National Music Therapy Research Unit

NaMTRU aims to engage and integrate with key stakeholders and to educate and empower students and practitioners to enrich society through music therapy.

Our vision

The National Music Therapy Research Unit (NaMTRU) was established by Emeritus Professor Denise Grocke in 1999 as a mechanism for promoting and disseminating research relevant to the practice of music therapy. Since that time, NaMTRU has provided a research milieu for academics and graduate researchers, promoting a balance of empirical, theoretical, clinical and musical dimensions in research.

Research at NaMTRU

NaMTRU has generated a rich tradition of funded research and productively disseminated findings in international and local forums. See the 2010 NaMTRU Research Report for more information about our research outcomes.

All students completing their music therapy training in the Masters of Music Therapy Coursework program are also required to undertake a minor independent research project in their final year.


Music therapy is a research-based profession, and our team has contributed local data to the strong international evidence base underpinning the profession. Our research proves the benefits of music therapy in the areas of neurorehabilitation, autism, dementia care, youth and adult mental health, and disability.


We teach and develop theories to explain how music can be used to facilitate an array of health and wellbeing benefits. Our music therapy program emphasises an eclectic mix of humanistic, psychodynamic, medical, developmental and ecological perspectives to suit the diverse contexts where music therapists practice. We have also contributed to theory development and understanding of unique music therapy methods including song-writing, music selection, and Guided Imagery and Music.


Our team engages with a range of stakeholders to ensure that all people have equitable access to music experiences that may benefit their health and wellbeing. We have conducted research in schools, health care services, the disability sector and mental health settings. Music therapists in training also do placements in community contexts both in Australia and across the Asia region. We strive to engage with local and international partners to remain connected to community.

Current PhD Researchers

Work with us

PhD research in Music Therapy

Interested in music therapy research? Find out more about our PhD program and how you can contribute to the growing body of music therapy research.

View PhD Course

Music Therapy coursework programs

As well as research programs, we also offer pathways for students to become music therapists through our Master of Music Therapy program.

Find out more about other music therapy programs at the Conservatorium, and meet our teaching staff.

View Master of Music Therapy Coursework Program

Contact us

Professor Katrina McFerran
Phone +61 3 8344 7382
Want to know more about music therapy? Visit the Australian Music Therapy Association website.