About WFMT

What is WFMT?
The World Federation of Music Therapy, Incorporated is a non-profit corporation organized under the laws of the state of North Carolina, USA. Its aim is to promote music therapy throughout the world.

What is music therapy?
Music therapy is the professional use of music and its elements as an intervention in medical, educational, and everyday environments with individuals, groups, families, or communities who seek to optimize their quality of life and improve their physical, social, communicative, emotional, intellectual, and spiritual health and wellbeing. Research, practice, education, and clinical training in music therapy are based on professional standards according to cultural, social, and political contexts (WFMT, 2011).

What is the purpose of WFMT?
To act as the international umbrella organization for the profession of music therapy.To promote the exchange of information about global music therapy throughout the Federation’s eight regions.To promote international collaborations among WFMT members and other related professional groups.To promote and advance equivalencies in clinical practice standards in music therapy.To promote and establish equivalencies in the standards of the education and training of music therapists.To promote and advance equivalencies in the standards and policies of the ethical conduct of music therapists.To promote the integration of research and ethics into the practice of music therapy throughout the world and support international research collaborations.To share information on accreditation and licensing procedures with the Federation’s members and establish equivalency standards for a global music therapy certification.To promote the official recognition of music therapy as a profession by governmental or non-governmental agencies throughout all regions of the world.To support response efforts of music therapists and communities affected by disasters.To disseminate information related to music therapy worldwide by using latest technology and multimedia.To coordinate and promote a World Congress of Music Therapy every three years.

How was WFMT formed?
The World Federation of Music Therapy was formally established in Genoa, Italy in 1985, born out of a common vision among international music therapists to promote the profession globally. Among the ten founding members were Rolando Benenzon (Argentina), Giovannia Mutti (Italy), Jacques Jost (France) Barbara Hesser (USA), Amelia Oldfield (UK), Ruth Bright (Australia), Heinrich Otto Moll (Germany), Rafael Colon (Puerto Rico), Clementina Nastari (Brazil), and Tadeusz Natanson (Poland).

Our Leadership

WFMT Council 2023 - 2026

WFMT is governed by a group of elected Officers and Commissioners. Additionally, eight Regional Liaisons are appointed by the Council to represent the WFMT within defined regions of the world.

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Ms. Vivian Chan,
Hong Kong

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Dr. Anita Swanson,

Past President
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Ms. Aksana Kavaliova-Moussi,

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Ms. Amanda Montera,

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Ms. Kaitlyn Kasha,

Executive Assistant

Our Commissioners

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Mr. Puchong Chimpiboon,

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Dr. Indra Selvarajah,

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Dr. Gustavo Schulz Gattino,

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Ms. Martina Scognamiglio,

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Dr. Amy Clements-Cortes,

Our Regional Liasons

Regional Information

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Ms. Danielle McKinnon,
South Africa

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Dr. Alison Short,

Australia/New Zealand
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Mr. Hisham Alhadrab,

Eastern Mediterranean
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Dr. Mitsi Akoyunoglou,

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Mr. Nicolás Espinoza,

Latin America & the Caribbean
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Dr. Andrea McGraw Hunt,

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Ms. Bhuvaneswari Ramesh

Southeast Asia
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Dr. Jin Hyung Lee
South Korea

Western Pacific


Find a list of past leadership teams in the dropdown to the side.

Previous Council Members
Leadership 2020 - 2023
Leadership 2017 - 2020
Leadership 2014 - 2017
Leadership 2011 - 2014
Leadership 2008 - 2011

Lifetime Achievement

Started in 2008, the Lifetime Membership Award honors an individual nominated and voted upon by Council who is deemed to have made significant contributions to the field of music therapy. In 2014, additional awards were incorporated to develop the WFMT Recognition Program (click button below to learn more). In 2017, the award was renamed to the Lifetime Achievement Award to clarify the significance of the honor. Lifetime Achievement Award recipients enjoy honorary life membership in the WFMT.

Dr. Clive Robbins

They pioneered a unique music therapy approach to address the needs of the many very disabled and difficult to reach children by engaging them in music improvisation.

More About Dr. Robbins
Past Recipients
WFMT Recognition Program