The Research Action Team gathers and shares information about music therapy research studies that are taking place across Europe. The importance and role of research to both the practice and profession of music therapy is well acknowledged. Research challenges us to modify the way we work as music therapists, helps define direction for new discoveries, reaffirms what we know and helps us change the way we view what we already know. Research can lead to developments as well as support jobs. It is these possibilities of discovery and change that make research so exciting and diverse.

An increasing number of trained music therapy researchers and clinicians from many parts of the world, therefore, have taken on the challenge of conducting research and are directly or implicitly influencing the music therapy journeys of others. Music therapy research increasingly reflects the diverse and growing areas of the practice and profession of music therapy.

The EMTC Research Action Team knows how challenging it can be to identify research projects relevant to a specific area of study and has therefore created an open access database of research projects carried out in Europe in the past fifteen years.

The information shared in the database serves as an open-access resource for music therapists and others who are interested in music therapy research. It may inspire more music therapists to undertake research studies, and investigate their clinical practice, theoretical foundations, and music therapy techniques, to develop and nurture therapeutic responses to a large variety of patients/clients. This information is also useful for politicians and other stakeholders, who are involved in quality control of professions, those who oversee financial support for scientific investigations, and who are responsible for recognition of the profession.   


Considering that other data platforms present music therapy publications (for example: ResearchGate), and in order to focus on the research projects themselves and not on the several different publications that can be produced from each study, the focus of the work was defined to include research studies/projects – and NOT publications. This task was accomplished in two phases, starting in 2017: first, collecting information regarding PhD studies, and secondly collecting information regarding studies undertaken by professional music therapy researchers. 


In the first phase, we identified music therapy PhD programs in European countries, using information on the EMTC website. The action team contacted designated training programs in assigned countries to find out which ones offered PhD programs in music therapy.  PhD program directors were asked to send the list of PhD dissertations defended in their programs. Once the lists were sent, the directors who had not responded were contacted for a second time. The list also includes music therapy dissertations from other doctorate programs,  but with a clear focus on music therapy.  

In the second phase, the team members collected information regarding studies conducted by professional music therapy researchers. Each member of the team contacted known music therapy research centers as well as directors of music therapy training programs across Europe, asking for a list of research projects taking place within their research center or being conducted by them personally. These professionals were also contacted twice. 

The list compiled in the database is based on the good will of music therapy researchers to share their work within this platform and is not expected to include each and every study that has been done. The list is updated once a year. 

Research Action Team Members