International experts will discuss benefits of music therapy

Published: 23 March 2017 at 15:32

Head shot of Professor Helen Odell-Miller

Anglia Ruskin University event will showcase latest research in areas of health and social care

Untitled PageLeading experts will meet in Cambridge on Friday (24 March) to discuss the benefits of introducing music therapy in a range of health and social care environments.

The International Consortium for Music Therapy Research Symposium is hosted by Anglia Ruskin University, in collaboration with the University of Cambridge, and will see academics and practitioners from across the world meet with leading figures from NHS England and Clinical Commissioning Groups.  

Helen Odell-Miller OBE, Professor Music Therapy at Anglia Ruskin, said: 


“The aim of the symposium is to show the range of areas that could potentially benefit from music therapy. 

“We will be discussing and presenting the latest research for people with a variety of needs ranging from mental health to physical disabilities. Examples of music therapy in practice, and most recent significant research will be presented, in discussion with managers, policy makers and commissioners so they can see the real-world benefits and hopefully prioritise funds.”


This summer Anglia Ruskin University’s Music for Health Research Centre will begin a trial of in-patient music therapy for stroke patients at Addenbrooke’s Hospital in Cambridge.  There are currently no NHS hospitals providing music therapy for neurorehabilitation. 

Anglia Ruskin’s Dr Alex Street will deliver neurologic music therapy as part of the team of physiotherapists, occupational therapists, and speech and language therapists.  For this one-year pilot, data will be collected on the feasibility and efficacy of music therapy as an addition to existing neurorehabilitation services.

During Friday’s event, Professor Odell-Miller and Professor Hanne Mette Ridder, of the University of Aalborg, will discuss research into using music therapy in the field of adult mental health and helping older people with dementia.

Professor Wendy Magee, of Temple University in the US, will look at using music therapy to assist people with brain injuries, while Professor Felicity Baker, of the University of Melbourne, will talk about “rebuilding identity following road trauma”. 

The topic of how music therapy can help people to tackle addiction will be covered by Dr Claire Ghetti of the University of Bergen, while Professor Cheryl Dileo of Temple University will present “music therapy for medical patients: evidence for its effectiveness”.