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More Than A Smile - Choosing to Study Music Therapy: Rome, Italy

Scuola di Formazione in Musicoterapia

Cooperativa Oltre ONLUS – Roma

Music has always been important in my life. I was ten years old when I fall in love with the guitar, since then it’s like a part of my body. With music and with my guitar I’m able to express deep feelings or emotions that usually lay down hidden in me.

I’ve had various jobs, but in 2015 I found my way starting my actual job as a health care worker. Beyond my job, helping people feel good is an emotion that gives me a different perception of life and it's real meaning.

As a healthcare worker, I experienced how music can change people's perception of pain. When working with children, I would sometimes play the guitar for them, just to make them smile, and every time, I perceived that music was giving them something more than a smile. This is why I started to looking for something that connect music to health, and this is how finally found music therapy.

Three years ago I started a music therapy school in Rome*, and now I’m almost at the end of this amazing and intense experience. Considering music therapy just a school is not correct for me, it has been a journey in which I found myself first and then the key to open the door of another world that often is closed, is the door of

people who need to be reached in a different way: the music therapy way.

There is a question that our music therapy professors asked us to answer. and that is,

“What is music therapy?” This is a hard question and even today I’m looking for the right answer. What I know is that music therapy is a scientific methodology that through music, sound, relation, verbal or non-verbal communication, is able to develop potential or residual functions in a person. Music therapy changes quality of life because it can anticipate, rehabilitate or treat a disease.

Using musical instruments to express feelings has always been important as human

beings since the beginning of human life on the earth. We don’t need to be

musicians to create a sound, but rather we need to let our feelings go with the music.

In my educational journey I have learned how important knowledge is. Not just musical knowledge, but also psychology, pedagogy, medical elements, ethic, and professional ethic.

To be a good music therapist you need to know how to switch on empathy, listening, and attention, exactly how to do this is something that I’m still trying to


My journey is not over, but now I know for sure that I have many more elements to answer the question: “What is music therapy”.

- Annalisa Pais



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