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Free presentation to focus on the role of music in disaster response, relief

by UofL Today last modified Jan 25, 2011 03:31 PM

Disaster relief and recovery can come in many forms — including music therapy.

A free, public program at the University of Louisville will explore the role of music in disaster situations and will feature a well-known expert on the topic.

Barbara Else, a music and creative arts therapist and response coordinator for the American Music Therapy Association, will discuss emergency response models 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., Jan. 28, in Bird Hall, School of Music. The program is sponsored by UofL's Music Therapy Program.

Else has offered and supported disaster relief services through music therapy. She has worked with earthquake victims in Haiti and Chile and with people affected by natural and man-made disasters throughout the United States.

In 2010, Else was keynote speaker in Ankara, Turkey, for a NATO-sponsored symposium on the use of music therapy to help people affected by terrorism.

A resident of Tucson, she is helping people in the aftermath of the Jan. 8 shootings of 19 people — including U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords — outside a local supermarket.

In her UofL presentation, Else will review clinical techniques used in emergency responses, the philosophical and theoretical underpinnings of music therapy interventions and possible future and collaborative research related to issues associated with disaster response, trauma and recovery, according to Barbara Wheeler, a UofL professor and director of music therapy.

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