History of Music Therapy in Italy. History in Italy.
As in many countries, the first steps of every new discipline always need some pioneers who, in order to be such, must have strong and charismatic personalities which, in the earliest stages of development, are an invaluable resource, also in terms of the intransigence with which more often they defend the “orthodoxy” of their thinking.
On one hand was the growing number of trained professionals who gradually began to spread music therapy into new areas of application and make it known to other professional categories with whom they were then able to confront themselves and their different areas of knowledge. On the other was the increasing contact with representatives of music therapy in Europe and America who contributed to enrich the wealth of knowledge and theoretical references, also thanks to the increasing in the circulation of original and translated texts (for example, the writings, lessons and supervisions of Alvin, Benenzon, Bruscia, Bunt, Lecourt, Nordoff-Robbins, Priestley and Wigram).
The first emerged associations, having also the objective of cultural promotion of the discipline, started to gather groups of professionals at a local level who felt the need for more confrontation within the discipline and to see the recognition of what by this stage was for many their main occupation, but which often had to be assimilated into more general or different professional roles in order to fit into the various work contexts.
Beside a good level of musical ability and knowledge, which by now all schools request for aspiring music therapists, for some of them it is also indispensable the quality of the musical experience and a style of encountering this experience that the music therapists must have recognised in him/herself in order to be able to become credible witnesses in the therapeutic relationship. Although not many schools make this request yet, it anyhow seems that this will be the path of future development in relation to the specificity of music therapy compared to other approaches for helping people.
A great deal of attention has been paid to the definition of educational criteria. Local undergraduate Training Courses as well as some postgraduate experiences have been promoted throughout Italy by the Associations. Coordination on a national level has allowed identification of some fundamental criteria for organising the educational programme for the undergraduate courses, circulated via their publication in the Student's Handbook in 1999.
In short, the criteria are the following: by now all schools request for aspiring music therapists, for some of them it is also indispensable the quality of the musical experience and a style of encountering this experience that the music therapists must have recognised in him/herself in order to be able to become credible witnesses in the therapeutic relationship. Although not many schools make this request yet, it anyhow seems that this will be the path of future development in relation to the specificity of music therapy compared to other approaches for helping people.
Length of Training Course at least 3 years (from 700 to 1400 hours);
Entrance criteria: Secondary school and excellent knowledge of musical language;
Educational Programme divided into 4 areas: Music Therapy (45%), Music (25%), Psychology (15%) and Medicine (15%);
Practical placement (minimum 250 hours) and Tutoring (minimum 60 hours);
The coordination and monitoring of the courses have produced excellent results in terms of educational standardisation. Collaborations and conventions are currently underway between the training courses and music conservatories and universities with the aim of improving the quality of the courses and above all avoiding the danger of self-referencing which is always present in privately managed Courses.
Within this reference framework, the F.I.M. (Federation of A.I.M. (Italian Professional Association of MusicTherapy) was set up in June 2002.
The association's main objectives are the recognition of the professionalism of those who work in this sector and safeguarding the correct practice of their profession. Among the various aims that the Association has set itself we would like to point out the following aspects: managing a National Register of Music Therapists comprising three sections:
Elaborated by LUETEB members of the Register;
Musicotherapy and elderly people
Activities of musictherapy members of the Register;
MUSIC THERAPY AND APHASIA members of the Register;
BIOMUSIC members of the Register;