Reflections on the 10th Nordic Music Therapy Conference

Elisabeth Kaczynski (front row, middle), Board member, Middle Region Coordinator and Country Representative for Austria, shares her reflections on the 10th Nordic Music Therapy Conference:

So much research has been done in the last two years, but during this time practically no in-person CPD could be held due to the pandemic. Now, however, the relaxation of restrictions finally meant we could get together for a face-to-face meeting to share and exchange experience and research. We met in Helsinki, for the 10th Nordic Music Therapy Conference. 

There was a surprisingly full program with a wide range of topics and, after a short feeling of overload on my part as I adjusted to three-dimensional communication with people again, I greedily absorbed this new information. 

I found two presentations from Italy particularly inspiring, dealing with music therapy services during the pandemic – one about support for overworked and isolated nursing staff and one about music therapy with patients on a covid ward. The images were depressing, but also very touching. 

I really liked the focus of the very first keynote, which was on interdisciplinary collaboration, based on the idea that it is a great a shame always to be fishing in your own pond…!

As the board of EMTC, we decided  to present a poster about our work and some very informative conversations took place about our very specialised work, which is probably not always easy to see from the outside.

The overall experience was very successful, the catering delicious, a nice welcome evening with canapés and a band, and a festive dinner as a farewell.  I traveled back to Austria after three inspiring days, full of anticipation for the European Music Therapy Congress in Edinburgh in June. 

Esa Ala-Ruona, EMTC President, presents a poster about the work of the EMTC