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Research is an integral component of music therapy as an evidence-based contemporary profession and discipline. In addition to exploring and demonstrating the impact of music therapy and ensuring high standards of practice, research evidence informs funding and policy making decisions in the field.

UK music therapists have been and continue to be integral in the development of regional and international research initiatives and collaborations, as well as in the provision of education within research active environments.

As part of its aim to promote the art and science of music therapy, BAMT supports and develops further research in music therapy. In particular BAMT aims:

  • to promote current research activity and participation in research to both music therapists and public;
  • to provide opportunities for music therapists to develop and share research ideas and skills;
  • to enable small-scale research to happen through funding and to promote opportunities for larger funding;
  • to increase awareness of current and emerging research evidence through links with stakeholders on national and international levels.

Research Work Areas

BAMT’s research agenda is currently implemented through four main research work areas
  • Resources
  • Network
  • Funding
  • Collaborations

The BAMT Research Officer represents and advises the association in research-related matters. They can be contacted at info@bamt.org

  • The BAMT Register of Surveys, Research and Evaluation Projects (ROSREP) provides information about music therapy research activity within the UK. It also enables researchers to recruit participants for ongoing studies.
  • Other online research-related resources are listed on BAMT’s website, including the index and abstracts to the association’s peer-reviewed journal The British Journal of Music Therapy.
  • The BAMT monthly e-bulletin keeps membership up to date with ongoing research activities and news.
  • Access to the BAMT mailing list for sample recruitment purposes is offered to research organisations or individuals who conduct research at a professional or doctorate level. Project registration to ROSREP is a prerequisite for mailing list access.
  • The BAMT Research Network provides a forum for sharing ideas, information and resources. Welcoming both experienced and novice researchers. The network provides opportunities for supporting and/or mentoring those seeking advice or guidance in research in its many guises.
  • In addition to meetings and CPD events, the Research Network members receive research-related news through the network’s mailing list.
  • BAMT’s Small Grants Scheme supports training and research in music therapy.
  • Other funding opportunities, such as grants from the Music Therapy Charity, are circulated through the BAMT’s e-bulletin.
  • BAMT is a member of The Music Research Consortium UK (MRC-UK) which represents UK professional organisations promoting research in music.
  • BAMT is a member of the Council for Allied Health Professions Research (CAHPR) (previously Allied Health Professions Research Network, AHPRN) which develops AHP research, strengthens evidence of value and impact, and enhances patient care. BAMT members can access the CAHPR research hubs across the country to seek research advice as well as to attend CPD research events. 
  • BAMT is open to be part of research collaborations in areas that are directly connected to the association’s charitable aims. Proposals can be sent to info@bamt.org

Research Projects


Arts Therapists work with clients with Eating Disorders

This survey will take only 5 minutes to complete.

As part of my final year research into the arts therapies with clients with eating disorders, I am conducing a short questionnaire (estimated to be 5 minutes) with UK certified creative arts therapists who work or have previously worked with clients with eating disorders. The research aims to investigate to what extent music, art and dramatherapists are working with clients with eating disorders within the UK.

I am inviting you to participate in this study by filling out the short questionnaire. Any participation would be hugely helpful for the study and greatly appreciated. The questionnaire is estimated to take 5 minutes and submission of the questionnaire assumes consent to participate in this study. The following link will take you to the questionnaire:


This questionnaire will be open until the 1st March 2021. I would greatly appreciate if you could further pass this email on to anybody who might interested in taking part in the research.

Thank you so much for taking the time to consider this and no problem if you are unable to circulate this.

Best wishes,
Lottie McVicker

Contact email: charlotte.mcvicker@stu.gsmd.ac.uk


A comparison of the use of receptive and improvisational music therapy techniques for adults with depression.
Author: Emma Johnson
Email: elj2g18@soton.ac.uk
Institution(s): The University of Southampton
Survey Link: https://www.isurvey.soton.ac.uk/38894
Description: My project aims to study and compare how receptive and improvisational music therapy techniques are used in the intervention for adult clients with depression. I will compare how each technique stimulates an emotional response, encourages communication, and improves the physical symptoms of depression. I will also explore why each technique is chosen for different clients and whether one method is more successful in the intervention of depression.

Request to recruit participants - Third year dissertation project - Music therapist’s perspectives on the use of music therapy with physically, emotionally and sexually abused children
Please contact: Bea Gough Cervera cq18548@bristol.ac.uk
If you agree to take part in the study, you will be invited to take part in an online interview via Microsoft Teams or Skype. These interviews will consist of questions regarding your experiences and knowledge regarding music therapy as a psychological therapy to help children who have endured emotional, physical or sexual abuse. I will follow a set of questions to give the interview structure however the discussion will not be limited to these areas, should there be any other topics that arise I will pursue them. Each participant will only have to take part in one interview and all interviews should take approximately 60 minutes.
The interviews, with your prior approval, will be recorded in order to facilitate transcription and analysis.

Survey of music therapists working in acute NHS dementia wards
Please contact: Naomi Chadder naomi.chadder@aru.ac.uk
Research update: the Cambridge Institute for Music Therapy at Anglia Ruskin University, in partnership with the Cambridge and Peterborough NHS Foundation Trust, are conducting research looking at music therapy on acute NHS wards for adults with dementia. A survey will be sent out shortly through BAMT. They call all music therapists working in this field to complete the survey to provide us with a better understanding of the work that is currently taking place in this field. The survey will look at the prevalence of music therapy in acute ward settings in the NHS for people living with dementia, along with approaches used and how the work has been impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic. If you would like to find out more or have any questions, please email naomi.chadder@aru.ac.uk

Music Therapists’ Perspectives on the Application of Psychodynamic Theories in Online Music Therapy
Please contact: Simon Perry (Student) Simon2.Perry@live.uwe.ac.uk
This project aims to investigate the experiences of music therapists who have applied psychodynamic theories to their work in online therapy. The aim is to explore how music therapists perceive and apply psychodynamic elements when working with a client in a separate location, as physical proximity is thought to be a critical factor in enabling psychodynamic processes. Data collection will take place through online interviews with participants who self-identify at least to some extent as psychodynamically-oriented in their approach and have experience of working with at least one client online.

Request for an interview for a student article - The effect of music therapy on people with dementia

Please contact: Anna Bury annabury49@gmail.com
My project is to write an article (of about 2000 words) about the effect of music therapy on people with dementia. Music therapy is not a very well known method, at least in France, and I want to talk about the different benefits that the patients can take out of it. I also want to describe t the proceeding of a music therapy session and what are the facilities that are being built for this kind of therapy. I will submit my article to Nelson Graves the founder of the website News-Decoder. This site is created to foster media literacy among new generation. The articles on the site are written by student new ambassador. If my article is published it would be a great opportunity for me to receive editorial feedback and also a great personal satisfaction.

Music & Dementia Dissertation - recruiting participants for research
Please contact: Rachel Austerberry (Student) Rachel2.Austerberry@live.uwe.ac.uk
Evaluations of music therapy with people living with dementia have indicated that this can improve participants’ mood encouraging interaction and helping carers to feel more connected to them (Melhuish et al, 2019, p.23). However, the nature of these positive changes including what elements of music are most effective is not clear. I will explore what participants involved in providing music in residential care (i.e., music therapists, musicians, and residential staff) perceive as positive changes for residents with dementia that they work with, asking them to identify any changes they have observed during and after music activities, including the use of language, non-verbal communication, and mood.