Hampstead DJ explores 'the power of music' with trainee therapists

Buskwacka! with Nordoff Robbins trainee music therapists in Hampstead

Buskwacka! with Nordoff Robbins trainee music therapists in Hampstead - Credit: Oliver Dixon

A renowned Hampstead DJ ran a workshop on electronica and its role in music therapy.

Matthew Benjamin, aka Bushwacka!, joined trainee therapists at charity Nordoff Robbins' music therapy centre in Gospel Oak on September 21.

The event, in conjunction with Virgin Media,  was an instrumental jamming session and DJ masterclass, with Bushwacka!, who is a trained psychotherapeutic counsellor and the founder of Listen Up Therapy.

He said: “Music is such a big part of my life, and it has been an honour to meet with Nordoff Robbins to explore the power of music together.

"As a professional DJ and trained psychotherapeutic counsellor, I use house and dance music daily, and believe that listening and playing music with others, and alone can have a positive impact on people’s everyday lives.”

Nordoff Robbins uses music therapy to help people living with life-limiting illness, profound disabilities, or isolation.

Bushwacka! with Richard Bennett, Nordoff Robbins course leader

Bushwacka! with Richard Bennett, Nordoff Robbins course leader - Credit: Oliver Dixon

Course leader Richard Bennett said: “As the UK’s largest independent music therapy charity, we are always looking for ways to expand our knowledge and educate our therapists about new ways to use music in the work we do.

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"We were very excited to partner with Virgin Media and Bushwacka! to offer our up and coming students the opportunity to try their hand at using their instruments to improvise with electronic music.”

Research from UK Music has found that 59% of adults feel that music aids their health and wellbeing.

The workshop formed part of Virgin Media’s partnership with Nordoff Robbins, with the brand donating £50,000 to the charity as part of its Summer Jams campaign. The funding is helping Nordoff Robbins’ expert music therapists to continue to connect with people and families experiencing isolation – after the charity’s funding was hit hard by the pandemic.

The workshop took place ahead of Bushwacka! playing a set at Virgin Media’s Club Rewind – the UK’s first inter-city connected club experience, which took place simultaneously in London and Glasgow on September 22. The noughties Ibiza-themed event was headlined by Pete Tong and Carl Cox respectively.

Bushwacka! at Nordoff Robbins 

Bushwacka! at Nordoff Robbins - Credit: Oliver Dixon