Music Therapy Program
Music Therapy Program
The Music Therapy program at the University of Louisville was established in 2000 as the first program in Kentucky to educate music therapists. The program builds upon the excellent education offered by the School of Music and U0fL, enthusiastic local music therapists, the vibrant Louisville arts community, and the rich variety of educational and health-related facilities in the Louisville area to offer an excellent music therapy education.
Music therapy is the use of music and musical activities in conjunction with interpersonal skills to accomplish therapeutic goals: to restore, improve, or maintain mental and physical health. Through carefully planned musical experiences, the client is provided with opportunities for growth. A music therapist might be described as a therapist who uses music as a tool in doing therapy. Music therapy has been defined by Bruscia as "... a systematic process of intervention wherein the therapist helps the client to promote health, using music experiences and the relationships that develop through them as dynamic forces of change" (Bruscia, K.E. , Defining Music Therapy, 2nd ed., Gilsum, NH: Barcelona Publishers).
A music therapist may work with any age group and people with a variety of disabilities. As a member of a therapeutic team or private practitioner, the music therapist participates in the analysis of individual problems and the establishment of treatment goals before planning and carrying out music-related treatment.
The music therapy education offered at UofL, leading to a Bachelor of Music degree, is approved by the American Music Therapy Association (http://www.musictherapy.org). A student who completes the degree is qualified to take the examination to become a Board Certified Music Therapist (MT-BC) through the Certification Board for Music Therapists (http://www.cbmt.org). Information on the Music Therapy Association of Kentucky (MTAK) can be found at http://www.ser-amta.org/kentucky/.
While the music therapy training is currently at the undergraduate level, people who already have a degree may take the courses that they have not already had that are required for board certification. This is the music therapy equivalency program that leads to being able to apply to become a Board Certified Music Therapist, but does not lead to a degree.
Students in the UofL music therapy program learn from music therapists and other professionals in the Louisville area. Students do clinical work in each semester beginning in the sophomore year. Clinical work is under the supervision of on-site supervisors, generally music therapists, and UofL faculty. An internship, which may be done locally or at a number of sites across the U.S., is required at the end of all coursework.
Music therapists work in a wide variety of clinical and educational settings: hospitals, clinics, psychiatric institutions, nursing homes, community mental health centers, hospice, prisons, and public and private schools, as well as in private practice. As part of its role in nurturing the growth of music therapy in Kentucky, U of L is involved in developing employment opportunities for music therapists and will assist graduates in finding employment. In addition, both the American Music Therapy Association and the Southeastern Region of AMTA maintain web sites that include job listings. These may be accessed through the AMTA web site, www.musictherapy.org.
People considering music therapy as a career are encouraged to read about music therapy and also to observe Board Certified music therapists working. View a pdf document listing of qualified music therapists working in Kentucky. Potential music therapy students are strongly encouraged to read books and journal articles. Two books that are recommended for those wishing to begin to understand this field are:
- Bruscia, K. (Ed.) (1991). Case Studies in Music Therapy. Gilsum, NH: Barcelona Publishers
- Davis, W., Gfeller, K., & Thaut, M. (1999). An Introduction to Music Therapy: Theory and Practice, Ed. 2. Boston: McGraw-Hill
A number of journals are also available.
- View the program for the 2007 American Music Therapy Association Conference held in Louisville, November 15 - 18, 2007
- The Southeastern Conference of the American Music Therapy Association (SER-AMTA) 2006 - UofL Students and Faculty Helped with Successful SER-AMTA Conference! Read the article!
- Watch a video of Brian Schreck, UofL clinical supervisor and former Clinical Faculty member, in a music therapy session. Read a website article from the Cincinnati Children's Hospital website.
- Watch a video of a Central Hardin High School Music Therapy session. Click on the Download link to watch.
Music Therapy Faculty
Shannon L. Bowles, MME, NMT, MT-BC, teaches and supervises students in various music therapy courses. Since receiving her degrees in Music Therapy from the University of Kansas, she has worked with individuals and groups of all ages, ranging from school-age children to older adults. She frequently speaks about music therapy to various groups throughout the state. She is Treasurer of the Music Therapy Association of Kentucky (MTAK). Ms. Bowles is a doctoral candidate in gerontology at the University of Kentucky.
Jenny Branson, MT-BC, teaches Clinical Applications. A classically trained percussionist, she completed music therapy equivalency training at the University of Louisville and now works as a medical music therapist for Norton Healthcare. The University of Louisville and Norton Healthcare share a strong partnership through clinical training, research, and program development collaboration. Jenny is President of MTAK, the Music Therapy Association of Kentucky.
Cheryle Lawrence, MA, MT-BC, teaches Piano Accompaniment for Music Therapy. She has been teacher and music therapist in Jefferson County Public Schools for 20 years, most recently gaining Rank I status. She is an on-site supervisor for music therapy students. Mrs. Lawrence is actively involved in state music therapy and Orff-Schulwerk associations. She maintains membership in national therapy and education organizations and serves a local church as organist and children's choir director.
Julia Purcell, MT-BC, teaches Music Therapy Improvisation I and II, as well as supervises students in their clinical work. Julia received her Music Therapy degree from Michigan State University and completed her internship at The Center for Discovery in Harris, NY. For the past 5 years she has practiced Music Therapy at Hazelwood Center, a residential facility for Adults diagnosed with severe developmental and intellectual disabilities. Julia currently provides Music Therapy Services through Louisville Expressive Therapies, LLC. She has served as the government relations chair for The Music Therapy Association of Kentucky for the past three years. In her spare time she plays in a bluegrass/old-time band.
Linda Thieneman, MM, MT-BC, teaches the Music Therapy Training Group, an experiential learning class for music therapy majors. She completed her music therapy equivalency at UL, and currently provides music therapy for patients on the Oncology Unit at Baptist Hospital East and at the Brown Cancer Center. Ms. Thieneman’s extensive background in pastoral ministry and music education has given her broad experience in working with a wide variety of ages and situations.
Clinical Music Therapy Faculty
These faculty members are hired by the University of Louisville to observe music therapy students doing clinical work.
Joy Berger, DMA, BCC, MT-BC, is involved with interdisciplinary research and practice using music with persons experiencing loss and grief. Presentations include the World Congress of Music Therapy, National Hospice & Palliative Care Organization, International Conference on Music in Human Adaptation, American Orff-Schulwerk Association, and the Association of Death Education and Counseling. She was awarded the "National Heart of Hospice Psychosocial/Spiritual Care Award 2002." She is the author of Music of the Soul: Composing Life Out of Loss (Routledge, 2006), and webmaster for www.musicofthesoul.com. Full-time, Dr. Berger is Director of Education for Hosparus, Inc., which provides hospice care to over 4500 patients and families each year. See a picture of Dr. Joy Berger working with a client in music therapy. See a picture of Dr. Joy Berger working with a client in music therapy.
Greta Gillmeister, MT-BC, NICU MT, has worked clinically with people of varying ages and disabilities. She has been a contract music therapist with Music Therapy Services of Central KY since 2003, currently providing music therapy services for students with special needs in Hardin County and at the Heuser Language and Speech Academy in Louisville. Greta also works at Kosair Children's Hospital providing music therapy in the Neonatal ICU, Pediatric ICU, and Child/Adolescent Psychiatry.
Lorinda Jones, MA, M-BC, heads Music Therapy Services of Central Kentucky, providing individual and group music therapy services to school districts. Ms. Jones was the first President of the Music Therapy Association of Kentucky, Secretary of the Southeastern Region of AMTA, and has been a presenter for both state and regional conferences. She is also active as a music instructor/performer on the mountain dulcimer and Celtic harp. See a picture of Lorinda Jones working working in music therapy with a child.
Jenny Krider, MT-BC, supervises music therapy students in their clinical work. Jenny has been a contract music therapist with Music Therapy Services of Central Kentucky since 2001. She currently provides individual and group music therapy services in the Meade County School District working with students with autism, emotional-behavioral disabilities, and other special needs. Jenny has served as secretary and president for the Music Therapy Association of Kentucky and is currently the past-president of the organization. Jenny plays clarinet in the Indiana University Southeast Orchestra and Concert Band.
Paige Robbins Elwafi, MT-BC, is a music therapist working in the Cincinnati and Louisville areas. She is a graduate of Ohio University and is currently completing her masters in music therapy at Temple University in Philadelphia. Paige has worked with a number of clinical populations including individuals with autism, developmental disabilities, mental illness, oncology, and visual impairment. She has worked here in the United States as well as abroad in the Middle East. Paige has a passion for multicultural issues in music therapy and studying how culture affects the lives of both clients and therapists.
Kerry Willis, MT-BC, is a music therapist at Norton Audubon Hospital. She was previously MusiCare Coordinator with Hospice and Palliative Care of Louisville and, prior to that, was music therapist Martin Luther Manor in Minneapolis. She trained in Neurologic Music Therapy and served as treasurer for the Music Therapy Association of Minnesota. She is Past President of the Music Therapy Association of Kentucky.