Türkiye

EMTC Member Associations

Music Therapy Asssociation (Türkiye)

Müzik Terapi Derneği (MÜZTED)

30 members

muzted.org.tr

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Country Representative

Özgür Salur

Music Therapist

I have been a music therapist since 2016. My main field of work is teaching introductory courses for music therapy to psychology & arts students, arranging public seminars, giving supervision, preparing weekly newsletters and keeping up a Turkish website about music therapy: muzikterapiakademisi.com. I currently work for several universities in Turkey and online.

Contact me at salurozgur@gmail.com

Discover more about Music Therapy in Türkiye

History of Music Healing and Music Therapy in Türkiye The history of music therapy, using music as a therapeutic agent in Türkiye, extends back to the 9th century A.D., to the times of the Seljuk State. Seljuks were the predecessors of the Ottomans, who came right before the Republic of Türkiye.

During the time of the Seljuks and the Ottomans, some scholars wrote books about music and health. There are many writers who include references about the music performed in hospitals, or şifahanes, as they were named at the time. In these books, they mentioned that Turkish music will heal certain diseases. This music was based on maqams, which are musical modes or scales with a set of melodic formulae that guide the improvisation or composition. Maqams were chosen based on the patient’s disease, their horoscope, their nationality, their personality, their skin color and time of the day the music would be played (morning, midmorning, noon, evening, etc.). In hospitals, people with mental health difficulties in particular were treated with music. Musicians came to these hospitals two or three times a week and performed music for the patients. During these concerts, the musicians made appropriate use of maqams and played so that patients became relaxed. Sounds of water and birds were also used along with music.

Due to financial difficulties in the health system, music as a therapeutic agent remained forgotten until 1976, when Bekir Grebene, a psychiatrist, wrote an article about music therapy in a Turkish journal. In the same year, an ensemble named Türk Musikisini Araştırma ve Tanıtma Grubu (TU-MATA) [Group for the Research and Promotion of Turkish Music] was established. This group aimed to introduce Turkish and Central Asian instruments to the public, and started to organize theatrical authentic music therapy sessions. The group adopted the aforementioned idea that certain maqams would heal certain diseases, and used the music that shamans used in Central Asia. The band organized many Turkish Music and Therapy trainings both inside and outside the country. For a couple of decades after 1976, the only source of information for music therapy in Türkiye was limited to this group.

In the 2000’s, Danny Lundmark, a music therapist trained in the US, started working in several settings in Istanbul. There have also been significant attempts of using music in psychotherapies and arts therapies by Nurhan Eren and her crew at the Department of Psychiatry in Istanbul University Medical School.

In the last decade, many people began to seek access to accurate information about music therapy and music therapy training. In 2014, the Music Therapy Association in Türkiye (MUZTED) was founded as the first music therapy association in the country. Around the same time, a number of Turkish students started studying music therapy in countries such as Finland, France, Germany, Canada, Netherlands, Spain and the USA.

Many professionals from various fields are interested in music therapy and in supporting the development of the profession in Türkiye. However, there are various perceptions, some completely off the mark, about music therapy in Türkiye due to various practices. Academic studies often address the use of music in healing practices as music therapy. Scholars and healthcare professionals in Türkiye identify practices such as having patients listen to music, performing music for patients, or the use of music in special education and Orff Schulwerk practices as music therapy. While music therapy is not yet a recognized profession, the label of “music therapy” is utilized to identify a variety of music-based practices.

The current recognition situation is complicated: In 2014, the term “music therapy” was recognized as a technique only a medical doctor or a dentist can use within the scope of traditional and complementary medicine under the Department of Traditional and Complementary Medicine within the Ministry of Health. In accordance with a bylaw, Ministry-of-Health-approved “music therapy” certificate programs began. Graduates of music and graduates in health care fields can receive this certificate training of approximately 200 hours.

However, the definition of music therapy in this bylaw and the certification standards (issued in 2016) shows that instead of music therapy, music in medicine is what has been actually meant. The training does not require music therapists to teach the courses, neither includes required internship under supervision as in a music therapy training. Also, according to the official regulation, musicians with a certificate can only work as assistant personnel under the supervision of a doctor or dentist, who holds the same certificate. This incorrect use of the term music therapy causes serious misunderstandings and errors in local literature.

There is a growing interest in music therapy among employees working in the field of health and music education in Türkiye. However, in line with the increasing interest, it is increasingly difficult to draw the boundaries in the fields of music therapy, music education and music medicine in health. In addition, the growing interest in providing clinical music therapy services and training in Türkiye mostly focuses on practices based on the use of music in treatment in Turkish history and culture. As a consequence, there is a strong belief that there are ready-made general music prescriptions for the treatment of various diseases, such as the belief that some maqams treat some diseases.

On the other hand, the Music Therapy Association and music therapists trained abroad organize and co-organize face-to-face and online events to spread the awareness of music therapy. These events include congresses, seminars, symposia, workshops, EMTD events, talks, TV and radio shows, short introductory courses and university courses. They also create online content, such as websites (muzikterapiakademisi.com), videos and podcasts.

We hope that the development of the profession will benefit from all kinds of experiences gained.

  • Çoban, A. (2020) (Ruh ve Beden Sağlığı için) Müzik Terapi (3. Baskı), Timaş Yayınları
  • Ducourneau, G. (2016) Müzik Terapi İlkeleri (A. Özyıldız, trans). Ankara, Turkey: Nobel Yaşam (original work published 2014)
  • Duran Orlowski, D., Can Ü., Bağcı H. (2021) Almanya’da müzik terapi alanında gerçekleştirilen bilimsel yayınların incelenmesi (2010-2019). Motif Akademi Halkbilimi Dergisi,14 (33), 266-286
  • Duran Orlowski, D. (2019) Duyguların Tınısı, Kreatif Müzik Terapi, Ankara Müzik Eğitimi Yayınları
  • Eyüpoğlu et al., (2020) Effect of music therapy on nursing students’ first objective structured clinical exams, anxiety levels and vital signs: A randomized controlled study
  • Güney, Seda S., Lundmark S D., Eren N. (2019) Psycho-social Support with Refugees: Dance / Movement Therapy and Music Therapy. Türkiye Klinikleri Dergisi
  • Özyıldız, A., Uçaner-Çifdalöz, B., (2019) Music Therapy in the fight against addiction. The Journal of International Social Research
  • Uçaner Çifdalöz, B. (2020) Music Therapy And Music Based Interventions For Dementia And End Of Life Care In Turkey. The Journal of International Social Research
  • Uçaner-Çifdalöz, B., Heiderscheit, A. (2016) Music therapy in Turkey – Curriculum and Resource Development through professional collaboration
  • Uçaner-Çifdalöz B., Salur Ö. (2019) Eclectic Music therapy: Examples from Theory and Practise. Ruhsal Bozuklukların Tedavi ve Rehabilitasyonunda Yaratıcı Sanat Psikoterapileri. Eren N, editör. 1. Baskı. Ankara: Türkiye Klinikleri; 2019. p.66- 71.
  • Uçaner-Çifdalöz, B., & Türkmen, E. F. (2019). Music Therapy in Turkey. Cambridge University Press

Currently, 2021:

  • Burçin Uçaner Çifdalöz is currently leading the Turkish part of the MIDDEL research project. Music Interventions for Dementia and Depression in Elderly care (MIDDEL) is an international cluster-randomized trial project and have partners in Norway, the Netherlands, Germany, UK, Australia and Türkiye

MUZTED – Müzik Terapi Derneği – Music Therapy Association in Türkiye, est. in. 2014

www.muzted.org.tr

Unfortunately there are no training programs available to become a music therapist at the moment, but the current situation is complicated:

After the term “music therapy” was recognized as a technique only a medical doctor or a dentist can use within the scope of traditional and complementary medicine under the Department of Traditional and Complementary Medicine within the Ministry of Health in 2014, Ministry-of-Health-approved “music therapy” certificate programs began. Graduates of music and graduates in health care fields can receive this certificate training of approximately 200 hours.

However, the curriculum of certification standards (issued in 2016) shows that instead of music therapy, music in medicine is what has been actually meant (you can read more on this on recognition and approval). The training does not require music therapists to teach the courses, nor does it include required internship under supervision as in music therapy training. Also, according to the official regulation, musicians with a certificate of this training can only work as assistant personnel under the supervision of a doctor or dentist, who holds the same certificate.

Right now, there is a strong demand for university-level music therapy training in Türkiye. To meet that demand, Music Therapy Association is working on opening a music therapy department in a university to offer undergraduate and master’s degrees. In order for these programs to start, scholars from abroad are needed to teach in Türkiye.

This document was prepared by: Özgür Salur, Burçin Uçaner Çifdalöz, Yeşim Saltık, Salih Gülbay