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I am delighted that you are here and am very happy to tell you a bit more about my background, training and professional experience. 

I am originally from Leeds, where I discovered a love of music and singing at an early age, studying several instruments, playing in orchestras, competing in local festivals and singing in choirs. My family enjoy music but they don't play or sing and are all, in fact, very scientific and practical which, thinking about it now, has perhaps influenced my desire to combine the floatiness of music with methods that I have researched and proved to be truly effective to myself and the client through clinical work.

My undergraduate degree was a Combined Honours in English and Music at the University of Birmingham. My first instrument was the piano, but it was there that I fell in love with singing and discovered the joys of opera. 

This Inner Voice Music Therapy and Coaching

After university, I worked very hard on my singing and was eventually accepted at the Royal Northern College of Music as a postgraduate student. I graduated with distinction for my Postgraduate Diploma recital and Master of Music degree and from there I worked for many years teaching singing, piano, violin and flute in many different schools whilst pursuing professional singing opportunities as they arose. 

I was accepted on to the English National Opera young artists' programme in 2009 and it was there that a chance conversation led my finding out about Music Therapy. I didn't know very much about it at all, but when I investigated further I was captivated. I came to realise that, because of it's all-encompassing impact on the brain, music could actually be used to genuinely assist people in all sorts of practical, unexpected and life-changing ways. I was absolutely hooked and looked into training.


I continued to work as a singer and teacher, taking a job share at English National Opera in the chorus whilst simultaneously training to be a Music Therapist at Roehampton University, before having my second child. After graduating with Distinction from the MA course that took me 3 years to complete, I started to take on freelance Music Therapy work in addition to my performing and teaching. In recent years, I taught Singing to diploma level at Bradfield College where I also led a Music Therapy outreach project and designed and directed a production of Purcell's Dido and Aeneas.

When I was able to witness first-hand the dramatic impact of music therapy, I started to become absolutely passionate about working more regularly as a music therapist, gaining experience with clients and developing a very diverse caseload. I undertook additional training at the Global Academy of Neurologic Music Therapists and qualified as a MATADOC Assessor (a training in implementing a standardised diagnostic music-based measure validated for use with adults with disorders of consciousness).

I worked at various schools for children with profound and multiple learning disabilities, care homes, rehab centres and in clients' homes. I have been a member of numerous multi-disciplinary teams and have worked closely with Speech and Language Therapists and Physiotherapists. I have been asked to lecture about my work at several University of Oxford colleges and for the British Association of Music Therapists.

In 2022, I was first contracted by CHROMA Creative Arts Therapies and have worked with many wonderful clients there honing, in particular, my skills with survivors of stroke where I developed my methods with clients primarily at rehabilitation facilities and also online. It was fantastic to discover how much my vocal technique knowledge came to bear in assisting clients with recovering their speech. The results have been absolutely amazing. The joy when a client can say something like 'I love you' again to their family members is indescribable.

More recently, I became fascinated by the mechanics of coaching practice to help clients with psychological challenges, and witnessing how powerful this work could be first hand, I decided to train with the wonderful Annie Grace of the hugely successful 'This Naked Mind' movement last year. Working with Annie enabled me to change some key aspects of my own internal thought patterns. I have boosted my self-esteem and become free of some very limiting beliefs and habits all of which has had a massively positive impact on my own life. I had no idea that it was possible to change underlying thought processes in this way. The work is very science-based and uses research-backed, non airy-fairy methods to ensure genuine progress.

I became very excited to discover that I could combine the  methodology I learnt on the coaching programme with Music Therapy to enhance the experience of coaching for my clients, should they wish to explore this different dimension to the work. As a multi-instrumentalist (I played violin, flute and piano as part of professional UK Shakespeare tour for several years) the potential here is vast.

I feel that it is important for clients and families to know that there is no need to 'be musical' or have musical skills to receive the benefits of our interventions. Music is used as a wonderful way of effecting specific functional or psychological outcomes. These outcomes are nothing to do with music, unless the client is especially interested in playing or singing. Music is a powerful medium because it engages so much of the brain when we are working with it. Please see the free resources page for more information about this.

I continue to work as an opera singer because, alongside therapeutic work, I love performing, creating characters and the glamour that sometimes goes with it! You can read about my work, hear me sing and see a different side by visiting my new website Serenna Wagner - Mezzo-soprano - Official Website

I very much hope that I will be able to welcome you to work with me or a member of the team here at This Inner Voice in the near future.

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