Key changes and developments — Giorgos Tsiris & Catherine Carr

Volume 7(2) 2015 – Editorial (first published on 30 December 2015)

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Key changes and developments

Giorgos Tsiris1 & Catherine Carr2

1 Editor-in-Chief of Approaches; Nordoff Robbins; Queen Margaret University,
2 Associate Editor of Approaches; Queen Mary University of London,


2015 has been a year of key changes and developments in Approaches bringing the journal into a new cycle of its life. In the summer of this year, the special issue on ‘Music Therapy in Europe: Paths of Professional Development’ was published. This issue of Approaches, as outlined in the respective editorial (Ridder & Tsiris 2015), brought many ‘firsts’: in addition to being published not only in online but also in print format, this issue was the first collaborative publication of Approaches together with a partner organisation – the European Music Therapy Confederation (EMTC). This has set the ground for future collaborations with other professional and disciplinary bodies.

In the months after the publication of the 2015 special issue, two key changes took place. Firstly, Approaches became a fully autonomous publication and launched its new, independent website ( Secondly, the name of the journal changed to ‘Approaches: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Music Therapy’, ISSN: 2459-3338 (formerly known as ‘Approaches: Music Therapy & Special Music Education’, ISSN: 1791-9622).

By becoming an independent publication with its own website, Approaches has gained full autonomy and managerial responsibility, including the required website administration throughout the whole publication process: from submission to online publication of manuscripts. This contributes to speeding up the publication process by drastically reducing the waiting time between submission and publication of papers on First View, the journal’s advance online publication section.

At the same time, the new name of the journal reflects with greater accuracy its focus and vision: Approaches is a peer-reviewed music therapy journal that, in addition to texts that relate directly to music therapy (in its diverse applications and guises as a practice, profession and discipline), invites interdisciplinary approaches and perspectives from the broader field of music, health and wellbeing, to include music education, community music, psychology of music and medical ethnomusicology.

As we enter this new cycle of the journal’s life, we would like to seize the opportunity and thank everyone who has supported Approaches to date: editorial board members, authors, reviewers and, of course, our readers. We would like to particularly acknowledge and express our gratitude to the Greek Association of Primary Music Education Teachers (GAPMET). From 2008 until mid-2015, and under the chairmanship of Maria Argyriou, GAPMET served as an affiliated partner and publisher of Approaches. In addition to generously hosting the journal on their website and providing the required website administration, GAPMET offered a community within which initial ideas were tested and developed. Their support was vital during the formative years of the journal’s development, and the team of Approaches is enormously thankful for their support.

With this opportunity we would also like to revisit the journal’s vision. As the first peer-reviewed journal of music therapy in Hellas, Approaches was established in 2008 in the spirit of contributing not only to the Hellenic, but also to the global scene of music therapy, promoting the dialogue between different disciplinary as well as cultural communities. This remains true and at the heart of Approaches’ work and its endeavour to respond to the changing needs of the diverse communities it serves. Inevitably, its interdisciplinary and intercultural interests constantly pose questions regarding the ‘local’ and the ‘global’ in terms of discipline, language and culture. These questions remain relevant and inform the vision of Approaches which has four main pillars:

  • bilingualism: as a bilingual (Hellenic-English) publication, the journal is addressed both to the international community and to the Hellenic-speaking readership. The team of Approaches argues that the development of indigenous academic reasoning and language contributes significantly to the advance of scientific knowledge and professional practices within each cultural context.
  • interdisciplinarity: as an interdisciplinary publication, the journal invites diverse perspectives and approaches not only from the field of music therapy but also from related disciplines from the broader field of music, health and wellbeing. Interdisciplinary dialogue and mutual exchange is at the core of our vision.
  • peer-review: as an academic publication, the journal follows a thorough review process for all submissions. Apart from ensuring the high standard of publications appearing in Approaches, the review process is an essential ingredient of our commitment to dialogue. Remaining sensitive to different ‘local’ criteria (in terms of discipline, language and culture) and to the nature of different submission genres, Approaches offers different review routes.
  • open access: in Approaches we believe that free access and dissemination of knowledge is highly important, giving the opportunity to everyone to have access to knowledge and the opportunity to co-create such knowledge.

The latter point reflects the journal’s commitment to free knowledge building and sharing. As a fully open access journal, contributing authors publish their work free of charge and all its contents are freely available online. In addition, all editorial board members offer their expertise on a voluntary basis. The sustainability of Approaches and its open access policy, however, relies on its capacity to raise a modest amount of funds through donations to cover website-related expenses. In the past, most of these costs were generously covered by GAPMET, but as part of the journal’s development we currently seek new partners and sponsors. We invite you to read more on our website about how you as an individual or your organisation could support our work. Our first sponsors will be announced in mid-January 2016.

On that note we warmly welcome you to this new issue of Approaches. The contents reflect the diversity of submission genres accepted in the journal. The issue opens with two articles authored by Becky White and Victoria Churchill respectively. Through a case study of group music therapy, White explores how psychodynamic music therapy combined with TEACCH could provide opportunities for social interaction and communication.  On the other hand, Churchill focuses on the role of assessment in music therapy and offers an overview of documented concepts and definitions. These two articles are followed by an interview with Rolando Benenzon who talks about his journey in music therapy and the development of ‘Benenzon Psychotherapy’. Then, four book reviews are followed by two conference reports and three tributes. The latter celebrate the lives of three individuals who made a significant contribution to the field nationally and internationally: Helen Leith, Margaret Murray and Richard Graham.

Looking ahead, Approaches aspires to continue welcoming a range of submission genres and enable different voices and approaches to be heard. In this context, two special issues are currently in preparation: ‘Music, Drama, Dance Movement and Art Therapy: Interdisciplinary Dialogues’ (guest editor: Vicky Karkou) and ‘Dalcroze Eurhythmics in Music Therapy and Special Music Education’ (guest editor: John Habron). We are also pleased to announce that Approaches serves as a partner of the International Society for Music Education (ISME) Commission on Special Music Education and Music Therapy and is supporting the organisation of the Commission’s seminar which will take place on 20-23 July 2016 in Edinburgh, Scotland. Co-hosted by Drake Music Scotland and Edinburgh’s Reid School of Music at the University of Edinburgh, this is a pre-conference seminar happening just a few days before the 32nd World Conference of ISME.

In closing, we encourage you to follow Approaches on Facebook and keep up-to-date with the new publications appearing on the journal as well as other key developments and news of Approaches and its partners. Together with Hermes, our official newsletter, the Facebook page of Approaches provides opportunities for sharing and community building. We look forward to keeping in touch with you.


Ridder, H. M., & Tsiris, G. (2015). ‘Thinking globally, acting locally’: Music therapy in Europe. Approaches: Music Therapy & Special Music Education, Special Issue 7(1), 3-9

Suggested citation:

Tsiris, G., & Carr, C. (2015). Key changes and developments. Approaches: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Music Therapy, 7(2), 194-196.