“My instant reaction when I came across the music therapy programme at the academy was ‘yes!’. It offers the best of both worlds, and I can combine music and the individual.”
Tora Söderström Gaden, music therapist
Music therapy is a multidisciplinary field of study, encompassing subjects such as psychology, special needs education, musicology and healthcare combined with music. One key objective is to develop skills in communication and social interaction through musical instruments, the voice and human presence. Improvisation plays an important part in both the musical and the interpersonal interaction. Music therapy is both rewarding and challenging, and the department offers a hands-on practice arena. Music therapists often work with vulnerable people and people who find themselves in challenging circumstances. They may suffer from learning difficulties, dementia, addiction or other physical or mental health issues.
The academy has an eminent music therapy faculty, which includes the Centre for Research in Music and Health (CREMAH). Music therapy practice and research has resulted in recommendations on music therapy being included in the Norwegian Directorate of Health’s guidelines on treating psychosis and addiction.
The department continues to expand the uses for music therapy and how it can have a positive impact on people. Music therapy jobs can now be found in health and social care, the arts and education sectors. Music therapists also help create and design their own jobs.