Senior Lecturer, Music Therapy


Division: Occupational Therapy & Arts Therapies

Tel: 0131 474 0000

Dr Giorgos Tsiris (Masters of Music Therapy (MMT-NR), Degree in Special Education) is a Lecturer in Music Therapy in the Occupational Therapy & Arts Therapies Division. He is also a associate member of Centre for Applied Social Sciences.

Giorgos was born in Athens/Hellas and, after qualifying as a special needs teacher and working in diverse educational settings, he trained as a music therapist at Nordoff-Robbins Music Therapy / City University London.

His therapeutic work has focused mainly on dying adults, as well as bereaved families and children. During his music therapy work at St Christopher’s Hospice, Giorgos was involved in the development of a range of arts projects, including death education, health promotion and community arts projects. He was also involved in multi-disciplinary teaching and evaluation initiatives.

In addition to his lecturer role at Queen Margaret University, Giorgos is Head of Research at Nordoff-Robbins Scotland. Previous research posts include his work as Researcher at Nordoff Robbins – where he currently conducts his doctoral research – and his Research Officer work at the British Association for Music Therapy (BAMT).

Giorgos is the founding Editor-in-Chief of the open access, peer-reviewed journal “Approaches: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Music Therapy” and an editorial board member of the “International Journal of Community Music” and “Voices: A World Forum for Music Therapy”.

He has served as an external examiner for the music therapy training at the University of Pretoria, South Africa and as the Representative of the Hellenic Association of Certified Professional Music Therapists (ESPEM) at the European Music Therapy Confederation (EMTC). He is currently a Commissioner of the ISME Commission on Special Music Education and Music Therapy and a Knowledge Exchange Fellow at the Centre for the Arts as Wellbeing, University of Winchester.

He has authored a number of articles and book chapters. In 2014, he co-authored two books: “A Guide to Evaluation for Arts Therapists and Arts & Health Practitioners” and “A Guide to Research Ethics for Arts Therapists and Arts & Health Practitioners”.

Affiliations/Memberships to Other Organisations:

  • Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC)
  • British Association for Music Therapy (BAMT)
  • Hellenic Association of Certified Professional Music Therapists (ESPEM)
  • International Society for Music Education (ISME)

Professional Social Media:

Giorgos has an extensive experience in designing and leading service evaluation and impact-related initiatives for music therapy and other arts services within a range of organisations.

As a music therapy practitioner-researcher, he has a particular interest in collaborative and participatory research methodologies. Examples of recently completed projects include a participatory practitioner-researcher study exploring the strategies that music therapists use to promote musical communities in dementia care-homes, as well as an analysis of music therapy-specific outcome measures.

His ongoing doctoral research focuses on music therapy and spirituality. This is an ethnographically-informed study exploring how different spirituality-music-health patterns emerge in everyday music therapy contexts.

Active Research Interests:

  • Spirituality in music therapy
  • Evaluation and assessment
  • Death education and health promotion
  • Interdisciplinarity in music and health
  • Knowledge building and professionalisation

Research Methods:

  • Ethnography
  • Action research
  • Survey research
  • Mixed methods

Other funding:

Study title: “Music therapy and spirituality” (ongoing PhD project)

Researcher: Giorgos Tsiris

This project has been partially funded by The Music Therapy Charity and the British Association for Music Therapy


Study title: “Mapping the profile of music therapists in the UK”

Researchers: Catherine Carr, Muriel E. Swijghuisen Reigersberg & Giorgos Tsiris

This project was funded by the British Association for Music Therapy

In addition to his work as a Lecturer in Music Therapy at Queen Margaret University, Giorgos has taught as a visiting lecturer in various music therapy and other related programmes in the UK, USA and New Zealand. He has a strong interest in inter-disciplinary teaching and often contributes to seminars and workshops for arts and health, as well as other healthcare professionals.

Some of his primary teaching areas include: service evaluation and assessment; community and improvisational music therapy; spirituality; palliative and bereavement care.