Guest Work – Iosif Kartapanis

By April 23, 2010Guest Work

This is a post from Iosif Kartapanis, a music therapist who did his training in the USA but recently established his own private practice in Cyprus. I asked him to write a post because international perspectives are valuable in understanding the global impact and diversity of our profession. He will be writing more, and I encourage you to comment and ask questions. He will be a great resource for anyone thinking of working outside the United States. Thanks, Iosif!

I met Matt at the last AMTA National conference. He was, at that time, in the process of setting up his website, something that I found really exciting. I now have the privilege of writing a series of entries on the process of becoming a professional music therapists in Cyprus, an Island in the Mediterranean.

My name is Iosif Kartapanis and I finished my BA in music therapy at The University of Georgia. After the 4 years of studying and adjusting to the south, I move to Salt Lake City for my internship at Primary Children’s Medical Center with Mrs. Lillieth Grand, adjusting all over again to a different culture. When I finished the internship at the end of 2009, I decided to move back to Cyprus. It was then that all the adventure began.

Cyprus is a very small island, and if you think that the south is conservative, Cyprus will make you rethink of that. But before I start going more into Cypriot mentality, I would like to give a small background of music therapy in Cyprus.

There are Currently, around to 30 music therapy professionals and students. This number was counted in one of the meetings that music therapists held on the island in order to form an association. Music Therapists are currently employed by the government in special schools. They are also employed by organizations such as the Autistic Association of Cyprus and psychiatric services. A lot of the music therapists though have private practices.

In February of 2010, I set up my own private practice. The Cyprus Institute of Music Therapy is not only providing music therapy services, but also music lessons, and it contracts with the Autistic Association of Cyprus. It is really difficult to get Cypriots to try new things (in which music therapy is categorized). Music therapy is relatively new to the island and most people when they hear about it expect that is only used for stress. In order to further improve people’s understanding of music therapy, I have begun giving presentations on what is music therapy and its applications.

There is Much more to say but I would leave it for the next post. If you want to know specific things I think there is a way to comment here, so please feel free to ask.



  • Ata says:

    Hi Iosif,

    Very interesting article! Thanks.
    I’m music graduate and thinking of doing a masters in Music Therapy, I’ve talked with a few people within the field here in Cyprus and it seems that the government does not consider you to be a music therapist if you don’t have a bachelor in psychology (with masters in MT) or a MT bachelor, not masters. I was wondering if you have any idea if this is correct, since honestly I have no idea who to contact..
    I’d reaaaallly appreciate it if you could give me any information about it.

    Thanks 🙂

  • Maité says:

    Thanks for your reply Iosif.
    I am from Australia and was born in Switzerland.

  • Iosif says:

    Very interesting questions. It would be most inappropriate to respond immediately and not take time to give a better answers, so I will do the best to answer them in my next post which will be coming really soon. May i ask where are you from?

  • Maité says:

    Hi Iosif,
    Many thanks for sharing your experience as a musician and music therapist. I also found your article very interesting as it (almost naturally) associates two careers: being a musician (performing & teaching) and being a music therapist (performing, interacting with people to enhance their well being).
    I am not a music therapist, but an undergrad student interested in music therapy as an allied health industry.
    I would like to know what are your views about the profession of music therapist in the public service and in private practice.
    What are the key factors for you that drive music therapy ?
    Is the alliance of both professions more sustainable in the long term?

    Best wishes for a successful practice in Cyprus!
    Kind regards

  • Sandy says:

    Just wanted to let you know that reading about MT in Cyprus is very interesting, and I truly hope you’ll share more. I’m not an MT, just interested in it. Please keep writing! 🙂