Learning More About Music Therapy

AMTA Published Journals

The American Music Therapy Association produces two scholarly journals where research in music therapy is published and shared:

  • The Journal of Music Therapy is published by AMTA as a forum for authoritative articles of current music therapy research and theory. Articles explore the use of music in the behavioral sciences and include book reviews and guest editorials. An index appears in issue 4 of each volume.
  • Music Therapy Perspectives is designed to appeal to a wide readership, both inside and outside the profession of music therapy. Articles focus on music therapy practice, as well as academics and administration.

Subscriptions to these journals, downloadable articles, and a limited number of open access articles are available on each respective journal's webpage (click the links above for more information).

AMTA Publications Catalog

AMTA publishes a number of monographs, textbooks and other resources about the profession of music therapy.  Please see our online bookstore for a complete listing of publications and products available.  Use the menu items to navigate to Bookstore>Visit the Bookstore.  Then you may choose to Shop for "Merchandise," Select Category, "Publications" and "Go" for a complete list of publications available.  Or click this link for the complete list of AMTA Publications.


Numerous databases are available that index and list citations and abstracts to journal articles on music therapy. Some of these databases include links to full text copies (usually for a fee) or provide article retrieval services through your local library (fees vary). Public university open access libraries generally allow persons to enter the library and conduct database searches on their computer terminals on site.

National Library of Medicine: MEDLINE

The Journal of Music Therapy is indexed in the MEDLINE database (NLM ID 0014162) sponsored by the National Library of Medicine (NLM). MEDLINE is the NLM's major bibliographic database covering the fields of medicine, nursing, dentistry, veterinary medicine, the health care system, and the preclinical sciences.  MEDLINE contains bibliographic citations and author abstracts from more than 4,800 biomedical journals published in the United States and 70 other countries. The database contains over 12 million citations dating back to the 1960’s. MEDLINE is searched through NLM’s search and browser tools called Entrez, a text-based search and retrieval system.

National Library of Medicine:  PUBMED

Also at NLM is PUBMED. PubMed is a service that includes over 16 million citations from MEDLINE and other life science journals for biomedical articles back to the 1950s. PubMed includes links to some full text articles and other related resources.

10 Tips for Researching Music Therapy

AMTA works tirelessly to advocate for music therapy and support the most up-to-date information in music therapy research.  To help your research of music therapy, take a look at these top tips and hacks to use:

  1. PUBMED is free: PUBMED comprises more than 26 million citations for biomedical literature from MEDLINE, life science journals, and online books. www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed
  2. Research database search - Know Your Boolean Operators: While using PUBMED or other research databases, Boolean Operators are used to connect and define the relationship between search terms.  Use the connectors AND, OR, NOT to combine search terms.  Using AND indicates that all words must be found in the results (ex. music therapy AND premature AND infants), using OR indicates that at least one of the terms provided must be found in the results (ex. preterm OR premature), and NOT excludes results containing a particular term (ex. flute NOT piccolo).
  3. Research database search - Phrase Searching: Use quotation marks around keyword phrases to indicate that these words be searched as a phrase, in the exact order you type them. Ex. “music therapy” OR “music-based interventions” will provide results with both of these exact phrases.
  4. Journal of Music Therapy and Music Therapy Perspectives journal archives: AMTA provides FREE access to all Journal of Music Therapy and Music Therapy Perspectives issues and archives to current members.  Login on the AMTA website and use the member access portal for the desired journal (Research>Music Therapy Journals & Publications) to access this content as a benefit of membership in AMTA.  For non-members, many libraries provide free access to these journals through their consortium programs.  Otherwise, you can browse abstracts for free and purchase single articles for download or subscribe to the whole year of issues. For more on music therapy journals and publications, see our journals page.
  5. Citation Managers: Is organizing your research articles becoming overwhelming?  Consider using Citation Manager software like Zotero, EndNote, or Mendeley
  6. Style Guides: Need to write, reference, and/or cite using a specific style guide?  The online guides at the Purdue Owl offers APA, MLA, and Chicago style guides: https://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/section/2/
  7. PICOT question format: The PICOT question format is a consistent “formula” for developing answerable, researchable questions.  When you write a good PICOT question, it makes the process of finding and evaluating evidence from published research straightforward.
  8. Evidence-based practice tutorials: Looking for a quick tutorial on evidence-based practice?  Check out the tutorials at:
  9. Social Media: Want to follow music therapy research dissemination via social media?  Check out the Journal of Music Therapy (JMT) and Music Therapy Perspectives (MTP) social media channels:
  10. Journal Club: Clubs among groups of professionals are all over the country!  If you would like to be part of a journal club on music therapy you can start one of your own by following these Journal Club tips:
    • Post the article citation and the journal club discussion questions prior to each meeting.
    • Set a convenient meeting time and location for in-person or virtual meetings.
    • Identify a facilitator for each meeting.
    • Encourage active participation of those attending by using the discussion questions. Sometimes authors welcome your questions.
    • Invite guests for special topics now and then.
    • Evaluate the journal club. At the end of the session, gather feedback from participants.