1st Edition

Contemporary Issues in Music Therapy Training A Resource for Trainees, Trainers and Practitioners

By Tessa Watson, Catherine Warner Copyright 2025
    192 Pages 1 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    192 Pages 1 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    Contemporary Issues in Music Therapy Training introduces approaches, practices and dilemmas in contemporary learning and teaching of music therapy with a focus on experiential learning, reflective practice and inclusion.


    The book starts by setting out the pedagogical context for music therapy training, weaving together trainers’ views with pedagogical theory and drawing in contemporary themes essential to music therapy education. This context leads to a detailed focus on the experience of music in training, work-based learning and the trainee experience. The final chapters consider the broader developing role of the music therapist beyond the work in the therapy room, presenting individual career case studies. Contemporary issues of pedagogy, diversity and sustainability are also thoroughly explored throughout. Drawing upon the voices of recent graduates, trainers and practice educators, this book is steeped in lived experience and practice.


    The book will be of interest to current and future trainees, practitioners, placement educators and trainers of music therapy. It will also be relevant to readers across the fields of education, healthcare, and social work.

    1. Learning and Teaching in Music Therapy Training  2. Theories and Approaches for Music Therapy Training  3. A Historical Context for Music Therapy Training  4. Music in Training  5. Work-Based Learning  6. The Student Experience; Diverse Perspectives  7. The Reflective Practitioner  8. The Career of a Music Therapist  9. The Broader Role of the Music Therapist: Career Case Studies  10. Coda: The future


    Tessa Watson is a music therapy clinician, educator, cellist, and vocalist currently working at University of Roehampton as Associate Professor and Programme Leader for the MA Music Therapy. Experienced in mental health and learning disability work her current clinical work is with the Alexander Devine Children’s Hospice Service.


    Dr Cathy Warner is a music therapist, educator, cellist and music therapy researcher. She is co-programme leader for the MA Music Therapy at the University of the West of England and Chair of the Training and Education Committee for the British Association of Music Therapy.

    "This book is important, timely, and a very good read. The prominence given to the voices of trainees, trainers, and practitioners, ensures the book is firmly grounded in experience, and highly relevant to all interested in music therapy training."

    Claire Flower, PhD, Chelsea and Westminster Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, London.

    "The importance of learning to learn – and of training the trainers – is thoroughly unfolded in this excellent book: Contemporary Issues in Music Therapy Training: A resource for trainees, trainers and practitioners. With a focus on practice in the UK, international professionals will also benefit from its valuable and reflective insights."

    Professor Dr Hanne Mette Ridder, Aalborg University, Denmark


    "The experienced authors of Contemporary Issues in Music Therapy Training are deeply practical and critically intelligent about engaging with the challenges of broadening the accessibility and diversity of music (and arts) therapy in training.  Striking stories of learning and teaching and career paths of music therapists are woven elegantly throughout the book. An international resource for the future,  and highly recommended for students, professionals and employers in arts therapies, health and education."

    Associate Professor Sarah Hoskyns, PhD, Te Kōkī, New Zealand School of Music, Te Herenga Waka, Victoria University of Wellington, Aotearoa New Zealand

    "This book is a rare find. Very few books offer such thoughtful guidance for teachers and educators of music therapy clinicians. This book is a vital contribution to professional excellence in our field and to all those interested in improving their practice."

    Professor Hilary Moss, University of Limerick, Ireland

    "Based on multiple perspectives, the information in this UK-based book includes learning and teaching music therapy, developing music skills, clinical placement and reflective practice throughout the career of a music therapist. Thoughtful reading for all entering or teaching in the music therapy profession."

    Professor Karen Goodman, PhD, Montclair, New Jersey, USA