Italian Federation of Music Therapists

Federazione Italiana Musicoterapeuti
41 members

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Turning Point - Transformative Humanistic Music Therapy

Punto di Svolta – Musicoterapia Umanistico Trasformativa
30 members

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Italian Association of Music Therapy Professionals

Associazione Italiana professionisti della Musicoterapia
250 members

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Country Representative

Filippo Giordano

Music Therapist

I have been a music therapist since 2010. My main field of work is pediatric oncology and palliative care, and procedural and chronic pain. I currently work for the Department of Emergency and Organ Transplantion, University of Aldo Moro, Bari.

Contact me at

Discover more about Music Therapy in Italy

The development of Music Therapy in Italy started halfway through the 70s with the first occasion for national comparison at the Bologna Conference in 1973. A few years later Nora Cervi, at the time director of the Music Course of the Pro Civitate Christiana of Assisi and a person endowed with a rare sensitiveness, kindness and far-sightedness, unfortunately passed away, made herself the founder, together with a group of collaborators, of the first Italian Training Course of music Therapy which started, as an experiment, in 1981.

During those years there were numerous factors which contributed to the development of music therapy both as an area of practice and as an area of knowledge. On one hand was the growing number of trained professionals who gradually began to spread music therapy into new areas of application and make it known to other professional categories with whom they were then able to confront themselves and their different areas of knowledge. On the other was the increasing contact with representatives of music therapy in Europe and America who contributed to enriching the wealth of knowledge and theoretical references, also thanks to the increase in the circulation of original and translated texts (for example, the writings, lessons and supervisions of Alvin, Benenzon, Bruscia, Bunt, Lecourt, Nordoff-Robbins, Priestley and Wigram). Music therapy gradually became a recognised and accredited practice spread throughout the country and music therapists are present and appreciated within the various social-educational, rehabilitative and therapeutic teams.

Definition of Music Therapy: It is recognised in accordance with the Italian Associations of Music Therapy Bruscia’s definition: “Music therapy is a systematic process of intervention wherein the therapist helps the client to promote health, using music experiences and the relationships that develop through them as dynamic forces of change.”1 (Bruscia, 1988)

Theoretical Foundations

The real possession both of good musical abilities and of an psychological interpretative model of musical relationship are by now unanimously recognised as being necessary qualities for a music therapist, though with the different emphasis that the various schools place on one or the other.

Thus, both psychodynamic-oriented music therapies and humanistic-existential relational music therapies currently exist as the two main prevalent directions. The emphasis that is placed on the quality of the musical experience, even within the same orientation, is still rather variable. Other than a good level of musical ability and knowledge, which by now all schools request of aspiring music therapists, for some also indispensable is the quality of the musical experience and a style of encountering this experience that the music therapist must have recognised in him/herself in order to be able to become credible witnesses in the therapeutic relationship. Although not many schools make this request yet, it anyhow seems that this will be the path of future development in relation to the specificity of music therapy compared to other approaches for helping people.

Professional Recognition in Italy

In January 2013 the Italian government approved Law 4/2013 that recognizes the existence of new professions that could be organized in a professional body, such as music therapy. This means that professionals can be recognized by belonging to a professional association and / or self-regulated and qualified by a technical regulation issued by Italian Institute of regulation (UNI). After the law’s ratification, a UNI working group of professional associations of Arts Therapies started. In particular the UNI regulations established the professional profile equalized at level 6 of the European Qualifications Framework (EQF) and defined the knowledge, skills, autonomy and responsibility, based on EQF descriptors for professional arts therapists. Moreover UNI regulation suggests that admission to training should be with a Bachelor’s degree and musical credits and training courses with a duration of at least 1200 hours. This process has led to definitions for the Arts therapies professions under a UNI regulation, which it was published in October 2015.

As stated before, professionals can choose to be self-regulated and qualified by a Certification Institute that applies the technical regulation created by the Italian Institute of regulation (UNI). After the publication of this technical regulation, FIM (Italian Federation Music therapists) organized in October 2015 a Certification Exam by FAC Certifica so 24 professionals were certified by this Institute.

In March 2018 AIM (Italian Association of professional Music therapists) has structured with Certification Institute AICQ SICEV a certification exam, that obtained in December 2018 the accreditation of Certification system for professional Music Therapists by ACCREDIA, Italian Accreditation Institute recognized by Italian Government. In that occasion, Giulia Cremaschi Trovesi was nominated Technical Expert by ACCREDIA. Until today there are 18 professional music therapists recognized by ACCREDIA.

A second aspect covered by Law 4/2013 concerns the registration of music therapists to professional associations. The Law has stated that these associations must have a clear code of conduct, which includes: transparency in activities and structure; observation of professional ethics; an appropriate organizational structure and a qualified scientific committee within the association; clear access to an information point for the consumers; monitoring of its members in continuing professional development. Only those associations with these characteristics are able to register themselves with the Italian Ministry of Economic Development, as specified under Law 4/2013. AIM has achieved this approval in October 2019 and it is inserted in the list of the Italian Ministry of Economic Development.

Since 1994 training programs as well as some postgraduate experiences have been promoted throughout Italy by private Associations, which have followed specific criteria established by the Italian Confederation of Music Therapy Associations and Courses (CONF.I.A.M.): entrance criteria Undergraduate Degree and excellent knowledge of musical language certified by almost 3 years of theoretical and practical study; training program structured into 4 areas (Music Therapy -45%, Music- 25%, Psychology-15%, Medicine -15%, Practical placement (minimum 250 hours) and Tutoring (minimum 60 hours). In the last twenties, it has been developed an increment of training courses promoted throughout music conservatories and universities with the aim of improving the quality of the courses. Several Conservatories of Music have activated Training programs at different level of Education, following the ECTS system, recognized by the Ministry of Education. The same Conservatories have established collaborations and conventions with the Faculties of Medicine and Psychology inside Italian Universities and local Healthcare Corporations, supporting the specific subject fields of Music Therapy Education and enhancing the quality of the training courses offered to potential professionals Music therapists. Among the same courses, there are different levels of study from a Bachelor in Music therapy (EQF 6) to master level courses of two-years (EQF 7).

Training courses Italy

Conservatorio Antonio Vivaldi, Alessandria
Grade: Diploma accademico di I livello in Didattica della Musica indirizzo Musicoterapia (Bachelor)

Conservatorio Pollini, Padova
Grade: Corso accademico di I livello (Bachelor) e di II livello (Master)

Conservatorio di Ferrara
Grade:: II level degree

Conservatorio Pescara
Grade: Diploma Accademico di I livello in Musicoterapia

Conservatorio Alfredo Casella – L’Aquila
Grade: II livello

Conservatorio Bruno Maderna, Cesena
Grade: Master I livello

Conservatorio Verona
Grade: II livello

Training Course of Music Therapy ‘Oltre’ – Rome (private)
Web site:
Grade: —

Centro Studi Musica e Arte Firenze (private)
Grade: BA Equivalent

CESFOR – Corso triennale di formazione in musicoterapia (private)
Web site:
Grade: First Level Training

Associazione Pedagogia Musicale Musicoterapia “Giulia Cremaschi Trovesi” (FIM – Federazione Italiana Musicoterapeuti)(private)

Scuola Triennale di Musicoterapia “Carlo Gesualdo” (private)
Grade: Bachelor

Isfom – Istituto Formazione Musicoterapia di Napoli (private)
Grade: Diploma of specialization in music therapy

Conservatorio di Musica A. Scarlatti Palermo
Grade: Master

With reference, lastly, to clinical and research areas I would simply like to indicate how far music therapy practice is spreading to more and more varied areas and how this quantitative increase corresponds to a similar significant qualitative improvement also confirmed by the as yet not numerous but still significant presence of research projects which have the advancement and improvement of clinical practice and the application of music therapy among their main aims.

At this moment Italy is involved in the Time-A research project ( Norwey, Austria, Great Britain, Denmark, Israel, Brasil, USA, South Korea, Australia): Randomised controlled trial of improvisational music therapy’s effectiveness for children with autism spectrum disorders. Stella Maris Center in Pisa. (Prof. Dr. Filippo Muratori and Dott. Ferdinando Suvini). Responding to the need for more rigorously designed trials examining the effectiveness of music therapy in autism spectrum disorders, this pragmatic trial sets out to generate findings that will be well generalizable to clinical practice. Addressing the issue of dose variation, this study’ s results will also provide information on the relevance of session frequency for therapy outcome.

Selected links:

Recent publications from Italy

  • Centro Musicoterapia Benenzon Italia, (2014), Musica tra neuroscienze, arte e terapia, Didattica AttivaTrovesi Cremaschi Giulia, (2013), Il grembo materno. La prima orchestra, Armando Editore
  • Rossi M., Capolsini L., (2013), Musicoterapia in onco-ematologia pediatrica, Edizioni Cittadella
  • Ezzu A.,Messaglia R., (2013), Introduzione alla musicoterapia. Storia, fondamenti, modelli, applicazioni cliniche, glossario, Torino, Musica Practica.
  • Gamba L., (2012), Musicoterapia per crescere. Percorsi riabilitativi dall’infanzia all’adolescenza, Roma, Carocci Faber(2012), Le cure musicali. Applicazioni musicoterapiche in ambito psichiatrico a cura di Gerardo Manarolo, Torino, Cosmopolis
  • (2009), La voce in musicoterapiaa cura di Maria Videsott, Elena Sartori, Milano, Cosmopolis
  • Raglio A., (2008), Musicoterapia e scientificità: dalla clinica alla ricerca, Milano, Franco Angeli,

Publications that represent past and current approaches and theories from Italy

  • Bruscia, K. E., (1993), Definire la musicoterapia. Percorso epistemologico di una disciplina e di una professione, ISMEZ
  • Bruscia, K.E., (2002), Modelli di improvvisazione in musicoterapia, ISMEZ
  • Bunt, L., (1997), Musicoterapia: un’arte oltre le parole, Edizioni Kappa
  • D’Ulisse M.E. – Polcaro F.,(a cura di), (2000),Musicoterapia e Autismo, Phoenix Editrice
  • Di Franco G.L., De Michele R., (a cura di), (1995), Musicoterapia in Italia. Scuola, handicap, salute mentale, Idelson
  • Lorenzetti L.M. e Suvini F. (a cura di), (2001), Prospettive in Musicoterapia. Studi ricerche transdisciplinarità, Edizioni Franco Angeli
  • Scardovelli Mauro – Ghiozzi Roberto, (2003), La musica nel passaggio luminoso. Musicoterapia con malati terminali, Edizioni Borla
  • Trovesi Cremaschi Giulia, (2001), Il corpo vibrante: teoria, pratica ed esperienze di musicoterapia con i bambini sordi, Educazione e rieducazione,

References 1 Bruscia, K.E., Defining music therapy, Gilsum (NH), Narcelona Publishers, 1988, p.47. 2 Official Journal of the Italian Republic (2013), Law 4 “ Provisions on unregulated professions matter”. 154/ vol.22/ 26.01.2013.

Updated by Elide Scarlata ,

Italian Professional Associations member of EMTC are:

  • A.I.M. (Italian Professional Association of Music Therapy);
  • F.I.M. (Italian Federation of Music therapists);
  • AIREM (Italian Association Register of Music Therapists)
  • Punto di Svolta Association.

The association’s main objectives are the recognition of the professionalism of those who work in this sector and safeguarding the correct practice of their profession. Among the various aims that the Associations have set itself we would like to point out the following aspects: managing a National Register of Music Therapists comprising three sections: List of Music Therapists, List of Music Therapy Educators and List of Supervisors; establishing and raising clinical and ethical standards; being a constant point of reference for all music therapists in Italy; guaranteeing the correct practice of the profession by the members of the Register; safeguarding the collective interests of the sector providing consultancy and support; encouraging the spread of updated information on job opportunities and new work agreements; encouraging the exchange, publication and distribution of works relevant to music therapy; establishing and maintaining contact with other music therapists and associations around the world; maintaining a continuous relationship with the other related professional associations.

In the pursuit of these aims, a ‘Collegio Probi Viri’ has been nominated which will verify that the registered professionals observe the standards in the Code of Ethics. In particular A.I.M. rules and criteria are at first that 3 specific Registers (Music therapists, Teachers and Supervisors) have been identified, and the relative entrance criteria for all three Registers have been identified and defined.