Music on the Mind

Music & Trauma

Music on the Mind


How do you cope post-trauma? How can you reconstruct your identity, manage your relationships and your capacity to engage? What role can music have in such cases?

Experts from different fields of music research discuss this topic as it relates to cultural trauma for displaced peoples, post-traumatic stress disorder for those who have experienced extreme conflict situations, and neurological trauma for those who have experienced spinal or brain injury.

Felicity Baker is an internationally renowned music therapist and professor of music therapy research at the University of Melbourne. She has specific expertise in understanding the role of songwriting in promoting positive self-growth following trauma. She is a former ARC Future Fellow, Past President of The Australian Music Therapy Association, and currently Associate Editor for the Journal of Music Therapy.

Samantha Dieckmann is a postdoctoral research fellow at The University of Melbourne working with the ARC Centre of Excellence for the History of Emotions and Multicultural Arts Victoria. Her research explores the deployment of music in conciliation as it relates to personal, religious and political areas of conflict, and the processes of emotional community and empathy that lead to resolution.

James Richmond has performed regularly with the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra and Orchestra Victoria and has taught music and run workshops from primary to tertiary level for over fifteen years. James is a provisionally registered psychologist, and PhD candidate at the University of Melbourne exploring the cognitive, social and clinical implications of rhythmic synchronization for those suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder.

Presented by the Melbourne Recital Centre and the Music, Mind and Wellbeing initiative at the University of Melbourne


Professor Felicity Baker
Dr Samantha Dieckmann
James Richmond


This production is part of the following series:

Music on the Mind

Music on the Mind investigates the power of music and its relation to social wellbeing, participation, learning and development as well as the role music plays in our contemporary communities.

Talking About Music

If you want to go deeper into what makes music work or the effect it has on our mind and wellbeing, Melbourne Recital Centre regularly presents informative and entertaining talks.