Attachment-based music therapy in a parent-infant setting

This PhD-research project focuses on the particular importance of attachment theories for working with families in an early childhood music therapy setting. In a short-term music therapy setting, the infant and his/her caregiver attend weekly music therapy sessions, each of them videotaped and accompanied by parent counselling. The main purpose of this resource-oriented therapeutic work is to reinforce sensitive attunement of the parental behavior to the infant´s signals and needs.

As part of a mixed-methods-pilot-study the researcher wants to identify special music therapeutic techniques, which are particularly suitable to support mutual attuned, adequate and sensitive parent-child interaction. The central aim is to conceptualize and evaluate an attachment-based music therapy approach for infants (0–4 years old) and their caregivers.

Project management: Eva Phan Quoc

Currently: concept development, feasibility study


This research project is supported by the Andreas Tobias Kind Foundation, Germany.


Investigating the professional situation of music therapists in Austria

Currently: Article in German published doi:10.13109/muum.2019.40.3.236 (English translation coming soon)



Art in music therapy: Feasibility study on the emergence of dialogue in partner play improvisations

In preparation for planned clinical studies on the emergence of dialogue in music therapy partner play improvisations, a feasibility study will be conducted from October 2018 until March / April 2019.

At the core of data collection, records will be made of several 90-minute "assessments", in which healthy adult test persons (trained music therapists and lay people) improvise freely together on a digital piano. The purpose of this primary study is to gain insights into the subjective experiences of both players by combining the collected MIDI data, the accompanying physiological measurements (HR, HRV, respiration, skin conductance), and the recorded narratives of individual debriefing interviews focusing on the emergence of dialogue in the previous improvisation.

Project Team: Monika Smetana, Irene Stepniczka

Current Status: Assessments & data collection completed; data processing and analysis


This project is supported by the mdw AR-Pilot call (an internal fund for pilot projects in the field of artistic research).


Translation of the questionnaire Healthy-Unhealthy Uses of Music Scale (HUMS) from English into German

The Healthy-Unhealthy Uses of Music Scale (HUMS) was developed by Saarikallio, Gold & McFerran (2015) to assess adolescent´s engagement in music and whether they perceive their music as being helpful or not. Therefore, HUMS serves as an indicator for mental well-being or for proneness to depression in adolescents from the perspective of musical behavior.

In order to make HUMS accessible to German-speaking countries, a translation of the questionnaire was made. We finished the translation process of the Healthy-Unhealthy Uses of Music Scale from English into German (HUMS-DE) using a team translation approach.

You may download HUMS-DE from this website. > Link

Currently: Article published > Link, validation of HUMS-DE ongoing