Cyprus Music Therapy Association

Σύνδεσμος Μουσικοθεραπείας Κύπρου
22 members

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Country Representative

Irini Ioannou

Music Therapist

I have been a music therapist since 2014.
My main field of work is with children and adults with special needs.
I currently work in Special Education in a public school for children with special needs.

Contact me at

Discover more about Music Therapy in Cyprus

After a long army-political turbulence and repression in the island that peaked between the 50’s and 70’s, in the 80’s came a general socio-economic growth that brought the flourishing of new ways of living. The rapid urbanization urged the society to adjust and the boundaries to expand, therefore new foundations had to be created along the way to contain sufficiently the expansion. In this spirit, new professions started to emerge. Music therapy was one of the professions that set off in this way. The, also newly introduced, public special education sector and the public outpatient mental health services absorbed the first music therapists, graduates mainly from US and UK universities, right after their return from their studies.

Non-statutory recognition The Ministry of Education employs qualified music therapists since 2001. There are currently 7 music therapists employed in 7 public Special Education schools in Cyprus. Furthermore, the Mental Health Services of the Ministry of Health, employs music therapists under annual contracts. Generally, more people in Cyprus now know of, accept, and ask for music therapy services both in the private and the public sector, and this development has happened mostly due to the work of individual music therapists: either through their music therapy practice or through actual promoting of and advocating for the profession to the public and key organizations.

Statutory recognition After the foundation of the CyMTA in 2010 the promotion of passing a music therapy law has been more vigorous, with the handing in of a legislation proposal to the government authorities. The main goal is to obtain official national recognition through legislation thus implementing high service quality through statutory requirements such as high qualification standards and CPD.

One of the main inhibiting factors in the statutory recognition process is the variety, or lack of homogeneity, in the training backgrounds of the currently 22 qualified MTs who come from different approved training courses, from different countries and continents. As a consequence, there is a variety in levels (BA and MA) as well as in ways of training, and approach, which seems to make up a confusing picture for the government authorities. The CyMTA maintains that any legislation should be apt to face the challenge and aim to strike a balance between embracing all particularities, while setting common high standards, and ways of measuring proficiency, quality and efficacy.

There is no music therapy training course in Cyprus yet. Nevertheless the CyMTA promotes CPD at the moment, by organizing seminars.

DEFINITION OF MUSIC THERAPY The definition that the Cyprus Music Therapy Association (CyMTA) officially uses is: “Music therapy is a scientific discipline involved with the therapeutic use of music and musical elements -sound, rhythm, melody, harmony, intensity, timbre. A qualified music therapist who works with an individual or a group, assesses and intervenes therapeutically towards the improvement of communication, relationship, learning, movement, expression and organization, aiming towards the treatment of psychological, social, mental, physical, and emotional needs of the patient.”

There is a variety of models that Cypriot music therapists utilize, that fully depend on the content of the individual’s studies, as well as any further Continuing Professional Development (CPD) taken. The variety expands from behavioural to creative, psychodynamic, and psychotherapeutic backgrounds. Combination of theoretical backgrounds is common practice.

Research conducted by the Cypriot music therapists Dr. Anthti Agrotou and Dr. Varvara Pashali, includes:

Agrotou, A., (1988) A case-study: Lara, Journal of British Music Therapy, 2 (1): 17-23.

Agrotou, A., (1990). Chaos and creativity: some aspects of music therapy techniques and processes. In the Congress Arts Therapies Education – Our European Future, organised by The Hertfordshire College of Art and Design in collaboration with ERASMUS, 5-7 October 1990, St. Albans, England and published in the conference proceedings.

Agrotou, A. (1993). Spontaneous Ritualized Play in Music Therapy: a Technical and Theoretical analysis. In T. Wigram and M. Heal, (Eds.). Music Therapy in Health and Education. London: Jessica Kingsley Publishers

Agrotou, A., (1993). Music Therapy in Cyprus, in C. D.Marnato, (Ed.) Music Therapy: International Perspectives (183-196). U.S.A.: Jeffrey Books, New Jersey.

Agrotou, A., (1993). Orpheus, Marsyas and some other questions on Music Therapy. Foreword to the Journal of British Music Therapy, 7 (2): 2-3.

Agrotou, A., (1994). Isolation and the Multi-Handicapped Patient: an Analysis of the Music Therapist-Patient Αffects and Processes. The Arts in Psychotherapy, 21 (5): 359-365. (Also presented in the Seventh World Congress of Music Therapy, 19-23 July 1993, Vitoria-Gasteiz, Spain.

Agrotou, A., (1994). Music Therapy with a group of residents and carers in an institution: a space for the dynamic revelation of non-verbal phenomena for all the participants. Research paper presented in the Conference Mental Handicap – Timely Intervention, organised by the Committee for the Protection of the Rights of People with a Mental Handicap, 19-20 November 1994, Nicosia.

Agrotou, A., (1996). The child with learning disabilities and the meaning of knowledge: Correlations and music therapy experiences. Research paper presented to the students of The Department of The Sciences of Education, The University of Cyprus, given within the series of Seminars for Special Education, 29 January 1996, Nicosia.

Agrotou, A., (1999). Creation and production of a video documentary based on own doctoral research with the title: Sounds and meaning: Group Music Therapy with people with profound learning disabilities and their carers. Production executed by Lumiere services Ltd.

Agrotou, A., (2002). Novel methodology in psychodynamic group music therapy: treating the patients, training the carers. In the Proceedings of the Tenth World Congress of Music Therapy: “Dialogue and Debate:” Music Therapy in the 21st Century: A Contemporary Force for Change, 23-28 July, Oxford, England.

Agrotou, A., (2008). Music Therapy in Cyprus. Voices: An international Forum for Music Therapy

Agrotou, A., (2013). Contributor of K. Kirkland (Ed.), International Dictionary of Music Therapy, Canada: Routledge.

Aigen, K., Miller, C. K, Kim, Y., Pasiali, V., Kwak, E., & Tague, D. B. (2004). Nordoff-Robbins music therapy. In A. A. Darrow, (Ed.) Approaches in music therapy. Silver Springs, MD: American Music Therapy Association.

Clair, A. A., & Pasiali, V. (2004). Neurologic music therapy. In A. Darrow, (Ed.) Approaches in music therapy. Silver Springs, MD: American Music Therapy Association.

Hussey, D. L, Reed, A. M., Layman, D. L., & Pasiali, V. (2007). Music Therapy and Complex Trauma: A Protocol for Developing Social Reciprocity. In M. I. Singer & M. R. Munson (Eds.), Advancing quality in residential treatment: Innovations, next steps and special concerns. Binghamton, NY: The Haworth Press.

Pasiali, V. (2004). The use of prescriptive therapeutic songs in a home-based environment to promote social skill acquisition by children with autism: Three case studies. Music Therapy Perspectives, 22, 11-20.

Pasiali, V., De L’Etoile, S. K., & Tandy, K. (2004). Kindermusik and music therapy. In A. A. Darrow, (Ed.) Approaches in music therapy. Silver Springs, MD: American Music Therapy Association.

Pasiali, V., Lin, S. Y., & Noh, H. E. (2009). An analysis of the editorial committee of the Journal of Music Therapy, 1964-2007. Journal of Music Therapy, 36, 272-286.

Pasiali, V. (2012). Supporting parent-child interactions: Music therapy as an intervention for promoting mutually responsive orientation. Journal of Music Therapy, 49, 303-334.

Pasiali, V. (2012). Resilience, music therapy, and human adaptation: Nurturing young children and families. Nordic Journal of Music Therapy, 21, 36-56. doi: 10.1080/08098131.2011.571276

Pasiali, V. (2013a). Book review: “Developmental Speech-Language Training through Music for Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders” (Hayoung Lim). Approaches: Music Therapy & Special Music Education, 5(1), 67-70. Retrieved from

Pasiali, V. (2013b). Music therapy and attachment relationships across the lifespan. Nordic Journal of Music Therapy. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1080/08098131.2013.829863

Pasiali, V. (2013c-g). Contributor of K. Kirkland (Ed.), International dictionary of music therapy (pp. 20, 28, 53, 55, 65). New York: Routledge.

Pasiali, V. (2013h). A clinical case study of family-based music therapy. Journal of Creativity in Mental Health. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1080/15401383.2013.821925

Randles, C., & Pasiali, V. (2011). Cognitive psychology of music learning. In Norbert Seel (Ed.) Encyclopedia of the sciences of learning (Vol. 2, pp. 602-613). New York: Springer Publishing.