Dr. Margaret Lobo, Founder
Dr. Margaret Lobo, FRSA, is the founder of the Otakar Kraus Music Trust (OKMT) in the U.K., The Music Therapy Trust (TMTT) in India and The Music Therapy Trust Nepal (TMTTN). She has worked tirelessly in the field of music therapy for over 30 years to help some of the most vulnerable people in society in the UK and India. Together with a small team of highly skilled and dedicated therapists in London, she built up the work of the Otakar Kraus Music Trust (www.okmtrust.co.uk) from modest beginnings to an organisation operating in 17 venues providing over 3,000 music therapy sessions annually for over 250 people.
In 2005, Margaret was invited to extend her work to India, where she established The Music Therapy Trust as a registered charity, starting the first Post Graduate Diploma in music therapy training Indian musicians to become qualified music therapists. Over the past 10 years the students have provided clinical music therapy at over 70 NGO’s for over five thousand children and adults who are disabled or marginalised, including slum children, those with cancer, gender issues and the elderly who are isolated and with dementia.
Margaret is one of the named mentors for the ‘ASHA Foundation, “Inspirational Women from Around the World” and in 2003 was nominated for the Beacon prize for her philanthropic work. In 2007, she was awarded a Fellowship from the Royal Society of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce (FRSA) and in 2010 received an Honorary Doctorate from Middlesex University for her major contribution to the community in the UK, India and Nepal in the field of Health and Social Sciences.
In November 2017 Margaret and her late husband Walter were both presented with the International Rotary Paul Harris Fellowship Award for their 30 years of volunteer service to their music therapy work in the UK, India and Nepal.
Tony Thomas is currently working as the Operations Manager at The Music Therapy Trust in Delhi, India. He graduated from Barkatullah University, Bhopal (India) with an MA in Social Work and has an experience of more than 4 years in the development sector working for youth sustainability. Tony oversees all the activities of TMTT and is also the one point contact for all queries regarding therapies, course, workshops and skill sharing sessions that are offered by the trust. He is also a musician with drum as his core instrument, and is also actively involved as an artist with various bands in and around Delhi. He has also directed and produced short documentaries that portray the impact of social intervention in the life of less-privileged youth and children. With a heart for music, he is dedicated to give his efforts for the betterment of society by connecting to the needy through music.
Regional Director & Course Tutor
Following a twenty two-year career as a Primary School teacher, Katherine qualified as a Music Therapist in 2008. Her work has focused mainly on working in mental health and children with Autistic Spectrum Disorder. For six years, Katherine worked in low secure and rehabilitation psychiatric settings, having established music therapy services across two low-secure psychiatric hospitals run by Cygnet Healthcare in Bradford, Yorkshire.
Following her relocation to Devon, Katherine worked as a freelance music therapist carrying out one to one work in special and mainstream school settings and running music therapy groups across three residential homes for older adults. Katherine also established her own private music therapy practice, carrying out one to one work in the areas of mental health, PLMD and autism. Outside of the music therapy profession, Katherine works for the charity Plymouth Music Zone as a music leader, is Musical Director for three choirs, and gives tuition in piano, guitar and vocal technique.
In 2015, Katherine was accepted by the British Association of Music Therapists onto their Supervision register and has since provided supervision for other music therapists. In July 2017, Katherine completed the first accredited Supervision Training for Music Therapists course in the UK at UWE.
Senior Clinical Music Therapist
Nina Cherla is a Clinical Music Therapist with an M.A. in Music Therapy from the University of South Wales, UK. Her professional experience includes a decade of work in public healthcare working for individuals with special needs in Sweden and in the UK. She is currently based in Hyderabad where she carries out Music Therapy sessions at ASHA Hospital, specializing in children with social and communication difficulties. Prior to this, she worked for a year as Senior Clinical Music Therapist at The Music Therapy Trust of India. She frequently conducts workshops and training programs and actively promotes Music Therapy throughout India.
Clinical Music Therapist
Nina is originally from Austria and the U.S., though she grew up in Germany where she studied the clarinet and taught herself guitar. Nina moved to the UK for her higher education, completing a Bachelor’s degree in music at Durham University before training as a music therapist at Queen Margaret University in Scotland. While studying Nina worked as a support worker and music practitioner for adults with autism. Her master’s dissertation studied the music therapy experiences of Second World War survivors including aspects of identity and relationships.
Upon qualifying with distinction in 2017 Nina began working with NHS Lothian, piloting new music therapy projects as well as working in the core services including Older People’s Mental Health and the Children’s Music Therapy Service. Within these services Nina worked with a wide range of client groups including older people with dementia, children with autism and complex needs, and young people with mental ill health. During this time Nina also worked as a private music therapist in social care settings. Nina is passionate about travel and experiencing new cultures and has thus travelled extensively across Europe, the U.S. and Asia. She first visited India five years ago and had a wonderful experience staying in Palampur and travelling around the Golden Triangle. Thus she is thrilled to have the opportunity to live and work in New Delhi with The Music Therapy Trust this year.
Clinical Music Therapist
Polly Harris is a recently qualified music therapist. She graduated from Queen Margaret University, Edinburgh, with an MSc in Music Therapy, having written her dissertation on the role of music therapy within a mainstream secondary school. During this time, she worked specifically with adolescents diagnosed with ADHD and Autism. Polly has a particular interest in the use of music to interact and engage with children with additional support needs. She has been involved in several community music projects across Scotland, with both children and adults, promoting the use of music to engender positive change and facilitate personal development. Prior to her training as a music therapist, Polly completed a bachelors degree in music, studying the harp, and is an enthusiastic musician and teacher, enjoying music from all over the world. She has travelled to The Gambia on many occasions to deliver music workshops to children in a local school, supporting the development of communication and language skills through music and imaginative learning. In addition to this, Polly has worked in Greece as part of a community music project with refugee children, based in both Athens and Leros, and is interested in how music can be used to support those experiencing trauma. Polly is now very much looking forward to her role with The Music Therapy Trust and the new experiences it will bring.
Clinical Music Therapist
Elena Konstantinidi qualified as a music therapist from Anglia Ruskin University in the UK. She also completed her Bachelor’s degree in Music at King’s College London. During her training, Elena has worked with children with physical and learning difficulties. She has also worked in a palliative care hospice, where she took the initiative to organise and introduce music therapy sessions. During this time she was also involved in managing workshops for the staff and volunteers. Her final thesis considered the different ways in which adults and children use songs in the setting of music therapy. Additionally, Elena has a particular interest in research and has worked as a research assistant at Anglia Ruskin University in projects focusing on music therapy and dementia, as well as, acting as an administrator for the International Music Therapy Research Consortium.
Clinical Music Therapist
Jose Alor is a highly skilled professional musician who has been musically active since a young age. After completing his bachelor’s degree in violin performance at the Royal Conservatory of Music of Madrid (RCSMM), he moved to the UK to study his master’s degree in Music Therapy at Nordoff Robbins Centre in London. He has worked for Nordoff Robbins as a music therapist in a wide range of settings including care homes, hospitals, schools as well as direct referrals at the centre. Over the years Jose has also worked as a violinist in various Symphony Orchestras all over Spain as well as collaborated with groups for chorus, pop and folk music. Alongside his musical and music therapy career, he developed a great passion for teaching music to a wide range of people.