Volume 12 (1) 2020 – Interview (first published on 6 October 2019)
Within and across boundaries: Music therapists teaching across disciplines in higher education
Beth Pickard & Mikko Romppanen
This interview follows a chance meeting between two music therapists: UK music therapist Beth Pickard, and Finnish music therapist Mikko Romppanen. Both Beth and Mikko are registered music therapists, but were engaging in an International Wellbeing Week at Häme University of Applied Sciences (HAMK) in Finland in their capacities as lecturers in higher education. Their diverse roles and responsibilities as well as contrasting pedagogical stances provided a wealth of rich discussion during their time together, and created the stimulus for this extended dialogue. During this interview, they will explore their own orientation and training as music therapists, before considering how their professional background informs how they approach their own learning and teaching practices. Mikko and Beth teach students from a range of disciplines to use music and the arts therapeutically within the boundaries and scope of their practices. In reflecting upon the potential and challenges of this model, they consider whether such an approach could be further developed. In addition, Mikko insightfully reflects on the potential of music as a form of self-expression for undergraduate students across disciplines, and the prospect of the evolution of arts-based research and evaluation to provide further opportunities for music therapists across contexts in higher education.
Beth Pickard is a music therapist and PhD researcher with a background in critical disability studies and inclusive practice who enjoys working in music with individuals who have learning disabilities. Beth is Senior Lecturer on the MA Music Therapy, and Course Leader of the BA(Hons) Creative and Therapeutic Arts at the University of South Wales [email@example.com]. Mikko Romppanen is a music therapist specialising in psychiatry. He is also Senior Lecturer at Häme University of Applied Sciences (HAMK), where he teaches adult social work and creative methods to social services students. At the moment Mikko does not have a clinical practice but is concentrating on teaching at HAMK and other places. Mikko is also part of the teaching team in Basic Studies of Music Therapy in Jyväskylä University at the Department of Music, Arts and Culture Studies. [firstname.lastname@example.org]