Honour for long-serving music therapist

Published: 28 July 2014 at 08:54

Professor Amelia Oldfield collects her award

Impact of Professor Oldfield's 34-year career recognised by international body

An academic from Anglia Ruskin University has become the first ever recipient of the World Federation of Music Therapists' Clinical Impact Award.

Amelia Oldfield, Professor of Music Therapy, was presented with the honour during the opening ceremony of the 14th World Congress of Music Therapy earlier this month.

The conference, held in Krems, Austria, was attended by over 1,000 music therapists and students from 46 different countries, and Professor Oldfield received the award for her 'long-term impact on advancing the knowledge and practice of music therapy'.

Professor Oldfield has worked continuously as a clinical music therapist for the past 34 years and helped to set up the world-leading Masters in Music Therapy at Anglia Ruskin in 1994.

In addition to her role at Anglia Ruskin, Professor Oldfield works three days a week at the Croft Child and Family Unit, which is part of the Cambridge and Peterborough NHS Foundation Trust. As a member of the multi-disciplinary team, she assesses and treats young children with a wide range of developmental and emotional difficulties, and will often work jointly with the children and their families.

Professor Oldfield said: "Improvising live music on the clarinet, the piano, voice or percussion to enable children and families to interact and communicate, and perhaps to gain confidence or to begin to feel better about themselves, is an unbelievably rewarding and fulfilling experience.

"I have also conducted four music therapy research investigations, have written and edited books, produced training videos, and thoroughly enjoy my role teaching the next generation of music therapists on the MA course at Anglia Ruskin.

"All these activities have been exciting and stimulating, but the clinical work remains at the core of everything I do, and a week doesn't go by without me coming out of a music therapy session, once again elated and enthused by how much can be achieved through interactive live music making."