Dr Amelia Oldfield

Professor of Music Therapy

Faculty:Faculty of Arts, Law & Social Sciences

Department:Department of Music and Performing Arts

Location: Cambridge

Areas of Expertise: Music therapy

Courses taught: Music Therapy

Amelia has worked as a clinical music therapist in Cambridge for the past 34 years. She currently divides her time between clinical work with children and families, plus music therapy teaching and research.

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amelia.oldfield@anglia.ac.uk

Background

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In 1994, Amelia co-initiated the two-year MA Music Therapy course at Anglia Ruskin University. She gives weekly music therapy lectures and workshops on her special areas of clinical expertise which include autism, developmental difficulties, child psychiatry, working with families and diagnostic assessments. She also teaches single line clinical improvisation and is particularly interested in encouraging students to use orchestral instruments in their music therapy work.

Amelia has completed four music therapy research investigations. In December 2012 she organised a successful, two-day conference at Anglia Ruskin University, during which 50 speakers from across the world presented papers and workshops. She has also published numerous articles and six books, two of which focus on her specialised music therapy approach with children and their families which she developed through clinical practice and research.

As co-editor of two recent books, Amelia has encouraged and supported other music therapists to write about clinical approaches with families and working in schools. Two of her books have been translated into other languages including Russian, Greek, Japanese and French. Amelia is regularly asked to present her work both in the UK and abroad and has been invited to give 13 keynote speeches at music therapy conferences.

Research interests

  • Music therapy and families
  • Music therapy with children with autism
  • The use of orchestral instruments in music therapy
  • Diagnostic music therapy
  • Combining music therapy and drama therapy techniques

Areas of research supervision

  • Currently supervises five music therapy PhD students (three as first supervisor and two as second supervisor)
  • 2009 and 2012: external examiner for two PhD Elaborate proposals at Aalborg University, Denmark
  • November 2010: examined a PhD student at Roehampton University, (as principal examiner). Candidate was successful
  • 2012 and 2013: external examiner for two Masters Exegesis for the Master of Music Therapy Programme in Wellington, New Zealand
  • May 2013: examined a PhD student at Jyväskylä University, Finland (as principal examiner). Candidate was successful
  • 2010–2014: research consultant for a three-year music therapy research investigation in Northern Ireland in partnership with Queen’s University Belfast, which has received a £100,000 grant from the Big Lottery Research Fund

Qualifications

  • PhD Music Therapy, Anglia Ruskin University
  • MPhil Music Therapy, City University, London
  • Licentiate of the Guildhall School of Music and Drama (music therapy)

Memberships, editorial boards

  • Registered with the Health Care Professions Council (HCPC)
  • Member of the Advisory Editorial Panel of the British Journal of Music Therapy from 1990 onwards
  • Member of the Editorial Board for the Australian Journal of Music Therapy from 2009 onwards

Research grants, consultancy, knowledge exchange

  • Chairperson of the Association of Professional Music Therapists in 1987 and 1988
  • Between 2000 and 2002, on the Scientific Committee to prepare the 10th World Music Therapy Conference held in Oxford in 2002
  • March 2011–ongoing: on the Advisory Panel for Sing and Grow UK, which became CHROMA in 2014
  • Spring and summer 2013: on the Scientific Committee to prepare the Congrès International de Haut Niveau: Autismes et Musicothérapie; Réflections humanistes et scientifiques, Corse, France
  • 2013/2014 invited onto the Scientific Committee to prepare the British Association of Music Therapy National Conference to be held in Birmingham in February 2014
  • Since 2010: visiting professor for music therapy training course at the Fachhochschule in Würzburg, Germany (one or two visits every two years, teaching in German)
  • Since 2009: visiting professor for music therapy training course at the Université de Montpellier, France  (one or two weeks a year, teaching in French)

Awards

  • Video: Oldfield, A., Macdonald, R. and Nudds, J., 1999. Training as a Music Therapist: the MA in Music Therapy at APU. Received a Commendation from the Royal Television Society, East Anglia, Non-Broadcast Video of the Year 1999-2000 Award
  • Video: Oldfield, A. and Nudds, J., 2002. Joshua and Barry – Music Therapy with a Partially Sighted Little Boy with Cerebral Palsy. Winner of the Royal Television Society, East Anglia, Non-Broadcast Video of the Year 2002-03 Award
  • May 2011, the CIMTR Canadian International Music Therapy Research Centre Award for Outstanding International Music Therapy Research from the Wilfrid Laurier University, Waterloo, Ontario Canada
  • July 2014, the Clinical Impact Award from the World Federation of Music Therapists

Selected recent publications

Oldfield, A., Bell, K., and Poole, J.A., 2012. Three Families and Three Music therapists; Reflections on Short-term Music Therapy in Child and Family Psychiatry. Nordic Journal of Music Therapy, 21(3), pp.250-267.

Oldfield, A., 2011. Exploring Issues of Control through Interactive Improvised Music Making. In: Meadows, T. (Ed.). Developments in Music Therapy Practice: Case Examples. USA: Barcellona Publishers, pp.104-118.

Oldfield, A., 2011. Parents' Perceptions of Being in Music Therapy with their Children. In: Edwards, J. (Ed.). Music in Parent-Infant Programmes. Oxford: Oxford University Press, pp.58-72.

Haire, N. and Oldfield, A., 2009. Adding Humour to the Music Therapist's tool-kit: Reflections on its Role in Child Psychiatry. British Journal of Music Therapy, 23(1), pp.27-34.

Oldfield, A., 2008. Supervision of Music Therapists Working with Children in Schools. In: Odell-Miller, H. and Richards, E. (Eds.). Supervision of Music Therapy. Rutledge, pp.135-151.

Oldfield, A. and Franke, C., 2005. Improvised Songs and Stories in Music Therapy Diagnostic Assessments at a Unit for Child and Family Psychiatry - A Music Therapist's and a Psychotherapist's Perspective. In: Wigram, T. and Baker, F. (Eds). Songwriting, Methods, Techniques and Clinical Applications for Music Therapy Clinicians, Educators and Students. London: Jessica Kingsley Publishers, pp.24-44.

Tomlinson, J., Derrington, P. and Oldfield, A., 2012. Music Therapy in Schools: Working with Children of all Ages in Mainstream and Special Education. London: Jessica Kingsley Publishers.

Holmes, J., Oldfield, A. and Polichroniadis, M., 2011. Creating Change for Complex Children and their Families; A Multi-Disciplinary Approach to Multi-Family Work. London: Jessica Kingsley Publishers.

Oldfield, A. and Flower, C. (Eds)., 2008. Music Therapy with Children and their Families. London: Jessica Kingsley Publishers. Korean translation was published in 2013.

Oldfield, A., 2006a. Interactive Music Therapy, A Positive Approach - Music Therapy at a Child Development Centre. London: Jessica Kingsley Publishers. French translation published by l'Harmatan in 2012.

Oldfield, A., 2006b. Interactive Music Therapy in Child and Family Psychiatry - Clinical practice, research and teaching. London: Jessica Kingsley Publishers.

Bean, J. and Oldfield, A., 1991. Pied Piper - Musical Activities to Develop Basic Skills. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. This book was re-printed by Jessica Kingsley Publishers in 2001. It has been translated into Russian (two editions), Japanese and Greek.

Oldfield, A. and Franke C., 2005. Improvised Songs and Stories in Music Therapy Diagnostic Assessments at a Unit for Child and Family Psychiatry - A Music Therapist's and a Psychotherapist's Perspective. In: Wigram, T. and Baker, F. (Eds.). Songwriting, Methods, Techniques and Clinical Applications for Music Therapy Clinicians, Educators and Students. London: Jessica Kingsley Publishers, pp.24-44.

Recent presentations and conferences

Oldfield, A., 2012. Musicothérapie: un espace de rencontre avec le sujet en souffrance (presented in French). Troisiemes Assises du Médico-social, Intitutions et Créativité, November 2012, Nîmes, France.

Olfield, A., 2012 (keynote). Musiktherapie für das Kind und seine Familie Warum? (presented in German). Erste Würzburger Tagund zur Musiktherapie bei Behinderung und Demenz, September 2012, Würzburg, Germany.

Oldfield, A., 2012. Music Therapy with Pre-School Children with Autistic Spectrum Disorder and their Families: Investigating Clinical Practice. International Centre for Research in Arts Therapies (ICRA) Conference, July 2012, Conway Hall, London.

Olfield, A., 2012 (keynote). Musicothérapie Espace d'Expression Émotionnelle (presented in French), February 2012, Public Presentation at the University of Montpellier (Paul Valery).

Oldfield, A., 2011 (keynote). Play and Humour in Music Therapy with Children and their Families. Music Therapy: the Power of Play, Key Changes Music Therapy, annual conference, March 2011. 

Oldfield, A., 2010. Breaking communication barriers. TEDx Mediterranean, October 2010, Cannes, France.