In Memoriam: Maria Munkesjö 1969-2020

IN MEMORIAM Maria Munkesjö 1969-2020

As some of you probably know, our colleague and friend Maria Munkesjö recently suffered a recurrence of cancer. She spent the final weeks of her life in hospice care in Stockholm and passed away on May 11 when her body could no longer cope.

Maria was born on April 17, 1969 and turned 51 on the same day she was admitted into hospice care. Those closest to Maria sat vigil at her bedside and she leaves behind an enormous void and sorrow for her husband Magnus and their two teenage children.

Most recently, Maria was employed as a music therapist at the Rehabilitation Clinic at Danderyd’s Hospital, a job she had coveted for such a long time and only managed to hold for such a short time.

Those of us in the Swedish Association of Music Therapy (FMS) and Sweden’s Academic Music Therapy Association (SAM) wish to support her family in the best way we can. In lieu of flowers we are asking for donations to the Cancer Fund and Tjejzonen  (The Girls’ Zone) where Maria worked for 13 years.

Maria managed to accomplish many things in her lifetime. After studying music and opera and having a career as an opera singer she studied music therapy, getting her M.A. degree (fil. mag.) in 2014  and completed a supervisor education in 2016. Maria worked part time at the Royal Academy of Music (KMH) in the Music Therapy Department, teaching, supervising, and being responsible for operational aspects of the education.

Maria shouldered the responsibility of chairmanship of FMS from 2011 to 2013 where she made a heroic effort to reformulate the association’s purpose, create greater unity and give us all a fresh start.

In SAM Maria worked a total of 5 years two of which she served as chairperson. From 2016 until 2019 Maria served as Sweden’s representative in the European Music Therapy Confederation (EMTC).

Maria has meant so much for music therapy in Sweden. As can be seen she was a highly committed person who devoted much of her time to professional associations and organizations. Maria’s contacts stretched far beyond Sweden’s borders and she was always at the forefront of gathering and disseminating new articles and reports.

On both a professional and personal level, we feel a huge loss for this gifted, warm person, who will be deeply missed.

The Swedish Association of Music Therapy (FMS) May 24th 2020