UP is hosting Africa’s first World Congress of Music Therapy, early bird registration now open

Posted on January 24, 2020

The University of Pretoria (UP) will, in partnership with the World Federation of Music Therapy, the South African Music Therapy Association, MusicWorks, City of Tshwane and the Tshwane School of Music, host the 16th World Congress of Music Therapy from 07 – 11 July. Early bird registration is open until 29 February. 

The congress, which is being hosted for the first time in Africa, will feature, among other events, a symposium honouring indigenous healing practices while a pre-congress seminar will deal with decolonising music therapy practice.

Music therapy is a registered profession with the Health Professions Council of South Africa.

“This method of healing uses music in a clinically informed manner with a broad range of client groups. From the very beginning of life to late-stage dementia, music can be employed as a therapeutic tool in addressing cognitive, emotional, physical, spiritual and social needs,” says Dr Carol Lotter, lecturer in music therapy at UP’s School of the Arts.

Music therapists work, inter alia, in the areas of intellectual and physical difficulties, child and adult mental health, autism, oncology, ageing, special education and in community-based projects.

Dr Lotter urged health professionals, arts practitioners, performers, educators, community workers and art therapists to register for what promises to be an exciting, creative and challenging congress.

Daily spotlight sessions will showcase the expertise and innovation of highly experienced music therapists, health professionals and other art therapists from around the world. Topics include:

  • access and empowerment;
  • innovation in music therapy practice;
  • ethical challenges in music therapy; and
  • advancing research in music therapy.

Apart from the symposium on indigenous healing practices and seminar on decolonising music therapy practice, the programme also includes a daily spotlight plenary session as well as paper presentations, workshops and round table discussions representing the diversity of music therapy research as well as music therapy practice in clinical and community settings from around the world. There will also be presentations which have direct relevance to work within the African context.

Countries that will be represented at the congress include Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Ghana, Kenya, USA, UK, India, Norway, Denmark, Australia, Zambia and Japan, to name but a few. Dr Lotter said 800 delegates are expected to attend the event.   

There are a number of pre-congress seminars and social events to choose from and for which places are limited, so early booking is essential. For more information please see https://www.up.ac.za/music-therapy-2020

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