Petra Kern

Petra Kern, Ph.D., MT-BC, MTA, DMtG
School of Music
Adjunct Associate Professor
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Dr. Petra Kern is a board certified music therapist in the USA, Canada, and Germany and earned her doctoral degree from the School of Medicine at the University of Witten/Herdecke. She is the owner of the California-based company Music Therapy Consulting and Online Professor at the University of Louisville, Kenntcky and Augsburg College, Minnesota. Previously she taught at Marylhurst University, the State University of New York at New Paltz, the University of Windsor in Canada, and continues to guest lecture at universities worldwide.

Dr. Kern has worked in several clinical settings, serving the youngest to the oldest with various disabilities and health issues since 1994. Her clinical and research focus is on young children with autism spectrum disorder, inclusion, and coaching caregivers. In 2008, she received the research/publications award of the American Music Therapy Association (AMTA) for her studies conducted at the Frank Porter Graham Child Development Institute at The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Her work has been published in Young Exceptional Children, Young Children, Children & Families, the Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, World Scientific, the Journal of Music Therapy, Music Therapy Perspectives, Music Therapy Today, and imagine.

Dr. Kern serves on numerous national and international music therapy committees and boards including AMTA’s Steering Committee on Music Therapy and Autism Spectrum Disorder. She is a former President of the World Federation of Music Therapy (WFMT) and member of the editorial boards of Music Therapy Perspectives and the Canadian Journal of Music Therapy. She also is the editor-in-chief of imagine, the primary early childhood music therapy online magazine and co-chairs AMTA’s Early Childhood Network. Dr. Kern is a frequent international speaker and shared her expertise with colleagues and clients in North America, Latin America, Asia, Australia, Arabia, and Europe.

For more details, please visit her website at

2014 First international Service Award, World Federation of Music Therapy
2013 Faculty Innovation and Excellence Grant, Marylhurst University
2012 Service Award, American Music Therapy Association
2008 Research/Publications Award, American Music Therapy Association