The Handbook of Music Therapy

The Handbook of Music Therapy

The Handbook of Music Therapy

The Handbook of Music Therapy


Music therapists work with children and adults of all ages with wide-ranging health-care needs. This handbook traces the history of recent developments in music therapy and the range of current applications and outlines practical requirements for the work and some basic prerequisites for and philosophies of training.
The Handbook of Music Therapy covers material encompassing clinical, practical and theoretical perspectives, and is divided into four main sections, including:
• the recent evolution of music therapy as a paramedical discipline complementing the more traditional areas of child and adult health care
• a clinical section including contributions from music therapy specialists in the fields of autism, adult learning disability, forensic psychiatry, neurology and dementia
• a section on resources necessary to practise as a music therapist including musical illustrations and practical examples
• a focus on issues pertinent to the life of the professional music therapist including job creation, supervision, further training and research.
The Handbook of Music Therapy is illustrated with many case studies and clinical examples throughout, placed within a variety of different theoretical and philosophical perspectives. It will be invaluable to music therapists, other arts therapists and to clinicians such as speech and language therapists, psychotherapists, psychiatrists and social workers.


Leslie Bunt and Sarah Hoskyns


Music therapy is at an exhilarating stage in its evolution both as a profession and an academic discipline. Gone are the days of it being an ad hoc pursuit for the dedicated few. In many parts of the world music therapy is now regarded as a serious clinical profession practised by well-trained and highly motivated practitioners working within a variety of approaches and agreed standards of ethical practice. This commitment to the profession and enthusiasm for the work were demonstrated at a turn-of-the-century conference organised by the British Society for Music Therapy (BSMT) and the Association of Professional Music Therapists (APMT). One of the highlights of this two-day event was a presentation by a group of newly qualified therapists from different training courses. These talented young clinicians outlined their hopes for the future, articulated within a professional approach that celebrated unity and diversity. Similar advances are occurring world-wide.

At the Ninth World Congress of Music Therapy, held in Washington in 1999, the founders of five universally acknowledged music therapy approaches were celebrated: Mary Priestley (Analytical Music Therapy); Clifford Madsen (Behavioural Music Therapy); Rolando Benenzon (Benenzon Music Therapy); Paul Nordoff and Clive Robbins (Creative Music Therapy) and Helen Bonny (Guided Imagery and Music). These approaches were placed in the context of a wide array of presentations from all corners of the globe, representatives of 42 member countries of the World Federation of Music Therapy being present at the congress.

A threshold is an interesting place to be with connotations mainly of entrance but also of exit. It is a place where it is possible to make connections between the past, present and future. A threshold leads from outside to inside; it is a literal and symbolic space between different worlds; it is an image pregnant with anticipation, mystery and not without some superstition. A threshold can also be a doorway or gateway to new understanding and awareness. Overall the image can serve us well in introducing some themes that will be elaborated in further chapters. It can help us pay tribute to the entrances . . .

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