Danish Music Therapist Association

Dansk Musikterapeutforening
131 members


Country Representative

Gustavo Schulz Gattino

Music Therapist

I have been a music therapist since 2007. My main field of work is is with autistic people and their family members. I currently work as an Associate Professor at Aalborg University (Denmark).

Contact me at

Discover more about Music Therapy in Denmark

The Danish Society for Music Therapy (DFMT) was founded in 1969 and included among others the practitioners Claus Bang, Synnøve Friis, Grethe Lund, and Søren Müllhausen. In 1982 a four year training program was established at Aalborg University, and in 1995 the training program was extended to at five year training leading to a master’s degree. The program was among others build up by Inge Nygaard Pedersen, Benedikte Scheiby, Estrid Heerup and Lars Ole Bonde. In 1998 the first music therapy professorship in Denmark was established and chaired by dr. Tony Wigram, who further has develop the PhD Research School at Aalborg University. In 1992 music therapists with a university degree founded the professional association Danish Association of Music Therapists (MTL) as a separate part of the academic national trade union DM. In 1998 the Danish GIM society was founded as an open society for people with interest in receptive music psychotherapy. In 2007 the work of DFMT was handed over to MTL after a long period with good collaboration. In 2014 MTL changed its name to DMTF (Danish Association of Music Therapists).

Danish music therapists are employed in psychiatric hospitals and social psychiatry, specialized child care institutions, schools, nursing homes, daycare centers, palliative care, neurological rehabilitation, institutions and homes for adults with special needs and in the Danish Refugee Council. The number of music therapists working in independent private practices are growing. Danish music therapists are qualified to work in multidisciplinary teams, their primary colleagues being doctors, psychiatrists, psychologists, social counsellors, special teachers, physio- and occupational therapists, nurses and speech therapists among others. In addition to clinical practice music therapists can offer supervision and counselling. Music therapy is described and recognized by the Danish Health Care Department for people with Dementia. Music therapy in the field of psychiatry has for the first time in 2016 been mentioned and recommended in the Danish Health Care Departments clinical guidelines in the course of treatment of emotionally unstable personality disorder. The article in Danish about the recognition is in ‘Dansk Musikterapi, 2016, 13(1), s. 44’. Music therapists’ salary are set by the trade union DM (The Danish Association of Masters and PhD).

Aalborg University offers a five year, full-time MA degree course in music therapy, and is linked to the Music Therapy Clinic at Aalborg Psychiatric Hospital that is established as a center for treatment and research. The permanent staff includes two full time professors and six full time associate professors. In addition the team includes four part-time lecturers, two postdocs and about 15 PhD students.

The MA program qualifies students to practice music therapy at a clinical and scientific level. Students are trained to work within multi-disciplinary teams in institutions in Denmark or abroad. The program gives equal weight to academic study, personal development, musical training, scientific research methodology and clinical skills. The program was founded on a broad psycho-dynamic and humanistic basis encouraging an integrative approach.

Elements in Training Programme:

  • Musical skills: Musical and clinical approach to vocal, instrumental and keyboard improvisation. Musical repertoire.
  • Self experience: Individual and group training in the therapy process. Clinical experience at different institutions.
  • Theoretical skills: Music psychology, general psychology, theory of science, theory of music therapy.
  • The 5th year includes a full time clinical trainee period for one semester, followed by one semester’s supervision of the Masters’ theses.

The international Doctoral Programme and the research milieu at Aalborg University has developed since the first doctoral students were enrolled in 1992. The programme offers PhD education within the science of music therapy. The doctoral students are trained in a stimulating international research milieu and meets twice a year in Aalborg for one-week courses where they work with the peer group, invited presenters and the supervisors. With a majority of international scholarship students, the program has a strong global orientation and partnership with front research milieus. International liaisons are fostered through well-established consortium partnerships, research networks and proficient data collection sites. The goal of the Doctoral Programme is to train researchers with sufficient theoretical, technical, methodological and applied clinical research knowledge in the field of music therapy research to assure scientific rigor. For more information, please visit:

Journal: “Dansk Musikterapi” published by DMTF Email:

Series: Årsskrift: Musikterapi i psykiatrien. Musikterapiklinikken. Aalborg Psykiatriske Sygehus, Aalborg Universitet, Den Psykiatriske Forskningsenhed i Nordjyllands Amt.

Music Therapy literature related to clinical areas: The Danish Center for Documentation and Research in Music Therapy (CEDOMUS) was developed due to the increasing interest in music therapy as an evidence based practice and provides knowledge about music therapy related to various clinical fields.

PhD dissertations frm The Doctoral Programme in Music Therapy: