Introducing a Nordoff-Robbins service evaluation tool

Giorgos Tsiris, Neta Spiro, Owen Coggins, Ania Zubala

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Service evaluation is a professional requirement for music therapy practitioners and organisations. Yet, the profession and discipline of music therapy rarely focus on the ‘nuts and bolts’ of such evaluations (Tsiris, Pavlicevic & Farrant, 2014; Wood, 2015). This partly relates to the perceived overlap between assessment and service evaluation and the assumption that knowledge about assessment can cover service evaluation needs. Also, the findings of service evaluation studies tend to remain ‘hidden’ within the research communities, perhaps in part because of their immediate purpose and perceived status, their methodological weaknesses and their context-specificity (Powell, 2006; Tsiris, Spiro & Pavlicevic, 2017). Drawing on our service evaluation experience within diverse settings we have become aware of its potential beyond its typical current uses in the field. In addition, it has become clear that there is a need for open discussion and debate about the tools that are available. As an example of a possible tool, we introduce a service evaluation questionnaire alongside the review studies that led to its construction. Developed originally through a review of 27 service evaluation projects (Spiro & Tsiris, 2017; Tsiris, Spiro & Pavlicevic, 2017).), this questionnaire addresses a number of impact areas. Adopting an ecological perspective, these areas refer to music therapy’s perceived impact not only in relation to service-users, but also in relation to families/carers/ friends, staff, and the organisational context as a whole. Following its original implementation within Nordoff Robbins England and Wales, this questionnaire was tested within the context of Nordoff Robbins Scotland with the aim of exploring its applicability and transferability to other music therapy contexts. In addition to presenting the findings of the study, we discuss the potential use of this questionnaire in other music therapy contexts and its relevance for knowledge and policy making in the field.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 2018
EventBAMT Conference 2018: Music, Diversity & Wholeness - London, United Kingdom
Duration: 15 Feb 201818 Feb 2018


ConferenceBAMT Conference 2018
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom
Internet address


  • service evaluation
  • impact areas


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