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Women in Music Therapy

Mar 08, 2019
Contributed by Stephanie An, Honours Music Student, McMaster University  

As we come together to celebrate International women's day as well as Music therapy awareness month, let us take a moment to acknowledge the pioneers of the practice. Dating back to as early as the 1800s to early 1900s (Byers, 2016), the use of music has been a healing tool for many. However, we often forget to acknowledge that this practice has been built on a foundation of women. Much like the ancient Greeks, pioneers Eva Vescelius, Isa Maud Ilsen, and Harriet Ayer Seymour (2016) believed that music was there to be a tool to facilitate health (2016).

Unfortunately, as these three women passed, so did their foundations and organizations. This resulted in a loss of files and physical proof of their practices. Due to these circumstances, the practice of music therapy only respectively became an official occupation post world war II within the United States of America (2016). However, there...
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