Hello and welcome to my website.
I’m Kath Bruce, a musician, composer and music therapist. These different strands of my work, though at first glance perhaps distinct, interweave and influence one another, and of course are all me, and so I invite you to this snapshot of all three.
I’m particularly interested in how my “therapist self” relates to my “artistic self” and what happens in those spaces in between. For example, training as a therapist taught me to listen and play differently and it made me think about the telling of people’s stories through folk song in a different way, where what is most individual shines a light on the universal. I am curious about the differences and commonalities between how I improvise for myself alone as distinct from improvising “with” or “for” others, or within what is defined as the clinical work of a music therapist. I am particularly interested in the need for exploring our artistic creative selves if we are to bring this to our work as therapists, especially when, as a friend recently pointed out to me: “the arts are about common humanity”.
The story so far…
I was brought up with a classical training on piano and oboe, and studied music at the University of Durham, where I was lucky enough to find myself in orchestras and exploring musical theatre. In my teens I discovered Scottish traditional music and the freedom of learning and playing by ear, improvising and writing my own music in the company of some very fine folk. Having a notion that music therapy might be for me, I worked in a variety of social care settings and explored music teaching and community music work for a few years before undertaking an MSc training in music therapy from Queen Margaret University, Edinburgh, graduating in 2008. I’ve continued to develop both as musician and therapist, working in a range of music therapy posts and now working freelance; and continuing to play in several bands, Corran Raa and Carrie on Dancing.
More recently I have pushed my artistry in a new direction, currently writing my first piece of music theatre, entitled What Fine Things We Are. Our crowdfunding campaign earlier this year, to fund a period of research and development on this piece, surpassed our initial target, reaching a total of £4660 in pledges with over 100 individual supporters. We gratefully acknowledge the backing of the following very kind people:
Rachel Amey; Victoria Aston; Sandra Buck; Trevor Buck; Kenny Campbell; John Davey; Ellen Dickie; Sarah Double; Tamsin Haggis; Anna Jones; Robbie Leask; Sara Melville; Iddo Oberski; Gillian O’Dempsey; Mothiur Rahman; Elaine Rodgers; Kae Sakurai; Andrew Smith; Jenny Smith; Em Strang; Jenna Wilson. Special thanks also to Corran Raa who were instrumental in the campaign’s success, and much gratitude to everyone who supported the campaign in any way at all.