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Untangling strings

Call for proposals for further explorations of mistakes in music therapy

Published onNov 28, 2022
Untangling strings

In brief


Call for proposals

Call for papers

Article Processing Charges



Word limit


Depend on article type, see below


January 31, 2023
1700h UTC+01:00

May 31, 2023
1700h UTC+01:00

Submit to

[email protected]

Special issue: Call for contributions

We want to encourage music therapists and practitioners from professions acquainted with music or music therapy to speak about their mistakes more openly, and to create a “mistake culture” which already exists in other professions such as aviation, medicine, and engineering. The notion that music can not only help, but under certain circumstances, also harm, urges us to continue the movement started by the release of the book Breaking strings: Explorations of mistakes in music therapy in September 2022. Release of the book was followed by much interest and many comments and questions from the music therapy community as well as from practitioners from different professions. We feel that the book is just a beginning, and that it is important to continue the momentum that it and previous seminars and workshops have started. If mistakes as well as the harmful consequences of music can be more openly discussed, this could lead to a clearer boundaries of how music can be used to treat and how mistakes could be prevented more easily.

We invite music therapists, but also practitioners from professions that are acquainted with music or with music therapy, to contribute to the special issue Untangling strings: Further explorations of mistakes in music therapy. We are looking for diverse angles and perspectives on the subject of mistakes in music therapy, different contents, and also different forms of academic writing. The book Breaking strings includes different types of chapters (e.g., theoretical and case chapters, clinical vignettes linked to theoretical chapters, and more reflective chapters) and chapters cover different topics and angles on mistakes. These different types and topics can be a good point of departure. You are invited to either expand on the subjects of Breaking strings, or write on topics that the book did not yet cover that you perceive as essential. You are invited to do this in a variety of article types, as suggested below. We hope that not only music therapists are attracted to write for this special issue, but also musicians, music educators, health-care practitioners, and others who see music in action and can reflect on it.

Note that any use of clinical material as part of the article should be bound by ethical considerations. Most desirable is to have the approval of an ethical committee, but we will be able to give alternative directions when this is not possible. 

Potential article types

  • Case studies – describing a mistake that occurred in music centered practice and reflecting upon it (up to 4000 words);

  • Clinical vignettes – describing a clinical snapshot with a short reflection on it (up to 800 words);

  • Empirical research – reporting a study that collected data about mistakes in music (therapy) and analysed it quantitatively or qualitatively (up to 5000 words);

  • Theoretical articles – referring to a specific theoretical aspect or idea about mistakes in music or music therapy (up to 4000 words);

  • Opinion pieces – referring to the challenge of mistakes in music interventions, how they are dealt with, whether this should change and how (up to 3000 words);

  • Formal models – developing conceptual models for understanding mistakes in music interventions, as they are experienced individually, as they are dealt with organizationally, and more (diagrams are welcome, up to 3000 words).  

Potential topics

  • Mistakes in music therapy and different clinical populations;

  • Mistakes as perceived in different approaches in music interventions;            

  • Mistakes in music therapy vs. mistakes in other music related professions;    

  • Mistakes in music therapy vs. mistakes in other therapeutic professions;  

  • Mistakes in music therapy as observed by other professions;

  • How to deal with mistakes in music interventions? 

  • What exactly is a mistake in music therapy?

  • Mistakes in music therapy supervision;           

  • Mistakes in music therapy training;        

  • Mistakes in music therapy as perceived from the supervisor’s perspective;   

  • Mistakes in music therapy as perceived from the client’s perspective.

Practical information

Guest editors

Laurien Hakvoort, [email protected]

Avi Gilboa, [email protected]

Managing editor

Stefan Gaillard, [email protected]

Copy editor

Jobke Visser, [email protected]

Reviewing process

Stage 1: Abstract proposals

Please submit an abstract proposal for consideration prior to beginning work on your article. The abstract proposal should contain a brief outline (250 words max) of the article, the article type, and 4-5 key words. Abstract proposals are due by January 31st 2023 (1700h UTC+01:00, Amsterdam). Answers to abstract proposals will be given within a month after the deadline.

Stage 2: Full article submission

Authors that get a positive answer are invited to submit their full article by May 31, 2023 (1700h UTC+01:00, Amsterdam). See above specifications for different types of articles (and their word limits), and possible topics. Submissions will subsequently be peer reviewed.

Other general guidelines for submission to JOTE, and the submission portal itself can be found at: Please ensure that your article adheres to these guidelines, and has correct spelling, grammar, and referencing.

Note that JOTE is a diamond open access journal. You will not be charged article processing fees.

Proposals and inquiries should be sent to Stefan D.M. Gaillard at [email protected].

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