Music, Health and Wellbeing


The Music, Health and Wellbeing curricular unit aims to:

1. Acquire theoretical knowledge about the preventive and therapeutic effects of music in promoting health and well-being in early stages of human development;

2. Develop musical skills suitable for intervention in early stages of human development;

3. Develop appropriate relational skills to intervene in early stages of human development;

4. Acquire observation skills in the context of multimodal interaction.

General characterization





Responsible teacher

Maria Eduarda Salgado Carvalho


Weekly - 3

Total - 280

Teaching language



Not applicable.


Campbell, P., & Frances, T-S. (Eds.). (2018). The baby as subject: Clinical Studies in Infant-Parent Therapy. London: Routledge.
Carvalho, E. (2015). O mundo sonoro pré-natal. In H. Rodrigues, P. Ferreira Rodrigues, & P. M. Rodrigues (Eds.), Ecos de Opus Tutti – Arte para a Infância e Desenvolvimento Social e Humano (pp. 173-186). Lisboa: Fundação Calouste Gulbenkian. ISBN 978-972-31-1565-9.
Carvalho, M. E. (2016). A musicoterapia e o canto pré-natal: contributos nos cuidados de saúde materna. Revista APEO, 17, 4-7. ISSNe: 2182-3006 | ISSNp: 1646-3625.
Carvalho, M. E. (2018). Fundamentação de um Programa de Musicoterapia Pré-Natal. International Journal of Developmental and Educational Psychology, 1(1), 109-116, ISSN: 0214-9877.
Filippa, M., Kuhn, P., Westrup, B. (Eds.). (2017). Early Vocal Contact and Preterm Infant Brain Development. Bridging the Gaps Between Research and Practice. New York: Springer.

Teaching method

Theoretical-practical lessons. It is intended to provide students with specific knowledge about the possibilities of musical interaction at an early age based on the concept of communicative musicality. These classes will be complemented with video examples of interaction between parents and babies. This theoretical and observation component will be enriched by a professor specialized in the field of Developmental Psychology and Human Ethology. It is intended to provide students with relational and musical skills for intervention in the children's first year of life. The importance of each student's personal development is underlined as a basis for a consequent and fruitful musical intervention.

Evaluation method

Evaluation Method - Completion of a sound-musical autobiographical story.(50%), Review of an article alluding to topics approached (at the student's choice and approved by the teacher).(50%)

Subject matter

I. Ontogenesis of communicative musicality

  • The voice and gesture in communicative intentionality;

  • The maternal voice and prenatal singing as facilitators of the emergence of communicative musicality;

  • Acoustic sensitivity in the newborn.

II. Music therapeutic practices and effects

  • Promotion of health and well-being;

  • Musical interventions since pregnancy and during the first year of life;

  • Promotion of interaction and early attachment;

  • Lullaby songs and parenting;

  • Observation of interaction videos between parents and babies;

  • Discussion and analysis.

III. Relational skills in musical interventions

  • Improvisation as a facilitating strategy in musical interventions;

  • Active listening. Expression of empathic creativity;

  • Expression of the self-musical;

  • Creation of a sound-musical story: Practical work.