Kurstjens, Han

Musical Attunement

Is the giant in arts therapies the logica?  

Han Kurstjens

Most clients at first do not make music. It is more sound production. They need the musical touché, the artistic attunement of the music therapist, to experience sense and meaning.

This is an act of instant composing, creating potential for experiencing form identity and the possibility to transform for the client.

This is an aesthetical intervention. Aesthetical not in good or bad, beauty or ugly, but in the original meaning of aesthetics in creating form, meaning, composition.

Arts therapies offer a safe artistic space for the client where ‘madness’ can come to transformation and response-ability.

The workshop will focus on this by experiential work forms with the participants, theoretical background and case examples.

When we use arts as therapy is it better to say psych-aesthetica than psycho-logica?



Han Kurstjens Psychologist, senior music therapist, supervisor, coordinator internationalisation, senior lecturer and educator (retired) in music therapy at the HU University of Appleid Sciences, Amersfoort. Researcher KenvaK, visiting lecturer at University of Jyväskylä, Finland, Tallinn University, Estonia. HKS University of Applied Sciences, Ottersberg, Germany, and Institute of Music, Slupsk, Poland. Advisor and tutor for the music therapy programme at Codarts, Rotterdam, the Netherlands. Presenter, organiser and lecturer for a number of music therapy programmes in the Netherlands and has presented workshops, papers and master classes at national and international (music therapy) conferences and seminars.  


Recent Publications

Kurstjens, H. (2005): Improvisatie in de muziektherapie. In: Smeijsters, H. (red.) Praktijkonderzoek in Vaktherapie. Bussum: Coutinho

Kurstjens,H. & Baerends, A (2006): Actieve muziektherapie. In: Smeijsters, H. (red.) Handboek Muziektherapie. Houten: Bohn Stafleu van Loghum.

Kurstjens,H (2008). “ik weet hoe het smaakt…”. In: Smeijsters, H. (red) . De kunsten van het leven. Veen Magazines, Diemen.

Kurstjens, H (2009): Observatieleidraad Muzikale Componenten. Unpublished document HUA, Amersfoort (publicatie 2018)

Smeijsters, H. (Red.), Welten, J., Kil, J., Kurstjens, H., Willemars, G., & Dijkema, P. (2012c). Muziektherapie in de Justitiële Jeugdinrichtingen en Gesloten Jeugdzorg. Resultaten van praktijkgericht onderzoek. Heerlen: KenVaK Publisher.

Henk Smeijsters, PhD∗, Julie Kil, MSc, MDATh, SRDATh, Han Kurstjens, MA,

Jaap Welten, MDTh, SRDTh, CP, ECP, Gemmy Willemars, MATh, SRATh

Arts therapies for young offenders in secure care—A practice-based research

The Arts in Psychotherapy 38 (2011) 41–51

Kurstjens, H. (2014): Psycho-Logica or Psych- Aesthetica?. In: Schmid.G & Sinapus.P.(red) (2015), Artistic Research in Applied Arts, Band 5, HBP university press, Berlin, Hamburg.

Kurstjens,H (2016): Herinnerd . DPN, Nijmegen

Recent presentations:

2017, December: master class at University of Appleid Siences Hogeschool Zuyd, Heerlen, the Netherlands.

2016, June: Symposium “Resonantie”. HU University of Applied Sciences, Amersfoort, the Netherlands