CMAT Research Day 2019

On September 20 Codarts' Masters in Arts Therapies organise a Research Day | State of the Art and Current Topics in Arts Therapies Research.

Apply by sending an email to | Costs are € 50,- (Codarts students and - alumni free of charge) | Location: Codarts (Kruisplein 26, Rotterdam)


09:15  Registration open

09:45  Welcome

10:00  Keynotes (parallel sessions)

Prof. Helen Odell-Miller (Anglia Ruskin University, UK):

Lecture on the state of the art in Music Therapy research (title to be confirmed)

Rosemarie Samaritter (Codarts):

On the effects of moving and being moved –current findings and future perspectives of research in Dance Movement Therapy

11:00 Break

11:15  Workshop round 1 (parallel sessions):

Simone Kleinlooh (Codarts):

Self-regulation in arts informed procedures: observational markers for DMT research

Kathinka Poismans (Codarts):

Aesthetic experience in Music Therapy

12:30  Lunch break

13:30  Workshop round 2 (parallel session)

Marja Cantell, Ralf Cox & Erica Kamphorst (Groningen University)

Close harmony & Synchrony: Quantitative observational methods for assessing interpersonal coordination

Chris Müller (Erasmus University College):

Video-based observation of musical interactions

14:45  Keynote session 2

Ditty Dokter:

A quarter century of evidence based practice in arts therapies, where have we got to?

15:45  Interdisciplinary panel discussion on research into specific elements at work in dance and music therapy:

Synchronisation – relational dynamics in dance and music therapy

16:30  Closure

16:45  Drinks and bites

Codarts Master of Arts Research Day – 20 September 2019
Additional information on the programme


Music therapy research and mental health including for those living with dementia: current international trends and future perspectives.

Prof. Helen Odell Miller, PhD (Anglia Ruskin University, UK)

The unique specific interventions of a music therapist from a clinical education and research perspective will be discussed, focussing upon mental health including dementia and drawing upon current research.  The music therapist’s unique role is where specific needs for people including their care-givers, cannot easily be met by others. For example where behavioural and psychological disturbance in advance stages of dementia exists, when cognitive function deteriorates and confusion is prevalent, non-verbal communication through musical interaction can be crucial. Improvised music where the music therapist supports validates, recognizes and musically develops the person’s musical expression with them and use of pre-composed music is shown in systematic reviews to be effective.  For adults with other mental health problems such as with psychosis or depression including bi-polar disorder, the climate of research is changing. Mixed methods studies where the musical essence of change can be captured for participants is increasingly important in research methodologies. Musical examples which illustrate the unique role for music therapy to change behaviour and improve quality of life will be included in an overview of the current state of research in the field.

On the effects of moving and being moved –current findings and future perspectives of research in Dance Movement Therapy

Rosemarie Samaritter, PhD (NL)

Research on the effects of DMT interventions in the Netherlands is still scarce, while internationally DMT’s are engaging in the endeavor to design studies that allow to capture the specific mechanisms at work in DMT and their effects for a diversity of populations. A growing body of knowledge presents the professional field with the evidence, so urgently needed to show efficacy of DMT interventions.

The quality and meaningfulness of new research is highly related to the continuity of already presented academic findings. New research studies need to address designs and analysis techniques that are related to recognized academic research procedures, while at the same time they face the challenge to find procedures and techniques that allow to capture DMT specific features and outcome.

The lecture will present an overview on the current state of research into evidence of dance movement therapy and related interventions. Future perspectives will be discussed in view of relevant/appropriate research structures for DMT.


A quarter century of evidence based practice in arts therapies, where have we got to?

Ditty Dokter PhD (Codarts Rotterdam and UK

The paper starts with a short historical overview of the impact of evidence based practice in the UK, with an extension to developments in the Netherlands and internationally.  Rosemarie Samaritter and Helen Odell-Miller focus on current dance therapy and music therapy research developments, I will link these to developments in dramatherapy and art therapy and aim to compare / contrast the developments in practice based evidence/evidence based practice across the arts therapies charting parallel and different developments. Difficulties and possibilities in EBP and PBE over the years are highlighted and I will conclude with advocating greater collaboration across arts therapies research, as well as more systematic implementation of research and practice findings in day to day practice.  Incorporation of client values and advocacy will conclude the paper.


Aesthetic experience in Music Therapy

Dr. Kathinka Poismans, lecturer MT MA programme Codarts Rotterdam

Music is often appreciated for its aesthetic value. Nowadays aesthetic experiences in music therapy are not often focus of research although there are some publications that emphasize aesthetics in music therapy. In this workshop we will explore what aesthetic experiences are and why (or why not) they are important in music therapy. The last topic that will be addressed in this workshop is: can we recognize aesthetic experiences (in music therapy) so that they become researchable?

We will explore the questions by looking at what literature says about aesthetics in music (therapy), by discussing our own experiences but especially while playing music and or listen/observe the musicians.

You are invited to bring your own instrument if possible.

Self-regulation in arts informed procedures: observational markers for DMT research 

Simone Kleinlooh, PhD candidate, coordinator DMT MA programme Codarts Rotterdam.Self-regulative mechanisms include self- monitoring and judgment of one’s behavior in relation to personal standards and environmental circumstances including affective self-reaction and self-regulation strategies are the conscious and nonconscious processes by which thoughts, emotions, attention, behavior, and impulses are regulated (Vohs & Baumeister, 2016; Bandura, 1991). Summarized self-regulation is control of oneself, by oneself. In DMT regulation of self happens through paying attention to body-signals, movement patterns and by giving shape to feelings and thoughts in shared space and time for developing trust and a feeling of social connection (Trevarthen & Fresquez, 2015, Payne & Samaritter & Payne, 2017). Dance movement therapists offer arts-informed actions or procedures that support this process. Clients are invited to engage in movement and dance while they improvise, play and explore, repeat and share meaningful actions, select, change, compose and perform (Samaritter, 2018). The hypothesis is that these actions require many skills as attention, imagination, risk-taking, memorizing, goal-oriented decision making, organization, relating, in short mastery over self and one’s intentions, thoughts, emotions and expressions. Crucial for the progress of the DMT field is research that supports the identification of possible therapeutic working mechanisms within the artform and to define how, when, in what context, and under what conditions arts informed interventions best match the client’s specific needs and treatment objectives (Koch, 2017; Brauninger, 2012). Once engaged in a dance structure the arts-informed procedures are visible actions executed by clients and therefore possible markers to identify self-regulating mechanisms, strategies and necessary skills.

In this workshop arts-informed procedures are introduced in an experiential way. An attempt is made to explore the potential of these procedures as possible observation markers for self-regulating strategies. There will be time for questions, answers and discussion.

Workshop is open to both MT and DT.


Video-based observation of musical interactions

Dr. Chris Muller

Faculty of Life Sciences, Erasmus University Rotterdam

Music Therapy sessions during which (Alzheimer’s) patients play musical instruments with a therapist can contribute substantially to the wellbeing of patients. Beyond qualitative methods it is difficult to assess the effect of such sessions. A quantitative measure could help to better justify the need for funding of such sessions. This workshop aims to test a paradigm that quantifies the quality of interaction and synchronization between participants of music therapy sessions.

A number of prepared video excerpts, in which actors play the parts of therapists and patients, will be presented and evaluated by the workshop participants. The actors in the videos will portray several different scenarios, varying in their degree of interaction. Workshop participants will act as participants in an experiment that quantifies the how well observers are able to pinpoint the nature of various scenarios. The collected data will be analysed and discussed, and a template for further investigation will be created. This template will be used in a similar experiment in a student project in the near future. Ideally, these pilots will result in a validated paradigm that can contribute to quantifying therapy efficacy.

Close harmony & Synchrony: Quantitative observational methods for assessing interpersonal coordination

Marja Cantell, PhD; Ralf Cox, PhD; Erica Kamphorst, MSc

Inclusive and Special Needs Education & Developmental Psychology

Faculty of Behavioral and Social Sciences, University of Groningen

The importance of human interaction has been widely acknowledged and researched in anthropology, ecology, ethology, education and psychology. Interaction, or interpersonal coordination/synchronization, is a multifaceted, reciprocal, and dynamic phenomenon, whereby mutually adaptive behaviors between interactive partners are crucial. Interpersonal coordination and synchrony between mother and child, and between peers, are considered important, for instance, for adaptive child development (Feldman, 2007; LeClère et al., 2014), as well as being an important ‘social glue’ between adults (Marsh & Meagher, 2016).

While watching a music or dance performance, performers seem to interact in almost perfect harmony. That is, their actions or movements appear seamlessly synchronized and effortlessly attuned. However, whilst most people are unaware of this process in everyday interactions, some individuals struggle to harmonize their actions with their interaction partners. For any (arts) therapist it is thus important to be able to observe interaction in a feasible, valid and reliable way. Although more qualitative observational methods such as Laban Movement Analysis and Kestenberg Movement Patterns can greatly assist therapists in doing so, a diverse toolbox of quantitative observational methods could be of added value in the observation or study of synchronization during human interaction.

In this workshop we will provide (1) a selective overview of observational tools for quantifying individual as well as interpersonal behavior and movements, (2) some hands-on (and embodied) experience with some of these tools (behavior coding, Wii Balance Boards), and (3) discuss their benefits and pitfalls.

Workshop is open to both MT and DT.