Anke Coomans presents in Cambridge, UK

Anke Coomans will present her PhD project at the “Music Therapy and Dementia Care in the 21st Century” Conference, September 4-6 2015, Anglia Ruskin University, Cambridge.


‘Moments of resonance’ in musical improvisation with people in a severe stage of dementia. An explorative multiple case study research.

People in late stage dementia often show signs of anxiety and distress. Due to cognitive impairments they lack the ability to express their emotions and needs in a way that is understandable for their family and/or caregivers. This lecture presents a study that aims to explore how musical improvisation in music therapy with people with dementia can lead to occurrences of essential moments of meeting on a non-verbal, musical level. In a multiple case study (n=4), data consist of written clinical notes of the music therapist and video-recordings of individual music therapy sessions. Each case study comprises an in-depth analysis that leads to a selection of essential moments of meeting between the patient and therapist. The selection as well as the analysis happens by means of a clinical research intervision group and is based on an interpretive phenomenological approach. Some preliminary conclusions of the study will be presented. They will show how musical improvisation can be used as a specific intervention and how certain musical elements, such as timbre, tempo, silence, and phrasing, can play a crucial role in the occurrence of what is defined as ‘moments of resonance’.

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Jos De Backer Invited Speaker in Florence

psicoanalisi e musicaOn June 13, Prof. Dr. Jos De Backer is Invited Speaker at the National Conference for Psychoanalysis in Florence, Italy.

The title of his lecture is “To play or not to play in Music Therapy: Psychoanalytical Reflections on Improvisation”.

Jos De Backer Spotlight Speaker at Temple University Philadelphia

debackeraprilProf. Dr. Jos De Backer is Spotlight Speaker at the Symposium Temple University Philadelphia on Friday April 10, 2015. The theme of the international conference is “Envisioning the Future of Music Therapy” and will celebrate the 40th Anniversary of Music Therapy Courses at Temple University and the 15th Year of the PhD Program in Music Therapy.

The other Spotlight Speakers are Dr. Felicity Baker (Australia), Dr. Hanne Mette Ridder (Denmark), Dr. Jaakko Erkkilla (Finland), Dr. Helen Odell-Miller (UK) and Dr. Even Ruud (Norway).