International Index of Music Therapy Organisations (IIMTO): A Free Online Resource

By Giorgos Tsiris


The International Index of Music Therapy Organisations (IIMTO) was launched in March 2013 and its second edition became available in February 2014. IIMTO is an online directory of music therapy organisations around the world that it is freely available via Nordoff Robbins’ website (www.nordoff-robbins.org.uk, direct download link: www.nordoff-robbins.org.uk/IIMTO). In addition to providing background information about IIMTO, this report provides an overview of its contents and links to other existing indexes and directories. Also, information about how to use IIMTO and contribute to its development is provided.

Keywords: IIMTO; index; music therapy; organisations; directory; online resource



The International Index of Music Therapy Organisations (IIMTO) is a newly-developed resource which is freely available via Nordoff Robbins’ website (www.nordoff-robbins.org.uk, direct download link: www.nordoff-robbins.org.uk/IIMTO). This report announces the publication of IIMTO’s second edition in February 2014 (following the success of its initial launch in March 2013, see Figures 1 and 2) and provides background information about its development, as well as links to existing other indexes and directories. In addition, guidelines regarding how to use and update IIMTO are provided.

alt text Figure 1: Cover page of IIMTO (1st Edition, 2013)
alt text Figure 2: Cover page of IIMTO (2nd Edition, 2014)

Background information

IIMTO is an online directory of music therapy organisations. It was developed as a "by-product" of my doctoral pilot study[1] at Nordoff Robbins / City University London. For use in my pilot, I compiled an extensive database of email addresses that enabled me to circulate an online survey questionnaire to music therapists worldwide. As an edited version of the original database, IIMTO has been developed with the hope that it will become a helpful resource for professionals (including music therapy and other music and health practitioners, managers, funders and so on) interested in accessing contacts of music therapy organisations around the world. In addition to the organisations that I originally identified, the second edition of IIMTO includes contributions from a number of individuals who work in various organisations.

IIMTO: Format, contents and inclusion criteria

IIMTO is provided in Microsoft Office Excel®; a format which enables quick overview and easy search of keywords. Currently (2nd edition, February 2014), IIMTO lists a total of 514 organisations from 59 countries across the world (Figure 3).

The information is organised by region in seven different sheets:

  1. Africa,
  2. Asia,
  3. Australasia & Oceania,
  4. Europe,
  5. North America,
  6. South America, and
  7. International & Other.
Each sheet (except the "International & Other") includes a list of all the countries in each region of the world, organised in alphabetical order. For each country, organisations are provided according to different categories (Figure 3). Some organisations fit into more than one category since, for example, the same organisation may provide both music therapy training ("Training Institution") and research services ("Other Institution").
Figure 3: Number of organisations listed in IIMTO’s first (2013) and second (2014) editions
Categories of organisations listed in IIMTO IIMTO 1st edition IIMTO 2nd edition
Music therapy associations: Professional music therapy associations, societies or bodies. 104 109
Representatives of music therapy associations: Individuals who serve as official representatives of music therapy associations. 83 83
Other associations: Professional and/or disciplinary associations that may have a wider scope, but are related to music therapy (such as arts therapies associations) or belong to the broader field of music and health. 18 22
Training institutions: Organisations that provide music therapy training programmes on an undergraduate, masters and/or doctoral level. 200 212
Other institutions: Training institutions that fall within the broader music and health field or may have a wider scope but are related to music therapy (such as integrative arts psychotherapy training programmes). In addition to training institutions, this category includes other types of related organisations such as music therapy research centres. 58 88
Total number of organisations 463 514

In addition to names and email addresses, IIMTO provides links to some organisations’ websites; the names of these organisations are underlined. Other information (e.g. postal addresses) is not provided.

IIMTO does not provide an exhaustive list of music therapy organisations. For example, in the United States there is a large number of music therapy training institutions, but the current version of IIMTO includes only some of them. Also, the difference in numbers of contacts per country does not necessarily reflect the growth of the music therapy profession in each country; this difference depends to some extent on the accessibility of relevant information on the World Wide Web, as well as on my language limitations (mainly websites in English were searched).

IIMTO refers to any organisations that were traceable on the World Wide Web without carrying out any quality control or judgment regarding each organisation’s credibility. Likewise, the inclusion of organisations in IIMTO provides no validation of these organisations and the services they provide (e.g. training programmes), as this depends on relevant regional, national and international standards and procedures.

All countries’ names are included in IIMTO (irrespective of whether or not music therapy organisations could be identified in each country) with the hope that music therapists and other professionals will fill in any gaps by sending their contributions.

IIMTO includes contacts of music therapy organisations only. Therefore non-music therapy organisations (such as hospitals or schools) that provide music therapy services are not included. Exceptions may apply in cases where a music therapy-specific unit or department exists within a non-music therapy organisation.

For reasons of confidentiality and protection of personal data, IIMTO includes only email addresses that are available in the public domain. Email addresses of individuals therefore are provided only if they serve as representatives or contact persons of organisations and their email addresses are freely available on the World Wide Web.

Other existing indexes and directories

IIMTO adds to a number of other online indexes and directories that have been published within the wider music and health field over the past few years. Some examples include:

  • The RefWorks Database: Guided Imagery and Music Literature (2010): A bibliographic database that contains selected literature related to the Bonny Method of Guided Imagery and Music (BMGIM). This resource has been developed by Lars Ole Bonde and is freely accessible via the RefShare area on the library’s server of Aalborg University, Denmark. Web-link: www.mt-research.aau.dk//digitalAssets/10/10956_gim_bibliography_2010_refworks_final_101010.pdf
  • The International Directory for Music and Music Education Institutions (IDMMEI, 2012): An online directory with details of contacts, course programs and unique features of 3076 higher music and music education in 203 countries. This free resource has been compiled and edited by Graham Bartle in conjunction with the support of the International Society for Music Education (ISME). Web-link: http://idmmei.isme.org
  • The Nordoff Robbins Evidence Bank (3rd Edition, 2014): A collection of a wide range of bibliographic references to music therapy and music and health research, as well as resources, which are organised into a series of "accounts." This resource has been developed by the Nordoff Robbins Research Department (UK) and is freely available via Nordoff Robbins’ website. Web-link: www.nordoff-robbins.org.uk/EvidenceBank

A shared characteristic of all these indexes and directories, including IIMTO, is the systematic accumulation, documentation and presentation of a large amount of information. These indexes and directories are particularly helpful in providing mappings and quick access to information which can be useful for a range of purposes, including research-related activities, literature reviews and so on.

How to update IIMTO: Your contribution

IIMTO is not a static resource. It aims to function as a platform upon which a dynamic directory of contacts is built and updated on annual or bi-annual basis.

Submissions of new entries or updates regarding existing entries can be sent throughout the year to: IIMTO@nordoff-robbins.org.uk

If you would like to propose the addition of an organisation to IIMTO, please provide the following:

  1. name of organisation,
  2. email address of organisation,
  3. website of organisation,
  4. country where the organisation is based, and
  5. type of organisation (by selecting one or more of the following categories: "Music Therapy Association", "Other Association", "Training Institution", or "Other Institution").

If you would like to propose an update of information which is already provided in the current version of IIMTO, please provide the following:

  1. name of organisation (as currently listed in IIMTO),
  2. country where the organisation is based (as currently listed in IIMTO), and
  3. description of proposed update or change.


The International Index of Music Therapy Organisations (IIMTO) is made available by Nordoff Robbins and is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.


I would like to thank Fraser Simpson, Simon Procter, Neta Spiro, Maja Milicevic and Esma Kashif for their insightful comments on draft versions of IIMTO.


[1] In this pilot study I explored music therapists’ reported perceptions of spirituality and its (ir)relevance to their practice (Tsiris, 2013a, 2013b).


Bartle, G. (2012). The International Directory for Music and Music Education Institutions (IDMMEI). Retrieved from http://idmmei.isme.org

Bonde, L.O. (2010). The RefWorks Database: Guided imagery and music literature. Retrieved from www.mt-research.aau.dk//digitalAssets/10/10956_gim_bibliography_2010_refworks_final_101010.pdf

Nordoff Robbins Research Department (2014). The Nordoff Robbins Evidence Bank (3rd ed.). Retrieved from www.nordoff-robbins.org.uk/EvidenceBank

Tsiris, G. (2013a). Music therapy and spirituality: Preliminary outcomes from an international study. In M. Shipton & E. Himonides (Eds.), Setting the tempo: The need for a progressive research programme on music, health and wellbeing (pp.65-66). Folkestone: SEMPRE.

Tsiris, G. (2013b). Music therapy and spirituality: An international survey of music therapists’ reported perceptions. Unpublished MPhil thesis, Nordoff Robbins Music Therapy / City University London.