Sandra Sinsch-Gouffi: music pedagogue, music therapist, music geragogue and musician


I am a music pedagogue, music therapist, music geragogue, musician
and work in forensic psychiatry in Stendal, Germany. Before that, I spent many years abroad. I was a lecturer in Istanbul at the Istanbul Technical University (ITÜ) State Conservatory of Turkish Music (TMDK) and solo oboist in the Bibliotheca Alexandrina Symphony Orchestra and the orchestra at the Sayed Darwish Theatre in Alexandria, Egypt. My professional biotopes are the more unusual places and the topics I deal with academically are off the beaten track and at the interfaces of the various musical disciplines.

Topics that particularly fascinate me are cultural education and participation in the context of custodial measures (a major topic in my dissertation, which is currently underway at the KU Eichstätt-Ingolstadt), music and social justice, as well as research into classical Arabic and Ottoman music therapy and the transfer of receptive and active methods from Şifahane and Bimaristan to contemporary therapy settings. I work intensively with the effect of Modi, Makâm or Raga on body, mind and soul and give a lot of space in my work to what can more or less be summarised under the generic term sound therapy, far away from any Eurocentric view. This also applies to the combination of spirituality, music and therapy. 

It all began as a rather regular career in classical music. At the age of 14, I became an extraordinary student of Prof Winfried Liebermann in Mannheim Music University and was thus trained in the great tradition of the German oboe school. Almost straight from high school I ended up in a state orchestra, won a few competitions and was everything but happy with it. Supported by the German National Academic Foundation, I studied several programmes in Germany at the music universities in Mannheim, Hamburg and Trossingen. I received additional impetus for historical oboe instruments at the Schola Cantorum Basiliensis, Switzerland, and the Conservatoire de musique in Strasbourg, France, as I feel most at home between the Middle Ages and classical music. 

I have performed worldwide as a soloist, chamber musician and orchestral musician and have been a guest at festivals such as the Tage Alter Musik Innsbruck, the Schleswig-Holstein Music Festival, the Lake Constance Festival, the Festival de Saintes, the Franconian Summer and in concert halls such as the Berlin Philharmonie, the Cologne Philharmonie, the Konzerthaus Dortmund and the CRR Istanbul. I received an Echo Klassik award in 2012 for the CD "Baroque oriental" (Pera Ensemble, Berlin Classics), and I can also be heard on numerous other CDs and radio recordings. My own ensemble is called "Alla Turca Kollektif" and is dedicated to the interaction between Ottoman and Western music on historical instruments.

I am grateful for my broad-based studies and for everything I have learnt and am still learning. The effect that music has on our physical and mental well-being is too fascinating. Aesthetic spaces of experience have huge potential, especially in the case of psychiatric illnesses. As beautiful as the glossy world of classical music may be - the reality is different. Too many people still have no or only limited access to cultural education and participation. However, cultural education and participation are a non-negotiable human right. In my opinion, everyone who works in musical performance, education and therapy has a responsibility to stand up for this. 

My complete CV can be emailed on request. 

Additional trainings

  • Sound massage practitioner according to Peter Hess®.
  • MUSAD - Music-based Scale for Autism Diagnosis
  • MUPA certificate: Muslim patients in psychotherapy
  • Seminar leader's licence for Progressive Muscle Relaxation according to Jacobsen and Autogenic Training
  • Foreign languages: Turkish, French, English (fluent written and spoken), Arabic (basic), Latin & Ottoman (as needed for source studies).

Awards & stuff

  • Scholarship holder of the German National Academic Foundation
  • 1st prize in the competition for wind instruments of the Yamaha Music Foundation of Europe
  • Competition for Early Music of the Fritz Neumeyer Academy for Early Music and German National Radio (SR)
  • Rast Music Award for the paper and conference presentation " Music educational processes in old age: An introduction to the young academic discipline of music geragogy" published in : Journal for the Interdisciplinary Art and Education

Music & projects

  • I can be heard on various CDs as a baroque oboist, for example "Baroque oriental "(Pera/Berlin Classics), "Café - Orient meets Occicent" (Pera/Berlin Classics), "Amor oriental - Händel alla Turca" (Pera/deutsche harmonia mundi), "Trialog - Music for the One God" (Pera/Berlin Classics). 
  • With my own ensemble Alla Turca Kollektif, which specialises in the interrelations of historical European and Ottoman music, there are radio recordings with German WDR and Swiss Radio DRS 2. Listen to the sound of Alla Turca Kollektif: "Marches des Janissaires (Blainville) - Nevâ Ceng-i Harbi "Çifte Düyek" (Ali Ufkî).
  • " Şifam - beyond music" is the name of a project that is all about oriental therapy music - a healing journey into a forgotten world. Here and here comes the sound. 
  • "Coffee for the King" , published by audible audio books, is a musical fairy tale from my pen. With baroque music from Turkey and Europe, it is about the history of coffee and the magic of Ramadan. As a concert for young ears, the project ran in the Cologne Philharmony among other places. 
  • "Magic Sound" is a format created by the lovely Karin Hübner. With singing bowls, harp and tambura, visitors are transported into another world. They are also welcome to lie down.