The 5th World Conference of the International Association for Music & Medicine

in Barcelona, Spain, June, 7-9th, 2018

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Between June 7 and 10, 2018, the 5th IAMM Conference was held in Barcelona (Spain) with great scientific interest and a very pleasant atmosphere for all the participants. The proximity of the sea, the port of Barcelona and its boats, as well as the flow of recreational and sports boats, relaxed the brief moments of rest between sessions.

In addition to the wonderful environment, the World Trade Center of Barcelona, the quality of the presentations, communications and posters allowed Núria Escudé, Fabrizio Acanfora and Josep Planas as hosts to ask all those who presented their research, experiences, and science in the field of music therapy and medicine to express their interesting contributions in brief writings.


Prominent experts presented the latest research results in music and medicine.

joanne loewy

Joanne Loewy & Andrew Rossetti

Presentation: Music Therapy Research in Medical Settings and Its Relationship to Clinical Interventions

The growth of practice and study is often threatened by a rift that separates clinician and researcher. Clinicians may be more comfortable making conclusions through trial and error because research related to their area of practice may seem to be obscure or far-fetched. The result may be that clinicians limit themselves from familiarizing themselves on updates related to critical outcomes. At the same time, researchers may fail to devote time observing practice, or consulting with clinicians. When research protocols are developed without clinician feedback, the outcomes may have limited applicative value. This presentation will outline integrative practices that highlight essential aspects of investigatory prowess. We will present several protocols and reflect on significant findings that ensued from integration. Several studies will be shared-from set up to data collection, from data analyses to publication and finally, from application enhancement that led toward important shifts in practice.

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Ann Hannan

Presentation: Everyday Ethics: Identifying the Impact of Ethical Decision-Making on the Delivery of Compassionate Clinical Care

The essence of treatment related to music and medicine requires trained clinicians, educators, and researchers to approach human health and well-being with integrity and compassion. Professionals require advanced level resources to cope with the realities of the healthcare environment including human response to trauma, acute illness, chronic healthcare needs, and terminal illness.

Utilization of ethical principles provides a framework for addressing the physical and emotional needs of not only the healthcare recipients but also the clinicians delivering the therapeutic interventions. This presentation will focus on the daily use of ethical principles in the delivery of therapeutic services to patients and their families. The format will include opportunities for small group discussion regarding scenarios across the treatment continuum and how to utilize the primary principles of autonomy, beneficence, non-maleficence, and justice to meet holistic patient needs while balancing competing professional priorities. Participants will explore secondary ethical concepts of fidelity and veracity as they pertain to relationships with patients, caregivers, and professional colleagues. This presenter will identify the benefits of this decision-making model to promote the clinician’s development of resiliency to counteract symptoms of compassion fatigue.

Participants will be able to:

  • Identify the four basic ethical principles for decision-making.
  • Identify when and how these principles are utilized during the delivery of clinical interventions.
  • Identify methods to transition from intuitive decision-making to intentional decision making.
  • Identify resources for coping with the outcomes of the ethical delivery of clinical interventions related to professional debriefing, self-care, professional collaboration, and personal/professional growth and development.

Patravoot Vatanasapt

Presentation: How Music Can Reinforce in Medical Education

Music and medicine have been related since their histories. In addition to music therapy or music medicine applied in health care setting to elevate the wellbeing, performing music in group requires some mutual skills used in clinical practice, for instance, listening, communication, teamwork, mindfulness, and empathy. Music has been demonstrated to enhance the brain executive function consisting of working memory, cognitive flexibility, and inhibitory control. In learning, music can be engaged by cognitive domain with melody, by affective domain with harmony, and by psychomotor domain with rhythm. Moreover, the scientific evidence from several studies showed the benefits of music on wellbeing of clinicians as well as their surgical performance.
The music program has been designed to apply for the medical students, the residents, and medical personnel in several hospitals in Thailand, aiming to enhance their professional development, especially on the non-technical skills; and to promote their well-being. The activities include music listening, singing, movement, rhythmic games, creative music making, and music composition. The participants, then, learn through their direct experience on music, the interaction between individuals and toward the group, and dialogue in contemplative ways. The program will benefit not only to enhance the medical education and the students’ wellbeing, but also to have the medical students early exposed to music medicine and music therapy. This
will expand an opportunity for future integration of music into medicine.

Wendy L. Magee PhD
Temple University, Philadelphia, USA

Wendy L. Magee PhD

Presentation: Assessment in Music Therapy: Challenges, Realities and Opportunities

Music provides a unique medium for assessment as it can be used receptively and actively in health care interventions. Furthermore, music is neurologically arousing, stimulating many different areas of the brain involved in sensory perception, motor activity, cognition, language, mood, motivation and reward. These qualities position music as a useful medium for use with complex clinical populations across the lifespan. Complex populations are typically challenging to assess, as standardized measures are usually not sensitive enough for use with people with multiple complex needs. This presentation will discuss music-based measures for adults and children who are minimally responsive due to profound brain damage including acquired and congenital brain injury, end-stage terminal illness, and end-stage dementia. In particular discussion will focus on the developments of the Music Therapy Assessment Tool for Awareness in Disorders of Consciousness (MATADOC) and the new paediatric version of the Music Sensory Instrument for Cognition, Consciousness and Awareness (MuSICCA). Other music-based measures for minimally responsive populations will also be discussed. The challenges and opportunities for using music in assessment of these populations will be explored in the context of the realities of clinical settings.


Brian Schreck, MA, MT-BC

Presentation: Exploring the Process of Recording and Composing in Pediatric Medical Music Therapy—A Family Centered Approach

  • Introduction to three recording processes of capturing perinatal, infant, school-age, adolescent, and young adult heartbeats to use.
  • Editing and using the patient’s internal sounds to construct a pattern.
  • Using this rhythmic pattern to contain the piece of music.
  • Choosing and/or composing music with the patient and family.
  • Using this process as an ongoing therapeutic bond and tangible project to continue to work with patient’s family.
  • Family perspectives and feedback on this process.
  • Continued Legacy opportunities and findings.

Claudia Regina de Oliveira Zanini

Presentation: Music Therapy and Cardiology: Interfaces in Different Settings  

Cardiovascular diseases and risk factors have been the subject of research involving the use of music and music therapy by professionals from different health areas and by music therapist in different settings. (BRADT, DILEO and POTVIN, 2013). These interventions are defined by Dileo (1999), respectively, as Music in Medicine and Music Therapy in Medicine. Although only a limited number of randomized controlled trials identify the efficacy of specific Cardiology music therapy interventions, according to Hanser (2014), qualitative research reveals some profound results in certain individuals. The present work has as main objective to present some possible interventions of the music therapist with differentiated clients affected by diseases or cardiovascular risk factors. Experiments in music therapy will be presented, encompassing research, teaching and extension projects, in three different settings: a research on the effects of music therapy on quality of life and blood pressure control in hypertensive patients in a closed group; a research project that investigated the effects of music therapy on the anxiety and stress levels of patients undergoing heart valve implantation; and a teaching and extension project that serves hypertensive patients in open groups in the waiting room or as experiences in an outpatient service for hypertensive patients and some clinical comorbidities. It is considered that all projects, inserted in a university public hospital context, despite the challenges experienced, are feasible and can contribute to the insertion of the music therapist into multiprofessional health teams (JARDIM et al, 2018, ZANINI et al, 2009). In conclusion, research, teaching and extension projects involving Music Therapy in Medicine, as described by Dileo (1999), are essential experiences for the formation of professional music therapists to work in clinical contexts related to Collective Health and National Public Health Policies.

Helen Shoemark PhD, RMT, Australia

Helen Shoemark

Presentation: Bridging Practice and Research: Music and the Neuro-Developmentally At-Risk Infant

The presentation reports on current research which expands on the potential of music and infant musicality to construct necessary opportunities for the healthy neuropsychological development in the newborn infant in hospital. An ecological model to promote the place of music as an everyday experience forfamilies in the NICU relocates the music therapist as a partner in creating do-able action for the infant and family without pathologizing developmental needs. Results of two studies involving a one-time psycho-educational program for parents will be presented. The key platform of this program is the use of voice, with additional information about parental and infant expressive cues. The program protocol involves a strengths-based approach to parents’ own musicality and bringing to consciousness their own perceptions of their infant’s capacities to interact with them. In one study the acceptability and usefulness of the one-time psychoeducational program was qualitatively evaluated as very helpful, producing clear statements of increased confidence and usefulness from participants. In a further study, significant results on the Karitane Parent Confidence Scale and parents own statements demonstrated increased confidence and capability thus demonstrating that this approach produces significant outcomes and value to parents.

IAMM2022 logo-01

7th International Conference of the IAMM

IAMM is excited to announce our next interdisciplinary conference on music and medicine from May 28-29, 2022 in Athens, Greece and May 30 - June 3, 2022 online!

In view of the COVID-19 pandemic and to facilitate maximum international participation, you can opt to attend the conference virtually or in-person.

Athens is one of the world's oldest cities, offering centuries-old history to be explored and enjoyed. According to Plato, one of the first schools of music education was founded by the people of Crete followed by the musical schools of Athens, where students were taught to sing and play the lyre. We sincerely hope you will join us in this magical and historical city for our conference in-person or virtually.

Photo by <a href="">Patrick</a> on <a href="">Unsplash</a>