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Alumna of the month - March 2009

Catherine Pestano
MSc Social Work, 2001

Catherine Pestano

Catherine gained a Masters in Social Work at South Bank University in 2001. She has recently been elected as the new chair of Sound Sense, the UK development agency for community music. Sound Sense is an organisation that provides support to organisations and individuals who help people make music in their communities -- through leading music workshops and teaching.

Catherine is a long-time member and board member of Sound Sense; she is a trained group worker, counsellor and mental health social worker as well as a practising community musician. Catherine is also a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts.

Catherine Pestano comments

"My Advanced Social Work studies at South Bank University helped me feel confident to take up this exciting position which assists me in bringing social work values into community arts. I can now help shape the development of music education in the UK to include the emancipatory and life-affirming values and practices of community music and social work. I have long found my time at the LSBU to be a great inspiration for my work."

Musically, she has trained with Frankie Armstrong (who taught at the National Theatre Studio, London for 18 years) of the Natural Voice Practitioners Network and on the Goldsmiths Certificate in workshop skills course, and is currently registered for MPhil/PhD studies in community music at the University of Winchester.

She runs the Croydon Intercultural Singing Project (CRISP), which offers community music making opportunities for all ages and training for community musicians. CRISP won an ISME (International Society for Music Education) Gibson community music education project award in 2007, for a project in Serbia.

The project in Serbia was the first international open access community music project held in the country, where young people (primary and secondary age, including disabled young people) who, through life circumstances compromised by the after effects of war and ethnic tensions, were exposed to the joy and creative freedom available through a tailored participatory music program.

For further details about Sound Sense:

Catherine Pestano, CRISP E:

Sound Sense, the UK association for community musicians
Direct No: 01449 737342
Riverside House, Rattlesden, Bury St Edmunds IP30 0SF