Phil Evans

Music therapist with UK music therapy charity Nordoff Robbins

Phil Evans is a music therapist with UK music therapy charity Nordoff Robbins. Phil's work sees him and the 60 other music therapists employed by Nordoff Robbins work with a huge range of clients from adults and children with learning disabilities or mental health issues, to children who have suffered abuse, who are on the autistic spectrum or who might find their ability to interact with the world around them impaired by any number of other challenges. Nordoff Robbins also works with people who have a had a stroke or brain injury or those with a terminal illness.

Ole, Um...Ola! Where Music and Sport Collide

Now I'm not averse to a song with, shall we say, accessible lyrics. But I'm from the 90s-New-Order-John-Barnes school of World Cup songs. As a music therapist, I can't argue with John Barnes when he advises,"You've got to hold and give, but do it at the right time / You can be slow or fast but you must get to the line." It's like he's been observing my music therapy sessions.
11/06/2014 17:22 BST

Where Everything Is Music

We sing to, dance with and buy music because it matters to us. It matters usually because of how it makes us feel, but also who it connects us with, what tribes it creates. That interconnection both within us and between us is irresistible, I suspect increasingly, because just as more of life is becoming virtual, music can't not remain real.
14/03/2014 17:32 GMT

Something to Sing About

My friend from Brazil tells me that much as he loves our traditional seasonal music, he feels it's always sad too. I think he has a point. Even in more recent Christmas songs there's a pang, isn't there? Note how it's always Cold Outside, the weather outside is frightful, and yet...if you really love me so... well then... the boys of the NYPD choir will still sing Galway Bay.
12/12/2013 16:34 GMT

Redemption Songs: Music Beyond Medicine

Medicine? Sure. Nursing? Yep. Rehab? Gotcha. But how exactly is music going to redeem this one? As a music therapist who has worked in exactly this situation for a long time, I can admit that not only have families asked me this, I've asked myself the question too.
27/11/2013 17:47 GMT

Covers, Mash-ups and Samples: Who Owns Music?

Before it was released, I heard a cover of Gaga's new single. Let's pause for thought a moment and think about that. It was a heavy metal version, denounced by the twitterati as a blasphemous offence to metal - not to the performer who'd had her song nicked.
13/09/2013 16:57 BST

The Fine Art of Accompaniment: How Is Music a Model for Living?

It's one of the exciting parts of being a music therapist that you can dive into playing music with someone and discover (often along with them) that they can be vastly different when playing music compared with how they are in their regular life.
13/08/2013 14:20 BST

All My Single Ladies: In Praise of Newness

"Look my darling, I'm 90 years old. These musicians come here, and they play old things, always old. I don't want to look back anymore. We're alive NOW. So play me something totally new. Play some pop. Like Adele, but not so miserable."
15/07/2013 17:40 BST

Celebrate Good Times: Come on!

We all use music to help us get through life, and to enhance its good bits. What music therapists are good at is bringing that power of music to people who - for many reasons - can't claim it for themselves. Nordoff Robbins might deserve celebrating too, for growing this use of music, protecting it, and perhaps for reminding us what music is really there for.
17/06/2013 13:38 BST