Boston/USA 2020

IAMM's 6th International Conference was meant to take place in Boston in 2020. We looked forward to meeting colleagues from around the world who work and play at the intersection of music and medicine. Alas, as we found ourselves in the throes of a global pandemic, we all dealt with the fears, uncertainties, dangers, and consequences of COVID-19. As a result, the Conference became IAMM2020, a series of virtual events that showcased the talent and expertise of those accepted to present and perform, additionally  with special contributions of ISMM and VIBRAG. All the content of the conference was recorded and is included in a website, and available on  The content will no longer be accessible after April 1st 2021. 


IAMM Congress July 2018 in Barcelona/Spain 

ISMM participated together with the VIBRAC Center of the University of Jyväskylä in Finland with a Satellite Symposium at the IAMM Congress, which took place in July 2018 in Barcelona. Around 400 participants from all continents took part. 


Representatives of the ISMM were able to present their views on the medical-scientific basis of music therapy offers at various places, in particular at the concluding expert panel. A consensus was reached with the participating music therapists that a therapeutic application of music is not possible without scientific research. The ISMM was represented by the president, Prof. Dr. med. Ralph Spintge, the vice-president Dr. Fred Schwartz. The general meeting instructs the executive committee and the president to continue the constructive cooperation with IAMM.


Cooperation of ISMM with VIBRAC Center Univ. of Jyväskylä was intensified through joint realisation of VIBRAC Satellite Symposium in Barcelona.


In the years following ISMM held 9 international symposia in USA (Rancho Mirage 1989, San Antonio TX 1994/1996), Australia (Melbourne 1998) and Germany (Lüdenscheid 1982/1984/1986, Hamburg 2003, and 2010 in Minneapolis (MI). 


In the years between, special invited research workshops took place in Lüdenscheid. It has always been the politics of ISMM to cover different cultural spheres and to foster exchange on a global scale, Books of proceedings, enlarged and peer-reviewed were published by Editiones Roche, Springer Heidelberg-New York, MMB Music St. Louis and the University of Melbourne.



VIBRAC Conference (Jyväskylä, Finland), 2016

Co-sponsored by ISMM and VIBRAC Centre at University of Jyvaeskylae, the First International VIBRAC Conference  took place in Lahti, Finland, octobre 14 – 15 2016. More than 140 participants and speakers from Canada, Finland, Norway, Estonia, UK, Croatia, Germany, Argentina, USA discussed research and applications, definitions and standards as well as future directions of low frequency sound stimulation / vibroacoustic therapy. Selected and revised presentations will be published as peer-reviewed manuscripts in a special issue of the Journal Music and Medicine, July 2017. ISMM supports this special issue.


 Augsburg (Minneapolis) 2011

The 9th symposium was hosted at the Augsburg College Faculty of Music / Music Therapy, in conjunction with and co-sponsored by American Music Therapy Association (AMTA), Institute for Music Research University of North Carolina at Greensboro, USA, Regional Pain Center DGS & MusicMedicine Research Lab at Sportklinik Hellersen, Germany. The conference provided an interdisciplinary and international exchange of scientific research results, and empirical findings. The main topics in the program were focused on creative and innovative concepts with family-centered care, self-healing skills, pain management as well as the inclusion of alternative medicine and new ways of thinking in medical treatment. These ideas were identified and discussed especially in intensive care for all ages: neonatology, dying and chronically ill children, and adults. Other topics include a.o. evidence based practice, stress-management, and evaluation models. Clinical programs including daily excursions to different clinics were offered in the afternoon.


Hamburg (Germany) 2003 

The growing international network of experts dedicated to the field as well as the fast growing amount of research studies confirming evidence for musical interventions in medical settings led to the program of the 8th symposium in Hamburg. Topics dealt with urgent issues of the present situation in health care: oncology / chronic diseases, elderly patients with special demands / dementia, coaching and consulting in occupational settings / burn-out, traumatised refugees / post-traumatic stress disorders, pain medicine. A special panel discussed the future of healthcare and the role of music therapy / musicmedicine. Results let to recommendations which acknowledged the evidence of significant benefits that musical interventions provide in healthcare (Spintge 2007).


Melbourne (Australia) 1998 

The 7th symposium moved to Melbourne. In collaboration with AMTA, hosted by the Faculty of Music and by the Faculty of Medicine, Dentistry and Health Sciences of the University of Melbourne, additional topics were identified and discussed in the program: medical cost savings through music, enhancement of maturation in premature infants, palliative care, anti-violence programs in correctional services institutions, hospitalised infants, Parkinson´s disease (Pratt & Grocke,1999).


San Antonio 1996 

The 6thInternational MusicMedicine Symposium was held (when the San Antonio ISMM Regional Chapter was founded) in collaboration with NAMT at UTHSCSA. One topic was about pioneering brain imaging studies and further research leading to the development of the socalled Neurologic Music Therapy (Thaut 1996). Also, nociception and music, Mozart music and genetics, and a variety of clinical applications were presented: pain in fibromyalgie and multiple sclerosis, stress and anxiety in patients with cancer and in palliative care, and music with patients in coma. 


San Antonio (Texas) 1994 

The first ISMM symposium to be held in Texas  comprised sessions dealing with MusicPhysiology, MusicMedicine, Performing Arts Medicine, established a Neuromusical Research Panel, and displayed special-topics-sessions about music and environment – the niche hypothesis, music and human behavior, questions of professionalization, as well as about future trends of all these topic areas  with an outline of a curriculum that was established for MusicMedicine in academic education (Pratt 1996a & b) and an introduction of CAIRSS as a computer-based information retrieval system for literature in MusicMedicine and Music Therapy (Eagle & Hodges 1996).