My journey to becoming a Music Therapist


By Robert Simonis, Music Therapist, EMT.

I’m happy to have joined the Ealing Music Therapy (EMT) service team. Last summer, I graduated from the University of Roehampton where I spent 3 wonderful years learning and developing to be a Music Therapist. I am really excited to begin my new career as a Music Therapist with EMT. In this blog, I will briefly describe my musical background and what inspired me to become a music therapist.

My musical background and love of music

I was born in West London and have lived in the borough of Ealing my whole life. Ealing has a rich musical history and I was encouraged by my parents to begin piano lessons when I was eight years old. I received private tuitions from various teachers in Ealing, achieving all the practical ABRSM piano grades by the time I was eighteen. I went on to study privately with the late Helena Brown who sent me to complete an EPTA Pedagogy Course for teaching piano at the Royal College of Music. Later, I completed my piano ABRSM teaching diploma and grade 8 theory. Since then, I have regularly been teaching piano privately to students of all ages from beginners to advanced level.  

My musical interest is rooted in the blues and rock genres. As a teenager, I would often listen to various records and attempt to transcribe and re-record them on my workstation keyboard. This led me to apply to Rose Bruford University where I studied a BA in Music Technology. At Rose Bruford, I learnt about microphone placement and mixing techniques for pop and rock music genres as well as audio theory. I also received classes in the Language of Music, Technique of Music, Orchestration and Film Music. 

What inspired me to become a Music Therapist

My interest in Music Therapy began when reading a book by Dr Oliver Sacks called Musicophilia. In this book, Dr Sack’s promoted the use of music therapy as a positive tool to help people that were struggling to adapt to their different neurological conditions. These case studies inspired me to research into how Music Therapy is clinically practiced and to understand the processes that helps people in the therapy. Helping people was something that I’d always wanted to do as a career. In Music Therapy, I had the opportunity of combining my love for music with my desire to help people through the power of music.

My first job as a Music Therapist

This month, I began my first job as a Music Therapist working at a school for children with a diagnosis of Autism and associated learning difficulties. I am really looking forward to beginning this new journey in my life at such a wonderful school with excellent teachers.

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