Lithuanian Music Therapy Association

Lietuvos muzikos terapijos asociacija
23 members

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Country Representative

Jurgita Žalgirytė-Skurdenienė

Music Therapist & Psychologist

I have been a music therapist since 2020.

My main field of work is adults with traumatic experiences and autistic adults and family members of autistic children.

I currently work as a lecturer at Vilnius University and the Lithuanian Academy of Music and Theatre and in private practice for Psychology and Music Therapy.

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Discover more about Music Therapy in Lithuania

The formation of the rudiments of music therapy took place in former Soviet Lithuania. At the end of the 1970s investigations into the role of music in treating psychosomatic diseases and dysfunctions of the central nervous system were started in the Laboratory of Resort Treatment Research. In the 1980s some psychiatrists showed an interest in the application of music therapy in psychotherapy. However, historical and economic changes in the country striving for the independence at the end of 1980s impeded the introduction of music therapy in these fields.

The restoration of independence in 1990 and all the political and socio-cultural changes challenged the development of music therapy in the social-educational field. The main force was the Law on Integration of the Disabled and particularly the ideas of the socialization of special needs people through the arts.

The Lithuanian Association for Educational Music Therapy (Lietuvos ugdomosios muzikos terapijos ascociacija)
1997: The Lithuanian Association for Educational Music Therapy was established as a non-governmental organization of specialists interested in applying music therapy methods for the work with special needs people.
1997 – 2007: The Association launched projects covering seminars (244 hours) in music therapy. Well-known music therapists from Norway, Germany, Great Britain, Switzerland and USA delivered lectures and workshops.
1998 – 2000: The Lithuanian Association for Educational Music Therapy in cooperation with the Lithuanian Association of Art Therapy Application implemented a joint project “Program of Psychological Training” on which basis seminars (222 hours) on clinical psychology, social psychology, psychiatry and workshops on drama and movement therapy were held.
1998 – 2003: Seven Lithuanians completed post-graduate education in music therapy at the Sogn og Fjordane University College in Norway as a result of collaboration with Norwegian counterparts.
2000 – 2002: Theses on a doctoral degree overlapping the Educational music therapy field were defended (A.Vilkeliene, 2000; V. Aleksiene, 2001; J.Sinkuniene, 2001; L. Kaciusyte Skramtai, 2002).
2002 – 2007: The Association, in collaboration with Lithuanian and foreign partners, initiated and executed a number of projects targeted at 1) development of artistic resources and creativeness of physically or mentally impaired persons, 2) communication and cooperation with special needs groups through music media, 3) social integration and health promotion of special needs and disadvantage groups, 4) education of a tolerant and democratic community.
Since 2002 The Lithuanian Association for Educational Music Therapy has been a member of the EMTC.

Current situation;
Over the past decade the fields where music therapy is applied have widened and it is now used in psychiatric treatment, psychosocial rehabilitation programs, in special education and socio-cultural programs. Interest in music therapy services is growing, although the following problems are apparent in Lithuania: 1) lack of a unified Music Therapy training program, 2) music therapy being practised by specialists with different qualification levels and 3) use of music therapy methods is too elemental/ spontaneous plus there is a matter of great concern in danger of smattering and amateur. This brings us to necessity for: developing in Lithuania an Arts Therapy training program adequate to EU regulations, also registering and licensing Music Therapy and Art Therapy professionals. Therefore the Arts Therapy Work Committee established at the Lithuanian Republic Government Cabinet (Seimas) strives to achieve settled goals. In June 2006 the Committee was introduced to Project of Arts Therapy (Music and Fine Art Therapy) Postgraduate Studies Program.

Elective courses (an introduction to music therapy) of 2 – 4 credit points integrated in to Music Education, Social Education, Special Education, Preschool & Primary Education and Occupational Therapy programs at the universities of Lithuania.

Arts therapy specialization of 30 credit points integrated in to Social Work Bachelor’s and Social Work Master’s programs at Social Communication Institute, Vilnius Pedagogical University.