|Introduction| |The Country of Brazil| |Music Therapy in Scientific Context| |General Aim of Brazilian Music Therapy| |Music Therapy Research| |History of the Development of Music Therapy in Brazil| |Music Therapy Training in Brazil| |The Brazilian Sites of Music Therapy| |References|
Brazil is a country of several climates with many vegetations and temperatures, where a number of different cultural groups live together and so many people with different habits are embraced. Brazil has rains and droughts; it is a hybrid country as a result of the cultural mix.
Today Brazil is going through a period in which the human condition has been affected by deep global transformations and as some habits become outdated, changes in science and politics have occurred.
We live in a more subjective age aiming to find a place for the ideas that do not belong to the logical or to the exact science. Bittar (2002) reminded us of that, when saying that the relation between Earth and Heaven could not be measured.
©CIA Factbook 2002
Following three centuries under the rule of Portugal, Brazil became an independent nation in 1822. By far the largest and most populous country in South America, Brazil has overcome more than half a century of military intervention in the governance of the country to pursue industrial and agricultural growth and development of the interior. Exploiting vast natural resources and a large labor pool, Brazil became South America's leading economic power by the 1970s.
Brazil is located in Eastern South America, bordering the Atlantic Ocean. It is the largest country in South America and shares common boundaries with every South American country except Chile and Ecuador. It is 8,511,965 sq km in total area. The climate is pleasant: mostly tropical with a temperate climate in the south. There is a population of approximately 176 million people.
The main religion is Roman Catholic (80%) and the official language is Portuguese. The chief of state is President Luís Inácio Lula da Silva (since 1st January, 2003).
There is a federal government overseeing 26 states and 1 federal district: Acre, Alagoas, Amapá, Amazonas, Bahia, Ceara, Distrito Federal, Espírito Santo, Goiás, Maranhão, Mato Grosso, Mato Grosso do Sul, Minas Gerais, Para, Paraíba, Paraná, Pernambuco, Piauí, Rio de Janeiro, Rio Grande do Norte, Rio Grande do Sul, Rondônia, Roraima, Santa Catarina, São Paulo, Sergipe and Tocantins.
The main industries are: textiles, shoes, chemicals, cement, lumber, iron ore, tin, steel, aircraft, motor vehicles and parts, other machinery and equipment.
In a scientific context there are some resistances related to new information, the attachment to the accepted structures. Indeed, there is not always an understanding about the resources and the nature of this profession that explores, once more and in an innovative way, musical-sonorous elements. We aim at solidifying our basis and to do so, we offer practices as well as the development of theories that we have sometimes trouble defending it. In my point of view, this occurs because some well-known, tested and accepted models (apart from First World) belong to the history of world music therapy. Brazilian music therapy in order to value its cultural dimensions creates its identity and expression little by little. Brazilian music therapist has been building a particular system of inner measurements and speech that happen in harmony. In other words, Brazilian music therapists try to balance reason and emotion, dealing with Brazilian techniques.
In the slow development of Brazilian music therapy in the First World, as well as in the international field, we fight for democracy. We are aware that we need to write more, to describe more and to publish more. According to Gadamer (Rorty, 2000), who was born in 1900, we cannot understand anything but a description. This philosopher said: "there is no privileged descriptions". Rorty, referring to present-day and old theories, reveals that: "... the progress made by modern science consists on making new description about the physic universe and then join the horizons of these new speeches with the ones belonged to common sense and former scientific theories" (page 12). We could say that this is the philosophy that is embraced by Brazilian music therapy.
It is necessary to spread this idea to share with other people and contribute to the profession as a whole and it must not be passive. This attitude does not allow the professionals to fulfill their aim to carry out their duties as a citizen, which is: "be an active participant on the construction of an object", that is interesting for all.
Our aim, as Brazilian music therapists, is to be able to sail around the world, anchor our ships in many harbors and show our complex music therapy culture, understanding that this ideal is not utopic but rather encourages us to celebrate this global mix, democratically.
As music therapy is a health discipline, we work with other professions in a prophylactic level, as well as on the treatment of bio-psychosocial areas of the person. Music therapy is gradually being recognized as a competent and effective discipline with benefits to society. We try to take care of our profession, investigating and informing about the necessity of qualification, that is, it is essential to undertake a four-year course, with approximately three thousand hours. The course is focused on clinical work, although we are required to act in other areas such as Human Resources in big companies.
Research activities have been coordinated by music therapists who make partnerships with professionals from medical and educational institutions to promote and favor the construction of a new scientific thought. There are few Brazilian institutions that give space to research and it is because of the slow political and economical transformation responsible for the change of culture in our country.
There are however some music therapy research projects in Brazil:
Music therapy, together with medical, psychological and musical areas, commands respect as an integrated approach. It represents the organization and the maintenance of a system, that is a reference, which advises and goes with the research. We are facing a new time in Brazil, a time that stimulates people to do integrated research, mainly through private universities. We could quote, for instance, UniFMU, a higher education university centre from São Paulo, which is part of the Faculdades Metropolitanas Unidas, which graduates music therapists. It aims at opening new jobs through the formation of professional fields that have not been explored so far.
UniFMU built the Health and Biological Science Centre, a clinic and a laboratory of music therapy, respecting the original project which required an essential criteria to make possible scientific researches in specific area, such as acoustic covering in all classrooms, great space to body movement, sound system, high technology, lighting with different intensities, one-way mirror to the observation of trainees in their practical work, making possible the development of national and international researches.
Music Therapy in Brazil is a high level career, which started in 1970 as a specialization. It was first offered at Faculdade de Educação Musical do Paraná, called nowadays Faculdades de Artes do Paraná (FAP). In 1972, in Rio de Janeiro, Conservatório Brasileiro de Música started the first graduation course in Music Therapy. In 1978, this course was legally recognized and since then several other courses were developed.
Some important names must be mentioned as Music Therapy pioneers: Cecília Conde, Gabrielle Sousa e Silva e Doris Hoyer de Carvalho (RJ) - founders of the first graduation course, Lia Rejane Mendes Barcellos (RJ) - member of World Federation of Music Therapy (Clinical Practice Commission), Clotilde Leinig (PR) - founder of the first Music Therapy course of Paraná, Di Pâncaro (RS) - founder of the first Music Therapy course in Rio Grande do Sul), Clementina Nastari (SP) - founder of the first Music Therapy course in São Paulo and Maristela Pires da Cruz Smith (SP) , Marly Chagas (RJ), Clarice Moura Costa (RJ), Martha Negreiros (RJ), Cléo Monteiro França Correia (SP), Marco Antônio Carvalho Santos (RJ), Selma Marques de Oliveira (SP) - important collaborators to the development of the profession in Brazil.
Music therapy graduation is a course recognized by MEC (Education Department). The methods and techniques of music therapy follow the principles mentioned in the definition elaborated by The Clinical Practice Commission of World Federation of Music Therapy in 1996. So, "... the aim is to develop potentials and/or restore functions of the person in order to reach a better interaction and, as consequence, a better life quality, through the prevention, rehabilitation or treatment..." (Revista Brasileira de Musicoterapia, p.4).
There are now some 1500 music therapy graduates in Brazil with courses available at:
UBAM (União Brasileira das Associações de Musicoterapia) is a Brazilian union, which embraces the 12 existing Brazilian associations. Its aim is to take care of professional interests as well as give priority to the scientific development of music therapy. The responsibilities and duties of music therapists are in the Professional Ethics Code. The Brazilian associations are:
The process of regulating the profession is the main aim of the UBAM. The associations, such as National Meeting of Research, Training Program, Brazilian Congress, hold important events periodically such as the Scientific Studies Meeting, which provides updated research in the area. The law project (4827/01) is in Brasília (Federal District) state in the last step to be voted.
Music therapy as municipal post exists in public institutions in several cities; in many health and educational institutions there are music therapists, some who work in clinic and in the administration area and music therapy joins on ONGs and big companies.
It is important to say that during the 3rd National Conference of Mental Health in December 2001, other health professionals asked for the national legalization of the profession and recommended to the Health System that music therapists be integrated into their clinical team.
Bittar, E.C.B. (2002). Curso de Ética Jurídica - Ética Geral e Profissional. São Paulo: Saraiva.
Central Intelligence Agency (2002). Brazil. The World factbook. Retrieved March 25, 2003, from Central Intelligence Agency's website http://www.cia.gov/cia/publications/factbook/geos/br.html
Revista Brasileira de Musicoterapia. Vol. 2, 1996. Rio de Janeiro: UBAM.
Rorty, R. (2000). A Filosofia e o Espelho da Natureza. 2ª ed. Trans. Marcos Macedo. São Paulo: Relume-Dumará.
Smith, M. P. da C. (1999). Musicoterapia e Identidade Humana: Concretização de um Projeto de Vida Emancipatório. Dissertação de Mestrado. São Paulo: UNIMARCO.
Smith, Maristela Pires da Cruz (2003). Music Therapy in Brazil. Voices: A World Forum for Music Therapy. Retrieved June 11, 2013, from http://testvoices.uib.no/?q=country-of-the-month/2003-music-therapy-brazil