Associate Professor Sarah Hoskyns

AProf Sarah Hoskyns profile picture

Programme Director, Music Therapy School of Music


Teaching in 2020


BA(Hons) Birm, LGSM(MT), London, FGSM, ARCM, State Registered Arts Therapist (Music) (HPC, UK)


  • Programme Director, Music Therapy
  • Associate Professor, Music Therapy


Sarah Hoskyns is the Programme Director of the two-year Master of Music Therapy Programme at NZSM, teaching principles of music therapy, world music and music therapy, and supervising practice and second year masters’ research projects in music therapy. She is an experienced practitioner, teacher and researcher in music therapy and was previously head of the Music Therapy Department at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, London (1991–2005) and research fellow in music therapy at City University , London (1985-88). As a practitioner, Sarah has worked with adults in the probation service, with elderly patients in the community, in adult learning disability, in neurodisability and with young children with wider ranging special needs (including complex communication difficulties and multiple handicaps) and their families.

She is joint author and editor (with Professor Leslie Bunt) of The Handbook of Music Therapy published in 2002 by Brunner-Routledge. She is also joint Country of the Month Editor for the online international Voices: A World Forum for Music . Doctoral research, to be completed January 2013, uses qualitative case study methodology to explore perceptions about the integration of practice and research in the training of masters’ students in music therapy. (Recent publications listed below.)

Sarah is a registered music therapist with the Health and Care Professions Council(HCPC - UK ) and with Music Therapy New Zealand and is the MThNZ representative on the Allied Health Professional Associations Forum in NZ. She was a member of the scientific committee for the World Congress of Music Therapy, Seoul, Korea in 2011, and is currently a member of the World Federation Commission on Education and Training. She maintains close links with the music therapy professional bodies in the UK: she is a former editor of the British Journal of Music Therapy and currently on the advisory editorial board and a member of BAMT the British Association for Music Therapy .

Recent publications

Hoskyns, Sarah (2012). Learning about ethical research practice: with students and with human ethics committees. [10 December 2012], Voices: A World Forum for Music Therapy. from Hoskyns, S. (2011). Collaborative conversations in focus group research: music therapists reflect on combining research and practice. The New Zealand Journal of Music Therapy, 9, 32–60.

Hoskyns, Sarah (2011). Professional and Personal Thoughts on Music, Loss and Palliative Care. [10 December 2012] Voices: A World Forum for Music Therapy.

Hoskyns, S. (2010). Promoting readiness for learning in a pre-school child with features of developmental dyspraxia: some strategies from music therapy. InProceedings of the New Zealand National Music Education Conference (pp. 22-39). Christchurch: Music Education Canterbury in association with Music Education New Zealand Aotearoa.

Music Therapy research

Associate Professor Sarah Hoskyns's research areas include:

  • Changes to perception and action in group music therapy with adult recidivist offenders
  • Co-mentor collaboration in music therapy teaching team, Guildhall, London.
  • Collaboration with Counties Manukau DHB & MMus Therapy graduate Ajay Castelino, seeking to determine whether short term music therapy can reduce anxiety in older adults.
    The effects of singing, listening and playing in short term music therapy for adults with Huntington’s Disease.
  • PhD research into Masters Education in Music Therapy inquiring into international attitudes and practice on integrating research and clinical teaching.
  • With UK colleague Prof Leslie Bunt: approaches to training music therapists in Handbook of Music Therapy


Teaching in 2020