Academic journal article Australian Journal of Music Therapy

Foreword

Academic journal article Australian Journal of Music Therapy

Foreword

Article excerpt

As we celebrate 20 years of AMTA, it is interesting to know that before 1975 people had been working in the therapeutic use of music in Australia. 1922 saw the establishment of the Society for Musical Therapeutics in Sydney, an offshoot of an American organisation, but this faded away in the 1930s.

The Red Cross in Victoria had, for many years, organised groups, concerts and sing-alongs in Melbourne hospitals. Boxes of records with discussion notes were sent all over the State, produced with the hard work of Eleanor Barber, Claire Feddersen and Pauline Walden (a graduate in music therapy from the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, London).

Denise Erdonmez, who had done a music therapy degree in USA (after graduating in music at the University of Melbourne), worked at a psychiatric hospital in Melbourne, whilst Ruth Bright worked in psychiatry in Adelaide and later, in psychiatric and geriatric units in Sydney.

In the late 1960s discussions were in progress as to how music therapy would be taught when the time arrived (not if but when), and whether it should be taught in a paramedical setting or in a music faculty.

1975 was the turning point: the first Conference was held in Sydney at Cumberland College, and AMTA was set up as a formal organisation. …

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