Lithuanian Music Therapy Association

The Lithuanian Music Therapy Association was established in 1997 (former name till 2011 was Lithuanian Association of Educational Music Therapy). The organization aimed to unite musicians and music pedagogues, who pioneered in educational settings working with special needs children. Another important goal of the organization was training of music therapy skills. The first training phase was focused on Nordoff-Robbins approach. Association launched courses given by renowned music therapists, such as Dr. Brynjulf Stige in 1997 and 2000, Dr. Tom Naess in 1998; Dr. Clive and Caoru Robbins in 1999.

Working relationship was established with the Norwegian music therapists, mainly with Prof. Dr. Brynjulf Stige, head of music therapy programme in Sandane. A cooperation agreement between Vilnius Pedagogical University and Sogn og Fjordane University College was signed in 1998. This resulted in seven Lithuanians graduating with a degree in music therapy in Norway, while one of our colleagues graduated from Augsburg University. This led to a jumpstart in the activities of music therapy in Lithuania.
From 2002 onwards, the Association has been involved in projects. In 2002 – 2003 it implemented PHARE 2000 ACCESS project “Social-interactive model: integration in partnership of musical activities with cerebral palsy teenage”. In 2004 – 2005, it carried out Geneva Initiative in Psychiatry project ”Artistic self-expression of persons with severe mental problems”. Lastly, in 2011-2013, the Association was involved in the European Social Fund project, which was carried out in Lithuanian schools.
The Lithuanian Music Therapy Association also took care of the music therapy training and dissemination. In 2003 – 2015 courses of music therapy were given by Prof. Dr. J. Moreno, Prof. Dr. Karin Schumacher, Dr. Simon Procter, Heidi Fausch, Mirdza Paipare, Dr. Teresa Leite, Prof. Dr. Tonius Timmermann, Dr. Adrienne Lerner, Jacqualine Furlepa, Prof. Dr. Barbara Wheeler, Prof. Dr. Vicky Karkou, Prof. Dr. Teresa Leite. In 2008, 2010 and 2014 international music therapy conferences were organized. Music Therapy field has expanded. In 2011 the organization has been renamed to Lithuanian Music Therapy Association In 2013 the association opened Music Therapy Center in Vilnius.

Based on: Aleksiene V. Professional Recognition of Music Therapy in Lithuania. Approaches: Music Therapy & Special Education. Special Issue 7 (1) 2015

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