Research Focus:
Music Therapy and Society

Music therapy always exists in connection and mutual influence with the contexts in which it is practised, researched and taught. Societal circumstances and changes influence the profession of music therapy and music therapy in turn influences society. Music therapy practice and research can sometimes be driven by the intention to set impulses to impact on societal development processes.

The following questions, among others, are addressed:

  • What societal norms are in effect in music therapy, and how do they become evident?
  • How do hierarchies and value systems influence the professional practice of music therapy in different contexts?
  • How does the professional situation of music therapists develop over time and what interactions with societal developments become perceptible?
  • What societal impacts can be captured regarding music therapy in diverse fields of practice?
  • How is music therapy anchored in the healthcare system, and what economic and ethical questions arise as a result?
  • What societal needs can music therapy fulfil in order to have a positive social impact?
  • What epistemological positions and paradigms underlie the various research activities and what concepts of evidence do they entail?
  • How can research in the field of music therapy be pursued in a maximally inclusive manner with appropriate involvement of its users’ perspectives?

The following perspectives can be applied:

  • Power critique
  • Professional theoretical perspective
  • Organisational perspective
  • Health economics perspective
  • Historical perspective
  • Ethical perspective

Research projects:


Report in mdw magazine


Julia Fent, Hannah Riedl