History and background . . .

1960’s – 1990’s – Professionals from the Music Education and Special Education, as well as some medical doctors, take an interest in the topic of music therapy, conducting independent endeavours to explore the therapeutic power of music in their professional activities. The Portuguese Association for Music Therapy takes the initiative of organizing introductory seminars on Music Therapy, bringing to Portugal some of the pioneers of Music Therapy, such as Rolando Benenzon, Edith Lecourt, Joseph Moreno, Auriel Warick, and Violeta Gainza. 1989-1996 – The first training program in Music Therapy in Portugal is organized by the Madeira Regional Bureau for Special Education, led by Dr. Jacqueline Verdeau-Paillés, French psychiatrist and music therapist, producing three series of graduates. 1996 – The Portuguese Music Therapy Association (APMT) is founded. 1997 – The APMT hosts the European Pre-Conference Meeting in Portugal. 2001 – The Technical University of Lisbon opens a 3-semester graduate specialization program in Expressive Therapies, including the modalities of Music Therapy and Dance Therapy. 2003 – The APMT organized is first music therapy conference in Lisbon, which now takes place every year. 2004 – The Lusíada University of Lisbon opens a 2-year graduate program in Music Therapy. 2005 – The Polytechnical Institute of Porto opens a 3-semester graduate training program in Music Therapy 2008 – The training program at Lusíada University of Lisbon becomes officially approved as a Masters Degree.

Theoretical Foundations . . .

There are two major approaches to the practice of music therapy in Portugal, each involving different theoretical frameworks:

  • The practice of music therapy within the field of special education and rehabilitation, implemented through a developmental and didactic approach.
  • The practice of music therapy as it was initiated by musically trained mental health professionals. In these situations, music therapy is practice takes on the form of a certain level of psychotherapeutic work, from a psychodynamic approach.

Recognition and approval . . .

There is no government-level recognition of the profession of Music Therapy in Portugal, although some reports and recommendations of the Special Education Bureau list Music Therapy as one of the recommended types of interventions for children with special education needs.

The APMT has created a set of standards for certification of the music therapist and is soon to launch the mechanism such accreditation procedures, with the first set of applications being reviewed by a group of internationally recognized music therapists.

Research and literature . . .

The only Portuguese music therapy publication is a compilation of articles issued by the APMT at the time of the Pre-Congress of 1997 for the EMTC. This publication was entitled “Cadernos de Musicoterapia”. Aside from this publication, several articles have been published in speciality journals and mainstream magazines about the therapeutic use of music and its application in the field of education. The APMT issues Vibrações, a music therapy newsletter focused on music therapy events and news at a national and international level.

Professional associations . . .

The Portuguese Music Therapy Association (APMT) was founded in 1996 and it is the only music therapy organisation currently existing in Portugal. The APMT is open for general membership, but within its structure, an accreditation system is being implemented that will provide standards for recognition of professional music therapists in Portugal.

Postal Address: Rua Freitas Gazul, 34, loja 5 Email: apmt.musicoterapia@gmail.com 1350-149 Lisboa Phone: 351-93-324-2678 Portugal APMT website: www.apmtmusicoterapia.com

EMTC Delegate
Rita Maia, Phone number: 00351 91 215 19 12. Musictherapist and vice-president of the APMT.

Training programs . . .

There are currently two training programs in Music Therapy in Portugal. These programs operate at graduate level, and one of them offers a degree diploma.

Universidade Lusíada de Lisboa – Masters Degree Program. 4 semesters, 120 ECTS. Coordinator: Dr. Teresa Leite. Information: http;//www.lis.ulusiada.pt Instituto Politécnico do Porto – Escola Superior de Educação – Specialization Graduate Program. 3 semesters. Coordinators: Dra. Graça Mota, Dr. Patricia Sabbatella. Information: www.ese.ipp.pt