Beth Pickard known as Beth
National Teaching Fellow (NTF)
Neurologic Music Therapist (NMT)
Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Authority (SFHEA)
MA Music Therapy, UWE
PGCert Developing Professional Practice in Higher Education, USW
MSc in Applied Psychology of Intellectual Disabilities, University of Portsmouth
BMus(Hons), Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama
DipABRSM with Distinction, Instrumental Teaching
Accredited Sign Along Tutor Trainer
Community Music Wales Tutor
Little Amber Practitioner, Amber Trust
I work as Course Leader and Senior Lecturer on the BA in Creative and Therapeutic Arts, leading a number of modules including Academic Skills for Inclusive Practice, Professional Practice (1) and Evidence Based Practice. Additionally I provide accredited SignAlong training to our students and those on other courses at times. I also teach on the MA Music Therapy, MA Art Psychotherapy, MA Autism/SEN, MSc Play Therapy and other courses in the department.
I am a HCPC registered music therapist, having trained under Professor Leslie Bunt at the University of the West of England. My clinical placements have been working with children with physical and intellectual disabilities in a special education provision, adults with acquired brain injuries in a Community Brain Injury Team at a Neurorehabilitation Unit, and with young men aged 16-19 in post-compulsory education who have profound Autism and some challenging behaviour. My specialism and particular interest is in working with clients with learning disabilities and PMLD, developing a Social Model of Disability approach to music therapy.
Before embarking upon my post at the university, I had many diverse but interelated roles. Working in mainstream primary education provided the opportunity to develop my understanding of inclusive practice and the educational, social and emotional support needs of children with additional learning needs.
Working as a support worker, citizen’s advocate and respite carer in the community provided opportunities to meet many wonderful individuals and learn a little more about their lives. Empowerment, autonomy and self-advocacy are themes which emerged from these experienced and were further explored in my MSc.
Another aspect of my work which informed my MSc was teaching music to children and young people with additional learning needs and other disabilities. Developing alternative notation systems to complement specific learning profiles formed the basis of my research. This work organically evolved to aspire an interest in more therapeutic practice, which led me to the MA in Music Therapy.
I am currently engaged with a PhD by Portfolio, exploring interpretations of disability and how these may be constructed and perpetuated by creative arts practices, arts therapies and higher education pedagogy.
At USW, I am Course Leader for the BA in Creative and Therapeutic Arts, as well as being Module Leader for Academic Skills in Inclusive Practice, Professional Practice (1) and Evidence Based Practice modules.
I have thoroughly enjoyed presenting guest lectures on the BA Education course, on the subjects of Down’s Syndrome, Inclusive Education and Sign Supported Communication; as well as more regular teaching of the Welsh language.
Teaching on the MA Music Therapy includes focuses on music skills, neurorehabilitation, autism and neurodiversity, and research, including dissertation supervision and clinical supervision.
I also offer accredited Sign Along training to students on the BA Creative and Therapeutic Arts and other USW Courses.
Pickard, B (In Press), ‘The Learning Profile as a Recipe for Success: Instrumental Tuition for Musicians Who Have Down’s Syndrome’ Down’s Syndrome Association Journal.
Pickard, B 2019, ‘A Framework for Mediating Medical and Social Models of Disability in Instrumental Tuition for Children with Down Syndrome’ Research Studies in Music Education. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1177/1321103X19855416
Pickard, B 2019, ‘“A Need to Be Understood”: Students’ Evolving Understanding of Disability Through an Immersive, Inclusive Arts Project’ Paper presented at FLSE Learning & Teaching Conference 2019, United Kingdom, 4/07/19 – 4/07/19, .
Pickard, B 2019, ‘What are Welsh HEI Websites Telling Disabled Applicants about Academia’s Perception of Disability?’ FLSE Learning & Teaching Conference 2019, United Kingdom, 4/07/19 – 4/07/19, .
Pickard, B & Romppanen, M 2019, ‘Within and Across Boundaries: Music Therapists Teaching Across Disciplines in Higher Education: Mikko Romppanen Interviewed by Beth Pickard’ Approaches: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Music Therapy.
Grace Thompson, Cochavit Elefant, Efrat Roginsky, Maren Metell & Pickard, B 2019, ‘What Can the Neurodiversity Movement Offer Music Therapy?’ European Music Therapy Conference, Aalbog, Denmark, 26/06/19 – 30/06/19, .
Coombes, E, Maclean, E, Oldfield, A, Roberts, A & Pickard, B 2019, ‘Music therapy and autism: a spectrum of approaches across the lifespan – what does this mean for the profession?’ European Music Therapy Conference, Aalbog, Denmark, 26/06/19 – 30/06/19, .
Pickard, B 2019, Valuing Neurodiversity: A humanistic, non-normative model of music therapy exploring Rogers’ Person-centred Approach with young adults with autism spectrum conditions . in E Coombes, H Dunn, E Maclean, H Mottram & J Nugent (eds), Music Therapy and Autism Across the Lifespan: A Spectrum of Approaches . Jessica Kingsley Publishers, London.
Pickard, B 2019, ‘The Process, Challenges and Opportunities of Developing a Curriculum in a Creative and Therapeutic Arts Undergraduate Degree Programme’ International Journal of Art and Design Education . DOI: 10.1111/jade.12226
Davies, B & Pickard, B 2019, ‘Artistic Voices in The Grimms’ Woods: A Creative Collaboration of Inclusive Theatre, Special Education and Higher Education’ Paper presented at Broken Puppet 3 International Symposium , Birmingham, United Kingdom, 17/04/19 – 18/04/19, .
Pickard, B 2019, ‘Demystifying the Process of Engaging with the Disability and Dyslexia Service in Higher Education’ Journal of Inclusive Practice in Further and Higher Education, no. 10.1, pp. 40-58.
Pickard, B 2018, ‘Construction of Normalcy and Diversity in Music Therapy Theory and Practice’ Paper presented at Disability Studies Conference, Lancaster, United Kingdom, 11/09/18 – 13/09/18, .
Pickard, B 2018, ‘A Holistic, Humanistic Perspective on Music Therapy: Integrating Carl Rogers’ Person-Centred Approach’ Nordic Music Therapy Congress, Stockholm, Sweden, 7/08/18 – 12/08/18, .
Coombes, E & Pickard, B 2018, ‘Let Your Passion Be Your Purpose’ Nordic Music Therapy Congress, Stockholm, Sweden, 7/08/18 – 12/08/18, .
Pickard, B 2018, ‘Differentiation as Celebrating an Able Identity or Perpetuating an Ableist Perspective?: Critical Perspectives on an Evidence Based Approach for Instrumental Tuition for Musicians Who Have Down’s Syndrome’ Cripping the Muse, Leeds, United Kingdom, 4/07/18 – 5/07/18, .
Pickard, B 2018, ‘Vaguely Artistic: Disabled Musicians as Experts in an Inclusive Community Music Project in Higher Education, From a Social Confluence Perspective”’ Cripping the Muse, Leeds, United Kingdom, 4/07/18 – 5/07/18, .
Pickard, B 2018, ‘Social Construction of Disability: Parallel Process in Arts Therapies Education and Practice’ Paper presented at Creating Inclusive Postgraduate Cultures and Communities, Bristol, United Kingdom, 2/07/18 – 3/07/18, .
Pickard, B & Norris, V, Disability and Dyslexia Service (DDS): The Process of Exploring Support, 2018, Artefact, University of South Wales.
Pickard, B 2018, ‘Challenging Interpretations of Disability in Pedagogy and Practice’ Paper presented at USW Learning and Teaching Conference 2018, Treforest, United Kingdom, 29/06/18 – 29/06/18, .
Pickard, B 2018, ‘Developing a Meaningful Community of Practice: The Challenges and Opportunities of Revalidating a Degree Programme in Creative and Therapeutic Arts’ USW Learning and Teaching Conference 2018, Treforest, United Kingdom, 29/06/18 – 29/06/18, .
Pickard, B & Coombes, E 2018, ‘Enabling Music Therapy Students to Thrive in their Studies by Pursuing Their Passion as a Research Interest’ USW Learning and Teaching Conference 2018, Treforest, United Kingdom, 29/06/18 – 29/06/18, .
Pickard, B & Norris, V 2018, ‘The Process of Accessing the Disability and Dyslexia Service at USW: Outcomes of a Collaborative Pilot Study’ Paper presented at USW Learning and Teaching Conference 2018, Treforest, United Kingdom, 29/06/18 – 29/06/18, .
Pickard, B 2018, ‘The Challenges and Opportunities of Innovating a Higher Education Curriculum in Creative and Therapeutic Arts’ Paper presented at New Perspectives in Participatory Arts, Norwich, United Kingdom, 22/05/18 – 23/05/18, .
Pickard, B 2018, ‘Applying the ArtWorks Cymru Quality Principles in Practice and in Education: From Planning to Delivery to Evaluation’ Sounding Board: The Journal of Community Music.
Coombes, E & Pickard, B 2018, ‘The Relationship Between Research and Practice: An Exploration Into How Music Therapy Students’ Personal and Research Interests Can Shape Their Practitioner Identity’ USW FLSE Research Conference, Treforest, United Kingdom, 25/04/18 – 25/04/18, .
Pickard, B & Romppanen, M 2018, ‘Conference Reflection: HAMK International Wellbeing Week and a Chance Meeting with a Fellow Music Therapist’ Leading Note: The Magazine of the British Journal of Music Therapists (BAMT).
Pickard, B 2018, ‘Inclusive Practice and Sign Supported Communication’ Paper presented at HAMK International Wellbeing Week, Hämeenlinna , Finland, 19/02/18 – 23/03/18, .
Coombes, E & Pickard, B 2018, ‘Research Into Practice – Exploring How Personal Interests Can Shape Practitioner Identity’ Brisith Association of Music Therapy Conference 2018, London, United Kingdom, 16/02/18 – 18/02/18, .
Pickard, B 2017, ‘Conference Report: Examining the utility of music interventions for children with learning disabilities’ Approaches: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Music Therapy, pp. 1-11.
Pickard, B ‘Microanalysis of an Extract of a Non-Directive Music Therapy Session Captures the Perceived Moment of Change’, for Royal Society of Medicine and Live Music Now Conference ‘Examining the Utility of Music Interventions for Children with Learning Disabilities’. DOI: 10.13140/RG.2.2.14585.98402
Pickard, B 2015, ‘Research and Practice: Right and Wrong: A Joint Conference for Counselling, Psychotherapy and the Arts Therapies’ Approaches: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Music Therapy, pp. 1-6.
Pickard, B 2014, ‘Supporting Children with Down’s Syndrome to Access Mainstream Curricula: A Disability Studies Perspective’ Paper presented at Child, Youth, Family and Disability Conference – Building Understandings, Bristol, United Kingdom, 11/06/14 – 11/06/14, .
Pickard, B 2013, ‘The Learning Profile, A Recipe for Success: Supporting Children with Down’s Syndrome in Inclusive Mainstream Education’ Paper presented at 21Plus Support Group 5th Annual Inclusive Education Conference, Monmouth, United Kingdom, 17/10/13 – 17/10/13, .
HCPC Registered Music Therapist
Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Authority (SFHEA)
National Teaching Fellow (NTF)
Little Amber Practitioner for the Amber Trust
Accredited Community Music Wales tutor
Accredited SignAlong Tutor trainer
Trustee of Melody Music Birmingham
Since working in mainstream inclusive education, it has been a privilege to share some of this experience at Education Conferences, such as 21 Plus Support Group for families of children with Down’s Syndrome’s Education Conference, Cardiff County Council’s ‘Access All Areas’ Inclusive Education Event, Manchester Metropolitan University’s Child, Youth, Family and Disability Event, as well as visiting local schools on a consultancy basis.
My undergraduate research project reviewed literature to date in the field of “Music and Down’s Syndrome” before embarking upon original research exploring musical provision and experiences of children and adults with Down’s syndrome. A wide range of opportunities were shared, from private instrumental tuition to inclusive community music groups to specific music therapy groups.
Since writing this research, and receiving the Principal’s Award at RWCMD Graduation Ceremony, 2009; it has been a privilege to share this work at a research seminar at Glasgow Caledonian University and at joint event for the Down’s Syndrome Association and the National Deaf Children’s Society.
The research for my MSc focused on the experience of working in music with a young man who had a visual impairment and an intellectual disability. This detailed case study reviewed one year of music tuition, employing Professor Adam Ockelford’s fascinating ‘Sounds of Intent’ framework.
Both pieces of research are available on the website of the Birmingham based charity ‘Melody’, of which I am a trustee. ‘Melody’ promotes provision of instrumental tuition for individuals who have a learning disability.
My research paper ‘Self Identity, Acquired Brain Injury and Music Therapy’, which was awarded the McMullen Disability Prize in 2014 was the result of a music therapy placement, working in the Neurorehabilitation Unit of a local hospital, as well as with patients in the community. Applying Social Model of Disability thinking to a medical model of practice was an enjoyable challenge.
I am currently engaged with a PhD by Portfolio, exploring interpretations of disability and how these may be constructed and perpetuated by creative arts practices, arts therapies and higher education pedagogy. In addition, I continually research and evaluate the learning and teaching practices explored on the course I teach to maintain the rigour and currency of my practice.
Areas of Expertise
My research interests lie in Music Therapy, Inclusive Practice and Disability Studies, however my professional work in other fields are more diverse. Inclusive education is a field in which I am passionate and enjoy speaking, as well as sign supported communication and disability awareness.
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