Carugno, Giovanna

Music pedagogy for the music therapist? Mapping the Italian training context

Pedagogia musicale per il musicoterapeuta? Una mappatura del contesto formativo italiano

Giovanna Carugno

This panel aims at providing an overview of the role that music pedagogy plays within the training courses implemented in the Italian educational system for music-therapists. This system is extremely fragmented, as demonstrated by the co-existence of various courses offered by private entities, universities and music conservatories, at different levels (undergraduate/postgraduate), for different addressees (professional musicians/amateurs) and with different durations (from six-months to four years). Such a lack of uniformity is reflected in the activities and subjects included in the curricula of these courses, and, to a large extent, in the shaping of the identity of the music therapist under training. The gap between the various training programmes is greatest when considering the pedagogical disciplines that in some courses are completely neglected, being replaced with other subjects, equally important for the music therapy, such as psychology and psychiatrics. This is particularly evident for private courses, while the music therapy degrees and post-graduate courses provided by universities are mainly organized by Departments of Educational Sciences, with involvement of lectures of pedagogy and music pedagogy, and the ones offered by music conservatories usually pay attention to the pedagogical training of their students, cooperating with experts in this field.

Starting from this premise, the panel will illustrate the specific pedagogical activities carried out in the courses, focusing in particular on those which are linked with music pedagogy, with the final aim to emphasize the importance of the interrelations between music therapy and music education in the training of students.

These thoughts appear even more relevant if looking at the current Italian legislative framework, which has recognized the profession of music-therapist (Law n. 4/2013), opening the access to occupation only to those who have particular competences and tasks, acquired through a specific training (Norma UNI 11592), that does not overlook the pedagogical aspects.



Giovanna Carugno graduated in piano and harpsichord performance and achieved a MA in early music and a MA in chamber music from the Conservatory of Frosinone. After specializing in music education at the University of Padua and in music therapy at Roma Tre University, she obtained a postgraduate diploma in methodology of research in music education from the Accademia Filarmonica of Bologna. She was lecturer in arts therapies at Roma Tre University and currently she is adjunct professor of performing arts studies at the University of Parma and adjunct professor of music education at the Conservatory of Salerno.


Recent Publications

2016: 32° ISME International Conference, Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, Glasgow, “Enjoyment at the museum: a proposal for informal learning. Its effect on the interest of pre-adolescents in early music” (24-29 July 2016);

2016: 6° SMEI Annual Conference (Society for Music Education in Ireland), University of Limerick, “Playing an historical musical instrument: a study on preteens’ preferences” (4-5 November 2016).