About the Profession
The idea of music as a healing influence which could affect health and behaviour is at least as old as the writings of Aristotle and Plato. The 20th century discipline began after World War I and World War II, when community musicians, both amateur and professional, went to hospitals around the country to play for the thousands of veterans suffering from both physical and emotional trauma from the wars. The patients’ notable physical and emotional responses to music led the doctors and nurses to request the hiring of musicians by the hospitals. It soon became evident that the hospital musicians needed some prior training before entering the facility and so the demand grew for a college curriculum.
Music Therapy is a growing profession over the last number of decades including curricula and associations well established in the United States, the United Kingdom (incl. North of Ireland), Germany, France, South Africa, Australia, Japan, China and New Zealand.
Music Therapy is forging its way towards statutory recognition in the Rebublic of Ireland. This will ensure that the protection and safeguarding of the public, in particular vulnerable people, will be achieved.
This is one of the aims of the professional body for the creative art therapies, the Irish Association for Creative Arts Therapists (IACAT). The association is the national registration body for representing, promoting and supporting Art, Dance Movement, Drama and Music Therapists in Ireland. It currently has approximately 260 members, based in different counties around Ireland.
The IACAT Journal has also been launched, covering articles on evidence based practice, current research, book reviews and relevant emerging topics.