“Heaven Sent” features Australian Music-Thanatologist

Peter Roberts was the first music-thanatologist I ever met.  I was introduced to him just after moving to Missoula, Montana to complete my own training, and his kindness and love of music-thanatology gave me all kinds of confidence about the work I was undertaking.  In order to pursue his own dream of becoming a music-thanatologist, he had left a successful business and moved from Australia to Missoula with his family.  When I met him, he was completing his training and preparing to be the first and only music-thanatologist in Australia.

That was fifteen years ago, and his vision for the work has been astonishing.  While pioneering as a music-thanatologist, he created the Institute of Music in Medicine, participated in ongoing research about music-thanatology, recorded several CDs and DVDs, collaborated with Musicmaker’s Kits to create the Reverie Harp, and built and sold harps.

On Sunday, ABC in Australia ran an extraordinary story about Peter called “Heaven Sent.”  It’s a beautiful portrait of his journey.  His love for the work and for the people he serves shines through the whole story, and I was most touched by his honesty and integrity as he reflected on what the work has meant to him and his family.  It’s about a half hour, and I recommend it highly.  Enjoy!

One thought on ““Heaven Sent” features Australian Music-Thanatologist

  1. That was a great piece. I was thinking about how wonderful it must make you feel to have a major news network do such a lengthy piece on your fairly unknown-to-the-general-public profession. I was also wondering how disheartening it must feel when you read the synopsis below the video on the ABC web page and see that they refer to him as a Music ‘Thanatologist’. As scare quotes can be used to note something is non-standard, ironic or unsubstantiated, I didn’t like seeing them in this summary. Why the scare quotes, ABC?

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