Welcome to my academic page. 

PhD Working Title: “Learning to Improvise: The Experience of Music and Music Therapy Students in Higher Education”

In 2014 I began studying part-time for a PhD in music therapy at the University of the West of England, exploring experiences of learning to improvise music. Supervised by Professor Leslie Bunt and Dr Cathy Warner.


This will be a small scale interpretational phenomenological design, incorporating qualitative interviews with improvisations. The study utlizes ‘performative arts social science’ ideas (Jones, 2006), weaving text and arts data together in methodology. Transcription will use hand-drawn graphic scores as well as traditional texts (Bergstrom-Nielson, 2010). The scores are going to be given back to the participants and they will be asked to listen back and write further comments over the graphics, creating a hypertext. In September 2016 I am about to start the interviews and improvisations. If you would like to know more about the project please do not hesitate to contact me.

Masters Degree

In 2011 I completed a Masters degree top up course  in music therapy at Anglia Ruskin University (with distinction for the thesis, and merit overall). Writing about shared experience and improvised group music therapy for young people with autism. I previously studied at the Guildhall School of Music Drama for the post graduate diploma in music therapy (2000-2001). My first degree was at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama (1990-1993) with modules in trombone, composition and music therapy.

Papers, Posters and Workshops

White, B. (2005) The whirlwind group, a group for young people with disabilities moving into adulthood, and the working relationships that supported the clinical work in a special needs school.  No Man is an Island, Groups, Partnerships and Teams in Music Therapy: BSMT and APMT Conference.  London: British Society for Music Therapy, pp. 71-75.

White, B. (2009) Hello music lady, have you brought a new instrument today? Voices, A World Forum for Music Therapy [online]. Volume no. 9 (3). Available from: [Accessed 13/10/11].

White, B. (2011) A Music Therapy Group for Children with Autism and Learning Disabilities: An Investigation into Shared Experience. Unpublished Masters dissertation, Anglia Ruskin University, Cambridge.

White, B. (2012) Personal Reflections on working as a Music Therapist, Music Therapy Groups and Music Making. Voices, A World Forum for Music Therapy [online]. Volume no. 12 (2). Available from: [Accessed 18/7/12].

White, B. (2015). ‘What sound can you make?’ A case study of a music therapy group for children with autism, learning disabilities and challenging behaviours. Approaches: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Music Therapy, 7(2), 197-206.

White, B. (2016) Is Music Improvisation Acquired or Taught? Some Implications for the Training of Music Therapists. Poster Presentation, British Association of Music Therapy, Re-Visioning our Voice: Resourcing music therapy for contemporary needs, 2nd BAMT conference 8-10 April 2016, University of Strathclyde, Glasgow.

Warner, C., and White, B. (2016) Music Improvisation and Unconscious Processes. Unpublished workshop at: ‘Being human in challenging times’, 2nd Annual Conference of the Association for Psychosocial Studies, June 29 – July 1, The University of the West of England.

Haire, N., White, B., Derrington, P. (2017) The Arts Therapist in Public: The Dichotomy of Clinical and Performative Improvising. Voices: A World Forum for Music Therapy, 17 (3).



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