In Iran some scattered activities about the applications of music have occurred in the form of graduate and undergraduate theses, and also individualized researches or studies have been conducted over the past three decades.
These studies did not place much emphasis on academic or organized structures until the year 2000 when a professional team of university professors in various related fields such as composers, neuroscientists, neuroanatomists, physicians, and psychologists decided to centralise these activities, and establish a structural organization/association. However, there was no actual music therapist in the panel due to this field being novel in our country and in an embryonic status in Iran. The association was founded in 2001 and was named MAMPHA (Music Application in Mental and Physical Health Association). MAMPHA is the pioneer and the sole active organization in the field and provides a wide range of services including consultation, work shops, annual congresses, and actual music therapy. MAMPHA team comprises:
Following the establishment of MAMPHA, this association set about compiling texts and research works conducted in the field of music therapy. Subsequently, MAMPHA started holding weekly workshops, training sessions, and treatments.
The goal of MAMPHA is to further promote above items so as to develop music therapy into a university study major in the near future. In line with the afore-mentioned goal, we need the assistance and back up of researchers and experts to provide us with their knowledge and experiences.
For the time being, music therapy is being practiced in rehabilitation centres and therapeutic community centres. In these centres, music therapy is being exercised along with speech therapy, occupational therapy, and psychology. Unfortunately, due to the fact that there are no professional music therapists in Iran, the practice is not extended to hospitals and care centres, but is limited to very few places.
Music has a historical heritage of over 1000 years in Iran. Some of the present Western musical instruments have been copied from Iranian instruments, and Iranian music styles are known all over the eastern part of the globe. Music here is interwoven with peoples' lives, customs, and our poems. Our scientists have also emphasized on the effect of music on mental and physical health. Our people nowadays pay a lot of attention to music and especially the younger generation, who are taking a serious role in developing their music skills.
With respect to current cultural restrictions, part of the government relevant department is looking at this development from a pessimistic perspective, doubting whether or not this therapy can be of true medical result or not. In addition, there are certain basic influences and disagreements with music itself.
As far as potentials in music therapy development in Iran are concerned, it can be noted that there has been a rising attention and a growing participation rate in the music therapy congresses held in annually. On the other hand, the practicing of this sort of therapy by other medical specialists and psychologists has resulted in the decision made by the officials of higher education in Iran to develop it as a major to be taught and studied in universities. MAMPHA is currently working out a tentative scheme to be presented to the officials for further processing and implementation.
Abdollahnejad, M.Reza (2004). Music Therapy in Iran. Voices: A World Forum for Music Therapy. Retrieved June 10, 2013, from http://testvoices.uib.no/?q=country/monthiran_august2004