A Minute with Joe

30 April 2019

It’s time to get to know Joe

Why did you choose to study music therapy?
When I was seven years old my father fell off his push bike on his way to work, suffering a small head injury with fluid on his brain. Over the next decade his cognitive health continued to decline though, until he was diagnosed with early onset dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.
My family cared for dad as he continued to lose functioning. We found that music was an essential part of creating a relaxed atmosphere where he could settle. Despite a history of anxiety, which was exacerbated by dementia, putting on CDs of music from his youth made him completely calm, as well as suddenly cheerful and cognisant.

What is your favourite part about being an RMT?

I think getting to play and create music in your day job is every thirteen year old’s dream. While working with the people that we work with is also a huge privilege, the mutual excitement and love of music is what makes those relationships have something worth having. I love that I can share the thing that I have engrossed myself in my whole life, and that it is possible to do that in a way which brings meaning to others.
Most challenging part of the job so far?

I think the most challenging thing about music therapy is it straddles the line between art and science. You have to hold creativity and transcendence in one hand while juggling methodical measurements in the other.

How many instruments do you play?

I can play piano, guitar, bass guitar, drums, saxophone and I can sing, and once managed to get some notes out on the flute and clarinet. I think part of being a music therapist is recognising that you can have a meaningful relationship playing a shaker – it’s not all about having technical skills.
Is there a particular instrument you want to learn and why?

I’m trying to learn the violin at the moment, or at least pretending to try. I can play some woodwind and percussion instruments already, and brass instruments make my lips feel weird, so that just leaves string instruments to conquer.
Who is your favourite musician/band and why?

It’s so hard to pick just one. Some of my long-time loves are The Beatles, The Cat Empire and Radiohead. In the past couple of years though band’s like Half Moon Run, Alt-J and Gnarles Barkley have dominated my iTunes. At the moment I’m listening to We Slept At Last by Marika Hackman and the pre-releases of Odette’s debut album.








A Minute with Alex

It’s time to get to know Alex

Guitars for VETS

Guitars for VETS

A Minute with Joe

It’s time to get to know Joe

Student Workshop

Student Workshop

Supported Music Lessons

Supported Music Lessons

Music Quiz 2018

Music Quiz 2018

Music Club

Music Club

Client Story

Client Story - Kate

Rare Disease Day

Rare Disease Day

Nordoff Robbins & Afford

Afford & Music Therapy

Welcome to our new graduates.

Nordoff Robbins welcomes a number of graduates to the family this year.

A Minute with Jack

It’s time to get to know Jack.

Minute with Harry

A Minute with Harry

High Tea - Thank you

2018 Winter Glam High Tea

Golf Day - Save the Date

Golf Day - Save the Date

Client Story - Julian

Julian and Music Therapy

Nordoff Robbins Research

The Effectiveness of Verbal Cueing and Instrumental Improvisation on Turn Taking Skill: A Case Study

Golf Day 2018

Thursday 25th October - An annual favourite for both the serious golfer and those playing for fun.

Supported Music Lessons

Supported Music Lessons



Student Workshops

Student Workshops

Vanda & Young Song Competition

The Vanda & Young Songwriting Competition is one of the world’s most prestigious songwriting competitions. It aims to support talented songwriters while raising much-needed funds for not-for-profit organisation Nordoff-Robbins Music Therapy Australia

Vale Graham Fear OAM

It is with much sadness that we acknowledge the passing of our much loved and valued Director, Graham Fear, OAM.

A Minute With Laura

We chatted to Laura about her first year as an RMT.


Thank you Dry July for enabling us to make a difference to the lives of cancer patients.

New Clinic for The Hills

Our new, expanded clinic is now open

Winter Glam High Tea - A Toast

A lovely afternoon of fascinators, tiara's, laughs, bubbles and delicious delights

A Minute With Kate

Meet Kate Tabain - Registered Music Therapist since 2012.

Nordoff Robbins & AFFORD

Great initiatives thanks to AFFORD generosity

Western Sydney Rocked!

A Night Under The Stars

Kids Music Club

Join us for fun and interactive programs

Chantel and Lydia

Communication is the key

Magic Moment


A Minute with Rachael

Meet Rachael Mackay - one of our new graduates.

Penrith Clinic

New Penrith clinic is now open

A Minute With Lydia

Meet another member of our fabulous team - Lydia Leung


Welcome to our new recruits and expansions are a foot.

An Incredible Gift

Brand New Drum Kit

Amazing Work

The Proof is in the Padding

A Minute with Matt

Matt Laffan - Nordoff Robbins Registered Music Therapist

Thank you

Community Assistance Program Presentation


Music therapy is approved as an eligible therapeutic support enabling us to reach additional people with our life changing programs.