I am a music therapist, music therapy supervisor and researcher. I have 20 years experience as a music therapist in a wide variety of settings, and I have a growing track record of doctoral supervision, research methods teaching and music therapy input. I present frequently in national and international contexts, on music therapy and aspects of medical humanities. My research interests focus on aesthetics of care, using innovative methods from musicology and drama to explore everyday life situations. I recently completed a Wellcome Trust post-doctoral project in medical humanities, hosted by the Guildhall School of Music and Drama.


I have a creative and innovative approach to providing music therapy within healthcare, education and social care, and I provide a wide range of music therapy and Arts in Health services, including music therapy, consultancy, expert reports, supervision and corporate masterclasses / workshops. My training programme, Aeriel, was launched in August 2018.


In 2017 I was awarded an MBE for services to music therapy and care. 




Selected Publications


Wood, S. Beyond Messiaen’s birds: the post-verbal world of dementia Medical Humanities Published Online First: 29 May 2019. doi: 10.1136/medhum-2018-011616.


Wood, S. And Clift, S. (in press) Musical Care in Older Age, in (eds) Spiro & Sanfilipo, Musical Care. Oxford: Oxford University Press.


Wood, S., and Crow, F. (2018) The Music Matrix: A Qualitative Participatory Action Research Project to Develop Documentation for Care Home Music Therapy Services. British Journal of Music Therapy.


Wood, S. & Ansdell, G. (2018). Music Therapy and Community Music: Jointly and Severally. In L. Higgins & B-L. Bartleet (Eds.) Oxford Guide to Community Music.  Oxford: Oxford University Press.


Wood, S. “Found Performance”: Towards a Musical Methodology for Exploring the Aesthetics of Care. Healthcare 2017, 5, 59; doi:10.3390/healthcare5030059.


Wood, S. (2016). A Matrix for Community Music Therapy Practice. Gilsum: Barcelona Publishers.


Wood, S (2013) Evaluation of Community Music Therapy: Why is it a Problem? In L. Ole Bonde et al (Eds.) Musical Life Stories: Narratives on Health Musicking, Norwegian Academy of Music, Oslo: Centre for Music and Health.


Wood, S. (2010). Musical connections. Journal of Dementia Care, 18 (4), 5.


Wood, S. (2008). Making the Most of Musicality. Journal of Dementia Care, 16 (5), 10-14.


Wood, S. (2007). Chalfont Lodge Choir: Heart of a Home and Community. Journal of Dementia Care, 15 (1), 22-25.


Wood, S. (2006). Music Therapy for Dementia. Journal of Dementia Care, 14 (6), 8.


Wood, S (2006). "The Matrix": A Model of Community Music Therapy Processes. Voices: A World Forum for Music Therapy, North America, 6, nov. 2006. Available at: https://normt.uib.no/index.php/voices/article/view/279. Date accessed: 10 July. 2009.


Wood, S. (2004) ‘From Therapy to Community’ – Making Music in Neurological Rehabilitation. In M. Pavlicevic & G. Ansdell (Eds.) Community Music Therapy pp48-62. London: Jessica Kingsley.


Selected Performances, Keynotes and Papers


"Ca' the Yowes": Solo voice performance, University of Exeter Symposium SocArts, March 2017

"Ca' the Yowes": Solo voice performance, Health & Humanities Society, Kings College London, March 2017

"I Know a Bank": Solo voice performance (Counter tenor), High Fidelity Festival, London March 2016

"Making-Up": Solo voice performance (from Tremors: The Musical), High Fidelity Festival, London November 2016

Definitions and Fundamental Theories of Community Music Therapy" Keynote, Sookmyung Women's University, Seoul 2016.

"Specialist Music Therapy and Care" Keynote, Japanese Association of Music Therapy National Conference, Sapporo, 2015.

"Art and Music Therapy for Learners with Special Needs" Keynote, National Taichung University Of Education, 2015.

“Problems in the Performance of Community Music Therapy Evaluation”. First International Sten Memorial Lecture in Community Music Therapy, New York University, May 2013.

Introduction to Community Music Therapy, 2010, University of Health Sciences, Sapporo, Japan.

International Conferences

Wood, S. (2015). "Creating Community and Staff Participation", paper at Japanese Music Therapy Association National Conference, Sapporo, Japan.

Wood, S. (2015). "The Problem of Evaluating Music Therapy". Keynote lecture at Nordoff Robbins Plus Conference, London.

Wood, S. (2015). Arts Therapies in Health and Special Education. Keynote lecture at Taichung University of Education, Taiwan.

Wood, S. (2014). “Making the Connection: Researching Community Music Therapy Evaluation”, Paper at 14th World Congress of Music Therapy, Austria.

Wood, S., Pavlicevic, M., & Tsiris, G. (2014). “Music Therapy’s ‘Ripple-Effect’: A Practice-led Study in Dementia Care Homes”. Paper at 14th World Congress of Music Therapy, Austria.

Wood, S. (2012). “Problems in the Performance of Community Music Therapy Evaluation”. Paper at 2nd International Conference on Health Humanities, Montclair University, New Jersey, USA.