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Registered Music Therapist Emma Townsend.

Con’s new Music Therapy Studio ready to welcome clients

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We are pleased to be offering on-site music therapy sessions in our new dedicated music therapy studio from Term 2. 

The tailored one-to-one sessions and groups will be led by the Central Coast Conservatorium’s Head of Music Therapy, registered music therapist, violinist and chamber musician Emma Townsend, Monday to Friday.

“The Central Coast Conservatorium of Music is a registered NDIS provider, and I am looking forward to welcoming clients to take part in our world-class music therapy program on-site here at 45 Mann Street,” said Con CEO, Dr Lisa Barnes.

An experienced musician with a background in early childhood education, Emma is well-placed to understand the needs of young music students and how to nurture their talents.

“My studies in music therapy and early childhood education have given me a greater understanding of the emotional world of children. This has made me better at adapting to the client/student and their needs as well as building greater connections with students and clients,” she said.

“And as a music therapist, I’m constantly witnessing my clients’ newfound awareness and accomplishment as they achieve their goals. These experiences can be insightful, poignant, or purely joyful. I feel very privileged to be a part of these moments and it makes my job very rewarding.”

About Music Therapy

Music therapy differs from music education as its main goal is not to develop musical skills or learn a new instrument, but rather to aim to improve a person’s health, functioning and well-being in a therapeutic setting that uses music interventions as the primary tool. 

Goals such as increasing social skills, providing ways to interact and communicate verbally and non-verbally, developing cognitive awareness, gaining sensory motor skills, promoting relaxation, providing opportunities for reminiscence, working towards rehabilitation and providing opportunities for self-expression can all be addressed through various Music Therapy techniques.

Who can it help?

Many people of all ages and abilities can benefit from music therapy, including children and adults with:

  • intellectual and physical disabilities 
  • mood disorders
  • neurological disorders 
  • rehabilitation for stroke patients
  • behavioural issues
  • elderly and dementia patients

For more on the Conservatorium’s Music Therapy program click HERE

About Emma

Emma is a Registered Music Therapist with clinical experience in a wide range of populations. Emma has worked as a music therapist in hospitals, aged care facilities, special needs schools, early childhood intervention programs, community disability groups, adult mental health, and private practice. 

Emma grew up in Tamworth, first learning piano in her early years and then beginning violin through the Suzuki Method when she was eight. While at school, Emma was concertmaster of the Tamworth Regional Youth Orchestra, and performed in programs with the Australian Youth Orchestra. She went on to gain a Bachelor of Music (Performance) and Master of Music Studies (Performance) at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music, studying under Dr Evgeny Sorkin. Then, combining her interest in music, medicine, and psychology, she gained a Master of Music Therapy through the University of Melbourne. 

In 2015, Emma was awarded a BBM Award for outstanding achievement in the field of music. This award facilitated her travel to the United Kingdom and the United States where she studied with prominent teachers from the Royal College of Music, Royal Academy of Music, London Guildhall of Music and Drama, the Royal Northern College of Music, and the New England Conservatory (Boston). While residing at St. Andrew’s College (University of Sydney), she held a music scholarship and was a student representative for music within the college. 

While studying at the Sydney Conservatorium, Emma was a concertmaster of several ensembles, including the Conservatorium Opera Orchestra, and the Asia Pacific Chamber Orchestra. Emma has also been a principal second violinist in the Sydney Conservatorium Symphony and Chamber Orchestras. 

Emma performs regularly throughout Sydney and the region as an orchestral and chamber musician. She was a member of Sydney Symphony Orchestra’s Sinfonia Emerging Artists Program, and has since performed with the Canberra Symphony Orchestra, the Concertante Ensemble, the Riverina Camerata, and the Verbrugghen Ensemble.