Following my piano studies at the Nordwestdeutsche Musikakademie, Germany, I earned a postgraduate diploma in music therapy from the Nordoff-Robbins Music Therapy Center in London, England. I received a PhD from City University, London in 1992.
I have extensive clinical and supervisory experience and have specialized in the areas of HIV/AIDS and palliative care. My recent developing sessions with the Penderecki String Quartet has taken my work into the new field of music therapy with musicians.
I have given improvised concerts based on my experiences as a music therapist and have presented at conferences and taught in Europe, North America and Asia.
Before leaving the U.K., I established the Towersey Foundation, a charity that promotes and creates positions for music therapy in palliative care.
I am currently the coordinator of the undergraduate music therapy program.
My research has focused on the musicological potential for music therapy, looking at links between the micro/musical analysis of improvisation and its potential understanding for therapeutic outcome. This work culminated in developing the music-centered theory of Aesthetic Music Therapy (AeMT).
I believe that every student brings their own unique contribution and creative gifts to their learning and eventual entry into the field of music therapy. As music therapists, we take a moral responsibility to understand the unique needs of clients and then provide the finest quality music we can to fulfill these needs. My developing theory of aesthetic music therapy promotes the view that music itself is the core of the therapeutic process. The inspiration of and quality of music making is paramount and the emotional truths created through clinical composition and improvisation provides a space for clients to discover their full potential. Laurier is unique as it is the only music therapy program in Canada that offers an undergraduate and graduate degree as well as an internationally recognized research centre. At Laurier, research and practice go hand-in-hand to provide one of the most innovative and established academic centers in Canada.
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