Typical grant sums awarded are up to £1,500.  The deadline for submissions is 31 January 2018 and funding outcomes will be communicated to applicants by the end of March 2018.

Submissions should be sent by email to:

Professor Ian Cross
Research Committee Chair
The Music Therapy Charity

Music Matters - BBC Radio 3 Feature on Music Therapy and Mental Health

Here is a link to the  BBC Radio 3 broadcast on music therapy and mental health which was an initiative arising from research, partly funded by the MTC, carried out by Kate Jones, Head of Music Therapy, Lambeth and Anglia Ruskin PhD student.  The programme features Dr Catherine Carr, Governor of the MTC, talking about her research in acute hospitals and Kate Jones sharing her research on children with selective mutism.

Music Therapy and Selective Mutism - A Short BBC Film

New BBC documentary about music therapy and the importance of research in this field.  This was created by Kate Jones, a PhD student of one of the MTC Governors at Anglia Ruskin University, who also received an MTC small grant towards the cost of her PhD and works at Music Therapy Lambeth.

Click here to see the film: or, if no longer available on the BBC website go to

Dr Neta Spiro joins the Research Committee of the MTC

We are delighted to announce that Dr Neta Spiro has agreed to join the Research Committee of the Music Therapy Charity.

Dr Neta Spiro is Head of Research at Nordoff Robbins and teaches at the Faculty of Music, University of Cambridge.

Her research is driven by exploring how and why people participate in music as well as whether, how and why music helps people.  Her background is in music and cognitive sciences and her research has previously explored the relationships between music theory, performance and perception (at Royal Holloway, University of London); the perception of musical phrases in western classical music (during her PhD); and the use of music therapy in dementia care (at the North East London NHS Foundation Trust). 

In her music therapy research she is interested in exploring what happens in music therapy, how it is viewed by people who engage with it in different ways, and what the effects of music therapy are seen to be. She work with students on the Nordoff Robbins Master of Music Therapy and PhD courses and at the Faculty of Music, University of Cambridge.

MTC awards 4 new Small Grants

Following the December Call for Small Grant applications MTC is pleased to announce that 4 new grants to assist with costs involved in the following very interesting and valuable projects.  Results of the research will be published on our website in due course.

Phoene Cave: Singing for Lung Health - A creative study day to capture the patient experience of breathlessness and breath management in relation to Singing for Breathing.  This will inform further research into the mechanics of the breathing mechanism as used in supported singing.

Claire Flower: Music Therapy for Children and Parents in a Child Development Service:  A Qualitative Study of the Dynamics of Expertise.

John Strange: The Effect of Improvised Music on Intensive Interaction - Does improvised music as an adjunct to Intensive Interaction enhance the development of communicative interaction?

Giorgos Tsiris: Evaluating Nordoff Robbins music therapy services in the UK:  Exploring the applicability and transferability of impact areas.

Benjamin Zander, MTC Vice President receives standing ovation at Royal Festival Hall

MTC Governors attended a concert at the Royal Festival Hall on 18th March 2017 conducted by our Vice-President Benjamin Zander who had flown over from the States for this performance as well as recording. The programme consisted of an all Beethoven evening: The Coriolan Overture - Piano Concerto No.3 in C minor, soloist Mei Yi Foo, and Symphony No. 9 in D minor 'Choral'. The concert was a sell-out and Ben had a standing ovation at the end.

MTC Governor, Pauline appointed as new President Emeritus of NR International

The MTC Governors send their warmest congratulations to Pauline on her new role as President Emeritus of NR International.  Please click here to read the full article:

Lady Anne Badenoch

We are greatly saddened to hear that our Vice-President Lady (Anne) Badenoch died on 13 February 2017 aged 94.  She was a faithful Governor and supporter of MTC and we extend our heartfelt condolences to her family.

MTC appoints new Governors

We are delighted to welcome 2 new Governors to the Board: Professor Ian Cross and Valerie Vickery:

Ian teaches in the Faculty of Music at the University of Cambridge, where he is Professor and Director of the Centre for Music and Science, leading a lively group of graduate students and postdoctoral researchers in exploring music, its materials and its effects from a wide range of scientific perspectives.  His early research helped set the agenda for the study of music cognition;  he has since published widely in the field of music and science, from the psychoacoustics of violins to the evolutionary roots of musicality. His current research focuses on exploring relationships between speech and music as interactive media. He is a Fellow of Wolfson College, Cambridge, a classical guitarist, and a Trustee of SEMPRE, the Society for Research in Psychology of Music and Music Education.

Val has been involved with the charity for several years primarily co-creating and running events to raise funds.  Prior to this she worked within two London universities; firstly at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine and then King’s College, London.  Prior to that her experience was within the commercial sector working for British Petroleum.

Small Research Grants - Call for Proposals December 2016

The Music Therapy Charity is currently inviting its next round of proposals from music therapists (including research students and professionals) to support research.  Grants may be made to help with such costs as part-time salary for fixed periods, academic or clinical supervision, and collection and analysis of data.

With a limited annual research budget (currently £15,000) we invite applications for small grants to go towards funding of projects, some of which are likely to be co-funded from other sources.  All areas of music therapy research will be considered.  To apply, please submit a concise summary of the project, including:

- the estimated cost

- the duration

- how much funding is being sought from the charity

Typical grant sums awarded are up to £1,500.

The deadline for submissions is 31st January 2017.

Submissions should be sent by email to:

Professor Ian Cross, Research Committee Chair, The Music Therapy Charity

Sir Neville Marriner

We are greatly saddened to hear the news of the death of our President, the late Sir Neville Marriner, and extend our heartfelt condolences to his family.


British Association for Music Therapy


Saturday 8th October 2016, 1-5pm

See here for further details: /admin/kcfinder/upload/files/AGM%20Notice%202016.pdf

MTC awards 5 new "Small Grants"

Twice a year we invite proposals from music therapists/students seeking grants to support research eg to assist with part-time salary, academic or clinical supervision, and collection and analysis of data.  We are delighted to announce that following our May Call for applications we have now awarded 5 new grants of up to £1,500 to students involved in very interesting research projects ranging from the involvement of carers in music therapy to methods of music therapy for children with a history of abuse/neglect.  We wish them every success in their studies and look forward to receiving their reports at the end of their studies which will be published on our website.

Forensic Music Therapy Symposium

Dr Stella Compton Dickinson, a recent recipient in our small grants scheme has reported on the Forensic Music Therapy Symposium held at the 25th Annual Conference of the International Association for Forensic Psychotherapy (IAFP). The report is published by Approaches: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Music Therapy and can be read here:

Marathon runner raises funds for MTC

Many thanks Mari from us all at MTC.

Message from Mari:

Hello, I thought you would like to know that I finsihed the London
Marathon yesterday in 4:55:59 which I was very pleased with! I was
aiming to break 5 hours so that was a great achievement for me. It was
a fantastic occasion all round.

The JustGiving page has raised more than £700 for Music Therapy
Charity which is great. I got £80 in offline donations which I have
just paid to you via PayPal.

I've attached a picture of me at about 23.5 miles!

All the best


Feedback from Adolescent symposium, Edinburgh

Dear MTC Committee,

I am writing to thank you very much for supporting, by generously sponsoring, the III International Symposium of Music Therapy with Adolescents so generously at Queen Margaret University, Edinburgh in April. I attach a copy of the packed programme and three photographs from the day. 

The event was supported by Queen Margaret University and the Principal, Professor Petra Wend, welcomed everyone at the start.

It was an enormous success and many delegates wrote to thank us for hosting this event for MT in Scotland. As one delegate wrote, The symposium was fantastic - quite the best MT event I've ever attended - and I've taken away a mass of ideas, new perspectives, much inspiration and an extensive reading list!

Others wrote,

The energy and the sense of learning in the room were astonishing. 

It was such an insightful and engaging day.

Great variety of thought-provoking talks, and it was especially powerful to incorporate live performances and thoughts on music from adolescents. So impressive that you secured funding so that it was all free to attendees too! Very much appreciated.

I'm heading back to my school work this week full of inspiration

It was a milestone for music therapy in Scotland and I thank you so much for your support.    

Best wishes,


Dr.Philippa Derrington
Programme Leader and Senior Lecturer

Click below to see photos

Symposium speakers: /admin/kcfinder/upload/files/Symposium%20speakers.jpg

Petra Wend introducing symposium: /admin/kcfinder/upload/files/Petra%20Wend%20introducing%20symposium.jpg

Philippa Derrington thanking sponsors: /admin/kcfinder/upload/files/PD%20thanking%20sponsors.jpg

MT symposium programme: /admin/kcfinder/upload/files/MT%20symposium%20programme%20April%202016.pdf

MTC sponsors III International Symposium of Music Therapy with Adolescents

Adolescent Development and Music Therapy:

Dialogues in Action

Monday 11 April 2016, 9.30am - 4.30pm

Please see attached flyer for further details/admin/kcfinder/upload/files/Symposium%20flyer.pdf

Jazz Age at the Savoy - 10/03/16

A wonderful evening was had by all at 'Jazz Age at the Savoy' on March 10th 2016. In the evocative setting of the Cinema Museum, Kennington we were drawn into the heady world of cocktails and jazz by Alice Lascelles, journalist and James Pearson, pianist.

Music Therapy Charity Governor, Helen Odell-Miller OBE completed the experience with a fascinating insight into the measure of the work that music therapy can do, in so many spheres. Thank you to our performers and to everyone who supported the event!

Music Therapy in the news

As part of Music Therapy Week the Guardian published this excellent article featuring 'a day in the life of' Professor Helen Odell-Miller, a Governor of the Music Therapy Charity. Many thank to Helen for providing such a fascinating account of her work and drawing attention to the latest research findings for music therapy in dementia care. For details of the upcoming conference on the topic Sept 4 - 6 at Anglia Ruskin University, download Music therapy and dementia care in the 21st century.

Queen's Birthday Honour for MTC President

Many congratulations to our President Sir Neville Marriner on his appointment as a Companion of Honour in the Queen's Birthday Honours list.

Music Therapy Week, 22 - 28 June 2015

Professional body urges increase in provision of music therapy for dementia 

 David's story - 'I feel more alive and happy after each session' 

 Music Therapy Week 22 - 28 June - highlights

This year’s Music Therapy Week is focusing on the valuable role music therapy has to play in supporting people with dementia and those who care for them. Leading research has shown that music therapy can significantly improve and support the mood, alertness and engagement of people with dementia, can reduce the use of medication, as well as helping to manage and reduce agitation, isolation, depression and anxiety, overall supporting a better quality of life (Ridder et al, 2013). Music therapy can help people at all stages in their journey with dementia to enrich life and tap into the resources that people with dementia still have.

81-year-old David Jacques was diagnosed with both vascular dementia and Alzheimer’s disease four years ago. He has progressive short-term memory loss, experiences difficulty organizing his time and sometimes gets lost.

‘David came to his first music therapy session armed with books of folk songs and opera,’ recalls Pemma Spencer-Chapman, a music therapist at the Guideposts Trust Music Therapy Service in Oxfordshire. 'This was unusual,' she says, 'as most clients don't have any musical training. If I played or sang the melody, David could hold the tune. He sang the melodies increasingly from memory and marveled at his brain’s ability to remember them’. The brain remembers emotional experiences more easily than facts, and the emotional nature of music helps these memories come to the fore.

But it wasn’t until Pemma suggested to David to improvise with his voice while she accompanied him that a real breakthrough was made, ‘to my surprise, David sang not just a melody but words as well. Words and melody have come to him hand in hand,’ Pemma says. ‘He is surprised, pleased and empowered and I feel his identity has been strengthened in a different way, by being at the heart of the improvisation.’

‘I feel more alive and happy after each session’, David.

David’s wife, Penny, says music therapy is now the high spot of David’s week. ‘I wish that this form of therapy could be available on the NHS for everyone with dementia as it is clearly so beneficial.’

Prof. Martin Green OBE, Chief Executive of Care England – the leading representative body for independent care services in England, states, ‘Music therapy is intrinsic to enriching the quality of life for those with dementia. Recent research demonstrates the significant role it has to play in supporting a better quality of life, and that is because music taps into the resources that people with dementia still have, enabling them to maintain connections with loved ones and the world around them. But, the impact is wider reaching. Carers also see the impact that music therapy can have and thus helps them to better understand the people they are caring for, providing a higher quality of care.’

Over 800,000 people live with dementia in Britain and this is expected to increase to 2 million by 2050. Currently, provision of music therapy for people with dementia is uneven across the UK and those diagnosed are often not able to access it when they need to. Pemma is one of over 800 HCPC state registered music therapists who use the unique non-verbal properties of music to support people at all stages of their lives – from helping new born babies develop healthy bonds with their parents, to offering vital, sensitive and compassionate palliative care at the end of life.

Donald Wetherick, Chair of Trustees, says, ‘The British Association for Music Therapy is committed to ensuring that music therapy is available to all those who can benefit. This Music Therapy Week we are focusing on people with dementia and their families. Dementia care is a growing healthcare need – it is also an area where music therapist’s skills are being shown to be effective and valued. We want to see the enormous potential for music therapy in this field being realized, for the benefit of all those affected by dementia.’

Events for Music Therapy Week are taking place throughout the week from Shetland down to Truro including a parliamentary roundtable discussion sponsored by MPs Tracey Crouch and Debbie Abrahams, taster music therapy sessions, open days, exhibitions, and live improvisational gatherings.

Highlights include:

·      An open community group meeting for people with dementia, their families and carers, and improvisational session and welcoming back of puffins at Simbugh Lighthouse, Shetland, Tuesday 23 June

·     Open morning at the Royal Hospital for Neuro-disability, Putney, London, Wednesday 24 June

·      Roundtable parliamentary discussion, ‘Music therapy and dementia: enriching life when it is needed most’, Portcullis House, Victoria Embankment, Thursday 25 June

·   Cornish church tower bells will peal for Music Therapy Week, Saturday 27 June

·    A week of instrument making, concerts and tea parties for the children and families at Rainbows Hospice in Loughborough, All week.

Find out more about what’s happening during Music Therapy Week 2015, view our MTW2015 Events Map.

To find out how you can get involved, please visit and support the campaign online at Facebook and Twitter using @musictherapyuk #MTW2015 #musictherapyuk

With thanks for permission to reproduce material from BAMT Press Release 19 June 2015

St Thomas More School pupils raise funds

A huge thanks to the staff and pupils of St Thomas More School, Buxton for your generous donation following the whole school Talent Show held by the GCSE Music Group during Lent, 2014. Particular thanks to Charlie Denton, a past pupil, who was extremely proactive in the organisation of the event and who suggested raising money for The Music Therapy Charity (MTC).

In the photo is Will Cruddace, Head Boy, Catherine Carr, Governor of the MTC and Niamh Macnamara, Head Girl of St Thomas More School.

Thank you and congratulations to a school with such talented pupils!!

New Exhibition at Barbican Music Library

'Music Therapy - The Art and Science' is on exhibition at the Barbican Music Library until 31st October 2014.

As part of the City of London’s Culture, Heritage & Libraries series, the Barbican Music Library is hosting a free exhibition by the British Association for Music Therapy.

‘Music Therapy – the Art and Science’ presents a visual history of music therapy, with original documents, music scores, letters and influential publications that plot the development of music therapy in the UK.

Richard Jones, from the Barbican Music Library said, “We are delighted to be hosting this fascinating exhibition which will help to raise the profile of a unique form of treatment which has the potential to transform lives. Public libraries play a vital role in promoting the health and well-being agenda, and so we welcome this valued opportunity to collaborate with the leading body for music therapy in the UK.”

Drawing on the rich experiences of music therapists and service users, their families and carers, the exhibition is a fantastic opportunity to learn about music therapy and understand the impact it has on our lives.

Vinnie French, father of a young autistic boy, described his son’s experiences of music therapy as life-changing and the most successful intervention he had access to in supporting his development.

 “Accessing music therapy for Taylor has been a life-changing experience not just for him, but for me too. Music therapy has been by far the most positive and successful intervention he has been involved in. Within ten months of these sessions his eye contact, interaction and his communication and emotional wellbeing all improved significantly. I even heard his first words during a music therapy session.”

Donald Wetherick, Chair of the British Association for Music Therapy said the exhibition demonstrates powerfully the role music therapists play in supporting some of the most vulnerable people in our society every day.

 “Our brains respond in a very particular way to music. Its unique non-verbal properties mean that music therapy can transform the lives of people who, because of injury, disability or illness, have great difficulty communicating verbally.”

Prof. Leslie Bunt MBE, professor in Music Therapy at the University of the West of England said the exhibition also clearly demonstrates the development of music therapy within the UK.

 “Music therapy is increasingly being accepted as a recognised profession and discipline for working with children and adults across the lifespan. It is a creative career choice for musicians wishing to explore the scientific and artistic processes at the root of music to support health and wellbeing.”

The exhibition opened on Wednesday 3 September and runs until Friday 31 October 2014.

Special Award for MTC President

Many congratulations, once again to our President, Sir Neville Marriner. At the 2014 Gramophone Awards, Sir Neville was honoured with an Outstanding Achievement Award in recognition of his prolific recording career.

For more details see

Congratulations to MTC President, Sir Neville Marriner on his 90th birthday celebrations!

From all of us at The Music Therapy Charity, warmest congratulations to Sir Neville Marriner on your extraordinary and wonderful achievements! We look forward to hearing and seeing the continuing celebrations in the lead up to your 90th birthday. Thank you for your support as our President.

Celebration of the life of Sir John Tavener helps old and young in need

Music therapy in dementia care and heart surgery for children advanced by concert proceeds.

In January 2014, the Music Therapy Charity sponsored a concert in celebration of the life of Sir John Tavener at St John Smith Square, London. The performance by the English Chamber Singers and the Orchestra of St John’s was conducted by Martin Neary and soloists included Patricia Rozario soprano, Ann de Renais soprano and Josephine Knight cello.

The concert included some of Tavener’s best known works, The Lamb and Song for Athene (performed at Princess Diana's funeral), and the UK première of Miroirs des Poèmes for choir and strings.

The concert was introduced by the Bishop of London, The Rt Revd & Rt Hon Richard Chartres DD KCVO and proceeds were shared by the Music Therapy Charity Dementia Research Project and Chain of Hope, a charity started by Sir John's heart surgeon, Magdi Jacoub. Omar Sharif, a fellow Egyptian and Patron of Chain of Hope, supported the concert and appeared delighted to be photographed with Governors of the Music Therapy Charity. 

See our Gallery for more photos of the pre-concert reception.








Omar Sharif, Lady Caroline Borg and Susan Waldman

Music Therapy Charity sponsors lecture to open BAMT Conference

Professors Helen Odell-Miller and Cheryl Dileo at the first conference of the British Association for Music Therapy.

The conference was opened by a fanfare in memory of Tony Wigram, one of the country's most eminent and influential music therapists. The piece was composed by music therapist, Gordon Thornett and is full of musical references familiar to the Wigram family. 

This was followed by the Tony Wigram Music Therapy Charity Reseach Fellow Lecture given by Professor Cheryl Dileo, Carnell Professor of Music Therapy, Temple University, Philadelphia.

"How can you mend a broken heart? Music therapy and cardiac disease: an exploration of medical and psychological phenomena."