Exploring Current Music Therapy Practices in India
Photo of  author Singh


Dr. Kinjalk
Indian Music Therapists
Music Therapy Practices

How to Cite

Singh, P. (2021). Exploring Current Music Therapy Practices in India. Voices: A World Forum for Music Therapy, 21(3). https://doi.org/10.15845/voices.v21i3.3246


The concept of music therapy in India is addressed with different terms such as musical therapy, therapeutic use of music, music or musical healing, Nada Chikitsa, Nada Yoga, Raga Chikitsa, Raga Therapy, संगीतीय उपचार, सांगीतिक चिकित्सा, etc. People working in this area are addressed as music therapists, music healers, संगीत चिकित्सक, नाद चिकित्सक, etc. With the establishment of organizations like Nada Centre for Music Therapy (2004), The Music Therapy Trust (2005), Indian Association of Music Therapy (2010), and Indian Music Therapy Association (2018), the application of music in various environments for its therapeutic and healing properties has improved. People in India have been working in this field as full-time professionals and part-time healers for almost four decades now. But it is also true that people are still unaware of music therapy practices in India, how it works, how to use music in a therapeutic setting, how changes and improvements must be assessed, where to learn and receive training in music therapy, how to receive professional education in music therapy, etc. Since this profession deals with the physical, mental, and emotional health of people, it is important to establish a more formal training system that is required for any healthcare services. In return, such developments will positively impact music therapy practices in India.

This paper is a small attempt to explore the current music therapy practices in India. For this purpose, a telephonic interview was done with Dr. Nishindra Kinjalk, who is a music therapist, a Doctor of Medicine, and a Sitar as well as a Surbahar player. The interview focused on his comprehensive understanding of music therapy practices, his research, his music application model known as Kinjalk Mode of Music Application or KIMMA, developed by him and his fellow doctors, potential barriers to the expansion of this field, and the future of music therapy in India. Also, a Google Form survey was designed and shared with people working with music therapy in India who had completed any of the certificates, diploma, or degree courses offered by private and government institutes through online, in-person instruction, or distance mode. The Google survey was used to collect their responses to learn about their music therapy practices, therapy methods, interventions, assessment process, and the population they have been working with, etc. The survey respondents included both people trained in music therapy practices and those who use music therapeutically. It is important to recognize that during the writing of this report, India was under complete lockdown due to the Covid pandemic. So, telephonic interviews and online surveys were found appropriate to collect information.


Copyright (c) 2021 Priyanka Singh

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