Picture of Leslie Bunt



University of the West of England

In March 2005 Leslie Bunt was invited by the Vice-Chancellor of UWE to be Professor in Music Therapy, the first such position within a university in the UK.

In November 2005 Leslie Bunt oversaw the introduction of the new 'MA in Music Therapy', a 3-year programme with a yearly intake.

MusicSpace Trust

In 1989 Leslie Bunt set up the registered charity The MusicSpace Trust and became its first director.

MusicSpace aimed to create a national network of community-based music therapy centres supported by training, research and performance. The first centre opened In Bristol in September 1991. By the end of 2005 over 1350 children and adults were being seen for weekly music therapy sessions by over 50 therapists working in six regions of the country. Currently the charity works from its first centre in Bristol.

As Director Leslie Bunt was responsible for the overall monitoring of the quality of the music therapy service within the branches. He also directed all national and international training on behalf of the Trust as well as running a clinical and supervision practice. The work of MusicSpace is funded through a mixture of statutory contracts grants from charitable trusts, foundations and from private donations.

Examiner and research supervision

Editorial positions

Professional affiliations



Advanced therapy training

From 1995 - 1999 Leslie Bunt trained with the leading American music therapist Dr Kenneth Bruscia in Guided Imagery and Music (GIM) being awarded the Fellowship of the Association for Music and Imagery in 1999 (FAMI).

Doctoral research

The evaluation study based at Charing Cross Hospital formed the basis of Leslie Bunt's MPhil study within the Department of Music, The City University London. This was converted to a PhD study in 1980.

1980: Appointed Research Fellow in Music Therapy, The City University, London, a 3-year staff position and the first such fellowship within a British University. The research was the UK's first outcome-based study in music therapy and evaluated music therapy for pre-school and school children with special needs using descriptive ethological methods and detailed video and statistical analysis.

1985: Awarded the first PhD in music therapy in the UK. The principal external examiner was Prof. Joan Bicknell, Professor in Disability, University of London. The examiners requested a few minor typographical changes to be made and wanted the award to be given 'with commendation' should the regulations have allowed.

This sustained period of study (1978 - 1985) positioned Leslie Bunt as one of the UK’s pioneering researchers in the field of music therapy. His reputation also began to grow nationally and internationally as an experienced clinician working with children and as a trainer and research supervisor.

He was invited to be Chairman of the British Society for Music Therapy (BSMT) and a Governor of the Music Therapy Charity. Later he would become a Vice-President of the BSMT and a member of the Advisory Council to the Professional Association.

While at City University Leslie Bunt was also conductor of the University Chamber Choir.

University of Bristol

Jan 1992 - to December 2006 Course Director, Music Therapy Post-Graduate Diploma in Music Therapy, University of Bristol (groups in Bristol and from 1995 in Bologna, Italy)

Sept 1989 - Sept 1991 Research Study - 'A community-based music therapy service for Bristol' based at the Institute of Child Health under the direction of the late Prof. David Baum. Responsible for securing funding for this study.

Awarded honorary titles as Research Fellow in Music and Research Fellow in Child and Mental Health, University of Bristol.

Music therapy training

Experiences of teaching children with difficulties led to training in music therapy with pioneering music therapist Juliette Alvin at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, London. Awarded the Licentiate of the Guildhall School in music therapy - LGSM (MT) - in 1977.

September 1977: Invited by the consultant paediatrician Dr Hugh Jolly to be locum music therapist at the Child Development Centre (CDC), Charing Cross Hospital, London, the internationally-renowned centre for the assessment and treatment of children with special needs.

September 1978 - July 1980: Appointed Research Fellow in Paediatrics, Charing Cross Medical School to carry out an action-based evaluation study on the role of music therapy within the special schools and nursery units within local boroughs (funded by the National Medical Research Fund, Bristol).

Early teaching and lecturing

Early training

Picture of Leslie Bunt conducting