Music therapy as a formal discipline was developed in the USA in the mid 1940s, when Michigan State University and the University of Kansas began courses.
Music therapy was introduced to the UK in the 1950s and 60s by pioneer practitioners like Juliette Alvin, Paul Nordoff and Clive Robbins.
In the USA music therapy grew up initially as a palliative treatment for returning war veterans, and subsequently became more adapted as a behavioural intervention. In Europe, behavioural and developmental influences were present at the beginning, and music therapy had a remedial role in special education. However, music therapy in Europe, and particularly in the UK, has developed predominately as a psychotherapeutic intervention.
In all countries where music therapists are trained and qualified as clinical practitioners, music therapy is influenced by, and allied to music psychology, music in medicine, musicology, music science and technology, and some forms of sound therapy.