International Society for Music Education 2016: Preconference seminar on Special Music Education & Music Thera

  • Graeme Wilson (Speaker)

Activity: Participating in or organising an event typesParticipation in conference


In recent years, there has been an increased interest in interdisciplinary dialogue and collaboration within the area of music, health and wellbeing. This interest is reflected in, and has led to, collaborative practice and research initiatives, as well as emerging multi-professional networks and related conference themes. Interdisciplinary dialogue, however, remains a difficult task; it requires learning (and re-learning) of concepts, ways of thinking and practicing, while it is often underpinned by different (and, at times, competing) professional vocabularies, frameworks and agendas. Although these challenges create barriers to optimal interdisciplinary dialogue, they are rarely discussed. This paper explores some common difficulties, challenges and pitfalls in interdisciplinary dialogue, with the aim to identify emerging opportunities and areas for further mutual exchange and development within music, health and wellbeing. The paper brings together multiple perspectives of presenters from diverse professional backgrounds (to include music therapy, psychology of music and community music). Based on examples from presenters’ work and with a focus on the UK scene, the paper will consider some difficulties, challenges and pitfalls in interdisciplinary dialogue with regard to five inter-related areas: 1) academic training of music and health practitioners, 2) interdisciplinary practice projects, 3) collaborative research, 4) academic publishing, and, 5) professional expectations. Drawing from their diverse experiences and areas of expertise, presenters will pose some critical questions forming the basis for an open discussion with the audience. By exploring potential barriers to interdisciplinary dialogue, this paper will raise awareness of the difficulties, challenges and pitfalls involved. Looking ahead it will also point towards opportunities for development and highlight considerations for future collaborations in practice, research, and training.
Period22 Jul 2016
Event typeConference
LocationEdinburgh, United KingdomShow on map


  • interdisciplinary dialogue
  • challenges
  • music, health and wellbeing