jp hedigan

rmt, M.Mus, dip. ed.

Registered Music Therapist, Clinical SUPERVISOR, SONGWRITER, Musicologist, Coffee addict.




Clinical supervision with JP Hedigan offers beginning and well-practiced therapists the chance to reflect on their work with an experienced supervising clinician in a confidential, safe and creative environment. JP has supervised for nearly 20 years, with students of music therapy, early/mid career and senior clinicians. The process offers support and professional development through a positive relationship, providing opportunities to learn and grow as a clinician through exploration of clinical challenges, management of feelings, and finding fresh approaches to working with your clients. Regular supervision can bring beneficial insights, renewed motivation and deeper understanding of your clinical work. After his many years of broad clinical experience in music therapy with adult clients, JP believes deeply in the healing power of musical experiences and as such incorporates these into his work.

Supervision has been shown to be beneficial for patient, clinician and organisation. In some cases, organisations might support you financially to engage in a relationship with an external clinical supervisor. In my experience it’s always worth asking.

JP offers clinical supervision to clinicians of all levels of experience from his comfortable and light filled home studio in the inner northern suburbs of Melbourne. The space has a grand piano, guitars, ukuleles, and percussion instruments for creative use in sessions.

To begin the conversation about your work, please fill out the form in the CONTACT tab.






Born and bred in Melbourne, Australia, JP Hedigan (John Patrick, in case you were wondering) describes himself as a singer-songwriter, music therapist and lost cause coffee addict. He started singing, playing guitar and writing songs at age 13. His first song (written with childhood friend Tossi) is very stupid and has swear words in it. Tossi and JP’s first band was the Psychotic Onions. The Onions performed locally in Lower Plenty, in their parents’ kitchens, drumming on pots and pans with wooden spoons and covering artists like Kids in the Kitchen, Twisted Sister and Phil Collins. After driving their mothers nuts (and multiple banishments from the kitchen) the band broke up and then reformed in the garage as the Spastic Turnips, singing original songs about girls, mushrooms and toasters.

Once JP went solo at 14, he began to focus his attentions on learning to play the guitar. His teachers included Hendrix, Page, Clapton, Harrison, Richards, Hedges and Kottke. As a teenager JP played guitar and listened to music a lot, speaking to adults infrequently (unless it was about guitars), and frequently raided his older sisters LP collection.

In his 20’s while living in Fitzroy as a student of music, history, classics, philosophy and psychology (BA, Unimelb 1995), JP was in local bands like Weird Harold, Phineas Gage, Rosebud and Omniverse. While completing a postgraduate secondary teaching degree (Dip.Ed. La Trobe, 1997) aged 25 JP met Clare Bowditch at a hippie festival (where they sang together for hours in a Chai tent). Little did JP and Clare know at the time, but this chance meeting would create numerous lifelong friendships, 2 separate families, and eventually 5 children (+ 2 dogs and 1 cat). With a handful of songs JP and Clare started the band Red Raku that played regularly in Fitzroy, St. Kilda and Collingwood and made 2 albums in 3 years (Sweetly Sedated and Rodaleisis May, available on iTunes) before Clare’s departure for further study in Vancouver.

Upon graduating in 2000, JP began working part time jobs in aged care, psychiatry and adult disability. In 2001 JP began work as a full time music therapist and senior group therapist from 2001-2007 at Odyssey House Victoria, Melbourne’s largest residential drug and alcohol rehabilitation centre. During this time of great learning JP completed his Masters degree in music therapy research at Melbourne University in which he qualitatively explored the psychodynamics of group music therapy. After 7 years of tremendous learning at Odyssey, JP decided that he was missing performing enormously and flicked the switch. By 2008 he was back to performing and on the road with the indigenous band the Brolga Boys (playing lead guitar). Next, he joined the Paul Dempsey Band in 2009 as a touring Multi-instrumentalist playing guitar and keyboards, and singing backing vocals. This symbiotic relationship continued for a number of years with JP eventually being asked to tour as a member of Paul’s ‘other’ band Something For Kate. Many sold out tours and countless festival shows ensued, the band rocked hard and everybody had copious amounts of fun. JP was in high demand as a touring and studio session musician, playing with Clare Bowditch and Darren Middleton (Powderfinger) when he had time. Throughout this period JP continued his clinical work in music therapy, leading individual and group music therapy programs at Austin Health in Palliative Care, Oncology and Psychiatry acute, secure, mother & baby and PTSD wards) from 2006-2014.

Since its opening in 2014, JP has been Senior Music Therapist at the Olivia Newton-John Cancer Wellness and Research Centre in Heidelberg, Melbourne. A cancer survivor himself, JP continues his work at the centre where he co-ordinates music therapy programs in palliative care and oncology/haematology. Jp’s work at ONJ is focused on end of life care, particularly legacy focused song writing, with patients being invited in the ONJ Recording Studio to participate in making a studio quality recording of their song.

In 2017, JP was a regular guest on Afternoons with Clare Bowditch on ABC Radio, where he discussed why music matters, music therapy and everything in between.


Music Therapy

In 2000 JP Hedigan qualified as a Registered Music Therapist. Since that time he has worked extensively as a senior clinician in oncology, palliative care, aged care, addictions, acute psychiatry, secure psychiatry, mother and baby psychiatry (Post-natal depression and psychosis), and veteran psychiatry (PTSD).

In 2007 JP completed his Master’s degree in Music (Music Therapy Research), using phenomenology to explore “The Experience of Group Music Therapy for Substance Dependent Adults Living in a Therapeutic Community.” This project was conducted during his 7 years at Odyssey House Victoria. JP’s clinical methods in this role used music psychodynamically, predominantly group improvisation (using tuned and untuned percussion instruments in conjunction with open group discussion) and dyadic piano improvisation in private therapy sessions. Both methods remained interpersonally focused, drawn from the verbal psychotherapeutic traditions (especially existential psychotherapy and gestalt therapy).

JP has presented aspects of his clinical work at conferences nationally and internationally. In 2008 he was the recipient of the Ruth Bright Award for the most outstanding presentation given at the annual Australian Music Therapy Conference for his presentation of his Masters research results in a paper called “Authenticity and Intimacy: Group Music Therapy for Substance Dependent Adults.” A chapter summary of this research was published by Jessica Kingsley Publishers in the book “Music Therapy and Addiction.”

What is music therapy?

As defined by the Australian Music Therapy Association Music Therapy is;

“a research-based practice and profession in which music is used to actively support people as they strive to improve their health, functioning and wellbeing."

"Music therapy is the intentional use of music by a university-trained professional who is registered with the Australian Music Therapy Association Inc. Registered music therapists draw on an extensive body of research and are bound by a code of ethics that informs their practice."

"Music therapists incorporate a range of music making methods within and through a therapeutic relationship. They are employed in a variety of sectors including health, community, aged care, disability, early childhood, and private practice.  Music therapy is different from music education and entertainment as it focuses on health, functioning and wellbeing."

"Music therapists are committed to supporting people of any age and ability regardless of musical skill, culture or background.”

For more information about music therapy go to