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Aug 23

The Radical Music Therapist

August 23 @ 6:00 pm - 8:00 pm EDT

Learn how music therapy can be used as a medium for emotional healing for people of all backgrounds

About the Event

Humans have been creating music since time immemorial. Music-making has historically served a range of purposes in community, including entertainment, celebration, and practicality. Many shamanic practitioners create music that emulates natural soundscapes to aid spirituality and healing. Music has also played a crucial role in all social and political movements, conveying powerful messages and transforming the experience of struggle into a more integrated and profound communal ethos.

Our inherent fluency in music-making can be nurtured and encouraged. Music therapy is a modality that uses music to support the healing of people of all backgrounds and abilities. The music therapist’s role is not to teach individuals how to play an instrument, but to use music as a medium for emotional healing.

In this community event, composer and music therapist Dorian Wallace will ground us in social movement music and radical politics to explore how we can apply elements of music therapy to mental health, integrating it within a social-political perspective in order to strengthen community activism.

After registering via Eventbrite, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about how to join via Zoom.

There is a suggested $10 donation for this event, but no one will be turned away. This event is open to all humans, including peers, clinicians, people with lived experience of trauma and oppression, musicians, educators, and helpers of all kinds. Automated closed captioning will be provided, and the event will be recorded and shared with all registrants.

Please note: IDHA is a small organization that strives to meet the accessibility needs of our community to the best of our ability. Our events are by suggested donation to ensure we can provide closed captions on our events and other programs. We appreciate contributions of any size for those who have capacity to give. If you have any questions about access, please email us at contact@idha-nyc.org.


Dorian Wallace, MT – BC (he/him) is a composer, pianist, board certified music therapist, and teacher based in New York City. His work addresses socio-political issues and philosophical concepts, often incorporating improvisation. He has collaborated with artists such as Bonita Oliver, John Sanborn, Paul Pinto, Pamela Z, Charlotte Mundy, Frank London, and Nicholas Finch, to name a few.

Wallace is a founding member and co-artistic director of Tenth Intervention, a progressive new music collective exploring the intersectionality of social justice and community engagement through contemporary music. During the COVID-19 pandemic, he founded the New Music Organizing Caucus, contemporary classical music advocacy, and labor rights collective to address systemic inequalities within the field. With David Kulma, Dorian co-hosts Trysteropod, an anarchist podcast discussing politics from a musician’s perspective. He is a Sing In Solidarity member, a socialist movement chorus in New York City that performs music from the international and domestic left.

One of New York City’s most in-demand dance accompanists, Wallace has played for Martha Graham Dance Company, Doug Varone and Dancers, Juilliard, New York University, Columbia University, and many, many others. He also teaches Music for Dancers at the Martha Graham School and is a teaching artist for the Mark Morris Dance Accompaniment Training Program.

Wallace received a BA in Music Therapy from Montclair State University, studying under Dr. Brian Abrams and Dr. Michael Viega. He completed an internship at Mount Sinai Beth Israel Louis Armstrong Center for Music and Medicine and MJHS Hospice and Palliative Care. Dorian completed his Level 1 training in Guided Imagery and Music from Atlantis Institute for Consciousness and Music. He leads music therapy and mindfulness meditation groups through his private practice, Mederi Music, as well as American Humanist Association, and About Face – Veterans Against the War. Wallace is a United States Army veteran after serving for 10 years.

He currently resides in Brooklyn, NY.

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