The Team

Anne Walsh MBE. MSc, PGDip.Sys.Mg, BSc.(Hons)
Chief Executive Officer

Anne has almost 30 years’ experience working in the voluntary/community sector  and is committed to driving and developing the Voluntary Sector within Northern Ireland, she has worked with and supported many organisations develop sustainable strategies using the social economy model. Anne is planning to use this experience to help Every Day Harmony develop and grow the organisation and increase the provision of its Music Therapy services across Northern Ireland.

Anne has a First Class Honours Degree in Business Management, an Advance Diploma in Systems Management, and MSc in Leadership in the Voluntary Sector and also is a graduate of Common Purpose. Her work has been recognised both personally and organisationally and she has received multiple awards for her contribution to the Voluntary sector including the UK Social Enterprise of the Year award in 2012. In 2016 Anne was awarded an MBE in recognition of her work developing Social Enterprises and creating 45 new jobs in East Belfast.

Anne was recently appointed as CEO at Every Day Harmony.  Her previous roles included, Chief Operations Officer for East Belfast Mission (EBM) and as Director of Business Development prior to that. During her time at EBM, Anne directly overseen the initiation, development, and management of multiple social enterprises and also overseen the sustainable management and development of “Skainos’, which is the largest community, owned building in the UK. Anne developed a number of SEs within the Skainos Building to ensure the long-term viability, which included Bright Sparks Childcare, Community Café, Conference and Catering facility, Restore Shops and Office rentals. Anne has also worked as a business advisor for the Invest NI Social Entrepreneur Programme (SEP) and during that time provided mentoring, coaching and business planning support to dozens of voluntary organisations including idea generation, mentoring, tender readiness, business growth, performance management, improvement strategies and business plans.

 

Julie Allen
Music Therapy Manager

Upon completing BMus (Hons) at Edinburgh University, Julie went on to obtain a postgraduate diploma in music therapy and a Master’s in Music Therapy in Cambridge.

Julie has worked as a music therapist at Every Day Harmony since 2005. After working for a number of years in mental health settings, Julie delivered music therapy sessions in the Music in Mind research with Queen’s University Belfast, the largest research into music therapy and child and adolescent mental health 2011.

As well as currently managing a team of therapists, Julie provides music therapy for those in forensic, mental health and physical/learning disability settings.

 

 

Catherine Gordon
Music Therapist

Catherine joined Every Day Harmony in 2011 after graduating with an MA in Music Therapy from Anglia Ruskin University Cambridge. Her areas of expertise include Palliative Care, Adults and Children with Learning Disabilities, Sensory Impairments and Challenging Behaviour.

Catherine first came across music therapy as a sixth form student on work experience and from that time decided that Music Therapy was the career for her. After completing her honours degree in Music at Queen’s University Belfast, she travelled to Cambridge to complete her training.

Catherine has worked with clients right across the lifespan.  She has also worked with clients with brain injury working on functional rehabilitation. For several years she ran a twice monthly group for those availing of Day Hospice service – including those with Parkinson’s disease and terminal diagnoses. While working in Hospice care, Catherine regularly worked with patients to complete legacy work – recording messages for their loved ones for them to cherish after they had passed away.

Music can be such a powerful way to make connections -especially for those who struggle with language – as music removes the barrier of language. Most of Catherine’s work currently is with those with quite profound difficulties whose movements may be limited, have very limited verbal skills and may present with challenging behaviours. Seeing a client be able to overcome these hurdles to find ways to connect and interact with the world around them using music creates powerful and emotional moments in sessions for all to cherish.

 

Claire Adair
Music Therapist

Claire has been working with Every Day Harmony since 2011.  Her work has taken her into many venues to address needs from a broad range of client-groups, including: mainstream primary schools, parent-toddler groups, special needs schools, day centres for adults with learning difficulties, hospital settings (brain injury, dementia, older adult mental health) and forensic settings.

Claire attended Queen’s University, Belfast, where she graduated with a BMus (Hons) in 2008.  Following this she studied Music Therapy in Queen Margaret University, Edinburgh, for 2 years and graduated from the Master’s degree.  Claire also has graded diploma qualifications in Solo Piano (ATCL) and Musical Theatre Singing (ALCM).

Initially Claire worked full-time with children from mainstream primary education, who presented with emotional/ social/ behavioural difficulties.  As part of this Music Therapy work, frequently Claire and the client would write songs together or play various instruments to provide a creative expressive outlet within a safe therapeutic environment.  Planning and preparing for small performances were hugely beneficial to the pupils in helping develop increased levels of self-esteem and confidence.  Sessions also provided a safe environment where difficult emotions and experiences could be explored by e.g. channelling unhelpful feelings into musical play; contained and supported by the therapist’s own musical improvisations.

Claire also has much experience working with individuals who are non-verbal/ pre-verbal/ early years.  As a mother of young children, she has in recent years come to appreciate more and more the value of non-verbal communication.  From the moment the baby is born he/she is a communicating being, capable of expressing themselves and responding to stimuli.  This “stimuli” can take many forms: sounds/ visuals/ tactile experiences.  As such, the non-verbal language of music, along with the use of a wide range of percussion instruments, become a highly valuable tool for engagement and interaction with those who cannot access, or comprehend, speech.

 

Emma Hamer
Music Therapist

Emma currently works across the areas of adult learning disability, delivering services within day centres, private homes and hospitals. She also works in inpatient Child & Adolescent Mental Health Service.

Emma has an honours degree in Music from the Queen’s University of Belfast, during which time she undertook a work placement module where she discovered Music Therapy in action for the first time. After seeing this, Emma applied for the MA course at Anglia Ruskin University and graduated with a Music Therapy Master’s degree in 2015.

Emma has been working for Every Day Harmony since graduating in October 2015. She has particularly been enjoying work among adults with learning disabilities. Often she comes across clients who are not able to access much, due to their limited ability. Music is something that every person can access because we are all inherently musical. Emma absolutely loves it when she’s working with someone who is non-verbal and struggling to engage with those around them, and they connect with her through sharing a musical experience. Emma believes that every one has the right to express themselves and to have their ‘voice’ heard, even when they don’t have a voice in the traditional sense of the word.

Emma also really enjoys working with teenagers who are struggling with mental health issues. Often Music Therapy gives them the ability to express themselves when doing so through words is too painful. Music Therapy can really help in increasing their self-esteem, and paving the way to them being able to express themselves verbally through writing a song with her.

 

Pamela Blair
Music Therapist

Pamela’s work is mainly with children with learning difficulties and complex medical needs, in school and health settings as well as at home. This also involves providing support to families.

Pamela graduated from Queen’s University, Belfast in 2009 with a Music degree, followed by a Master’s in Music Therapy from Queen Margaret University, Edinburgh in 2011. She also has an ALCM diploma in piano.

Pamela has been working for Every Day Harmony since 2011. Working along with parents and siblings is a big part of her work with children, helping them to understand how to interact and communicate with their child. Music therapy enables families to develop a connection with their child which can otherwise be difficult due to their condition. Demonstrating musical activities to encourage preverbal skills is important to equip parents with skills for everyday life and routines.

 

Roisin Kennedy
Music Therapist

Roisin’s MSc Research Project investigated the value of music therapy in promoting positive sibling relations between a child with a learning disability and their typically developing sibling. By undertaking a qualitative study in which Roisin delivered music therapy sessions to pairs of siblings, she discovered the value of music therapy in allowing children to participate and interact on an equal footing. Interviews with the subjects’ parents concluded that the benefits of music therapy for siblings were transferrable to other contexts can could be observed in the home environment.

The majority of Roisin’s experience since qualifying has been with children who have learning disabilities, however she has also worked with clients in palliative care, mental health and forensics.

After graduating from Queen’s University of Belfast with a Bachelor of Music Degree in 2013, Roisin completed a Master of Science degree in Music Therapy at Queen Margaret University of Edinburgh. She graduated with distinction in 2015 and took up her post as Music Therapist with Every Day Harmony three months later. Throughout her time at Queen’s, she volunteered as a teaching assistant at the Junior Academy of Music (JAM), where she was involved in delivering music classes to aspiring young musicians aged between four and seven. As result of this position, Roisin received a Degree Plus award from the University in addition to her Honours Degree.

Since joining Every Day Harmony in 2015, she has become familiar with a much broader range of client groups, including mental health, palliative care and forensics as well as individuals with learning disabilities. She works in a wide range of venues delivering group sessions as well as individual music therapy sessions which are more carefully tailored to the client’s needs and abilities.

In addition to clinical work, Roisin has delivered workshops to professionals and parents/carers who wish to learn about the benefits of music therapy and how music can be implemented into our clients’ daily lives and used in a non-therapeutic context.

 

Lisa Carson
Music Therapist

Lisa completed her undergraduate music degree at Edinburgh University. During that time, she specialised in ‘Community Music’ working in mainstream and special needs primary schools across Edinburgh.  She went on to work as a music teacher and chaperone with the 41st African Children’s Choir touring the USA, Canada and UK.  She returned to the UK to complete her Music Therapy masters at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, London, graduating in July 2017. She feels fortunate to have received tuition from some of the leading music therapists in their field in the UK.  She has also completed her grade 8 piano and her Classical Singing Diploma both with distinction.

Lisa has been working for Every Day Harmony since January 2019 and is now enjoying a wide variety of work in areas such as Dementia, hospice care, brain injury, early years, children and adults with learning and physical difficulties.  She thoroughly enjoys working with a range of individuals and enjoy seeing clients reach their full potential.

Lisa also has an interest in working with those who have experienced trauma.  Her Masters dissertation discussed Music therapy and its potential use with victims of Human Trafficking in the UK.

 

Neal Hughes
Music Therapist

Neal previously worked along- side Speech and Language Therapists at the Middletown centre for Autism before joining the EDH team.
Neal specialises in Music therapy for clients with Dementia, Adults with learning disabilities and head injury.

Neal previously worked as an Arts researcher at the BBC before returning to college to finish a BSC in Social Sciences in 2014. Neal went on to study an MA degree at the Irish World Academy of Music and Dance at the University of Limerick, graduating with a 2.1 in 2017.

Neal has delivered several music therapy pilot schemes within the field of dementia during his first year at EDH. Neal currently works within the fields of Brain Injury, Adults with learning difficulties and children from largely marginalised areas of Belfast who have been referred to music therapy to support social and emotional needs during term time.

 

Janet French
Music Therapist

Janet joined Every Day Harmony in May 2019 after returning to Northern Ireland from England, where she was employed full-time as a Music Therapist in a Special Needs School in Kent. The school provided education for children with moderate to severe learning difficulties from the ages of 4 through to 19 years. While working as a Music Therapist in Kent, Janet also taught piano to some of the more advanced learners, and one of her pupils received a Distinction in his Grade 2 Piano exam with the London College of Music.

Janet studied her MSc in Music Therapy (Nordoff Robbins) at Queen Margaret University in Musselburgh, Scotland. She graduated in the summer of 2014 and began employment in England in December of the same year. Prior to studying Music Therapy, Janet studied at Queen’s University Belfast, where she graduated with First Class Honors in her undergraduate degree of Social Anthropology and Ethnomusicology. She then completed an MA in The Anthropology of Music and began to study a PhD in Ethnomusicology, before deciding to re-route her studies toward Music Therapy.

While the majority of Janet’s experience is with children with special needs, she also now works with adults with learning difficulties. Her research project for the MSc in Music Therapy involved studying the effects of Music Therapy on adults living with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. She also has experience with both children and adults in mental health and palliative care settings.

 

Michaela Dolan
Music Therapist

 

Lauren Davison
Music Therapist

 

Sandra Kilpatrick
Office Manager

Sandra joined the Every Day Harmony staff team in January 2016 as Office Manager, after many years’ experience in the private, public and charitable sectors, of which the past 12 years have been with 2 charitable organisations.

Sandra’s background has been mainly in business and information technology and she used her acquired teaching diplomas to develop and deliver a number of IT related training packages in South & East Belfast Health Trust and higher education colleges. Sandra also ran her own successful business for a number of years.

Her duties in Every Day Harmony include: Finance, Human Resources, Information Technology and office management.