Report on the Current State of Practice and Training of Music Therapists Working With Adolescents


Music Therapy

How to Cite

McFerran, K., Fedrigo, G., & Wölfl, A. (2021). Report on the Current State of Practice and Training of Music Therapists Working With Adolescents. Voices: A World Forum for Music Therapy, 21(2).


The practice of music therapy with adolescents is growing around the globe and there is increased recognition that young people have particular needs. In this report, we share information received from 247 music therapists about training about and practice with adolescents that was collected in 2016–2017. The music therapists were from 25 countries and had the option of answering questions in three languages—English (n = 114), German (n = 97) and Italian (n = 36). The most common workplaces were hospitals and schools with young people who have disabilities and mental health challenges. Answers also suggest that employment patterns in the field are slightly different to other colleagues who work with similar adolescents, and although ongoing work is available, the number of hours are not high overall. The information gathered provides a picture of how university programs around the globe emphasise the importance of emotional and social needs of adolescents, and the value of developmental and humanistic approaches to practice in a range of contexts. There was less reference to contemporary theories or practices and more emphasis on traditional practices that are similar to those used with adults. This suggests that the field may still be evolving in relation to adolescent approaches to practice, and the time for rebellion against dominant traditions of practice and theorising may be still to come. In the meantime, there is remarkable consistency across the countries surveyed and solid foundations have been laid for competent music therapy practice with young people.

Copyright (c) 2021 Katrina Skewes McFerran, Prof, Giulia Fedrigo, Andreas Woelfl, Dr

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