History and background . . .
Music Therapy has been practiced in Ireland for many years. In 1998 an MA in Music Therapy was established on the island of Ireland at the University of Limerick. Despite issues regarding lack of government recognition of the profession of music therapy, the profession is growing in Ireland in strength and numbers. Our professional body celebrated our 30th anniversary last year and we currently have 88 members of the Irish Association of Creative Arts Therapists. We publish an annual academic peer reviewed journal.
Theoretical Foundations . . .
Music Therapists practising in Ireland represent many different schools of music therapy, including psychodynamic music therapy, Nordoff-Robbins approach, community music therapy, resource orientated music therapy and neurological music therapy. The MA in Music Therapy at the University of Limerick is eclectic in approach.
Recognition and approval . . .
The biggest issue for Irish music therapists is the lack of statutory recognition or protected title for music therapists. This lack of safe guarding for our clients and a lack of established and recognised pay scales for music therapists are key issues for the profession. This is an area IACAT has been pursuing relentlessly over the past 30 years. We are currently trying to establish Music therapy as a profession on the national body which governs our Health and Social Care Professional colleagues.
Research and literature . . .
There is a centre of music therapy research at the University of Limerick with two full time (music therapist) faculty and currently 4 PhD students. Research projects are also in progress in a number of healthcare institutions. For more information on music therapy research in Ireland please go to www.iacat.ie
Professional associations . . .
Music therapy in Ireland is governed by the Irish Association of Creative Arts Therapists (IACAT). This body is run by a council of elected members and encompasses Music therapy, Art therapy, Dramatherapy and Dance movement therapy. Membership of IACAT is approximately 250 individuals, 88 of whom are music therapists. www.iacat.ie
Training programs . . .
There is a two year full time Masters in Music Therapy available in the Republic of Ireland at the Irish World Academy of Music and Dance, University of Limerick. Entry into the profession is Masters level in Ireland and the course in Limerick is currently the only way to qualify as a music therapist on the island of Ireland. PhD study in music therapy is also available at this centre.