Chair of the Center for Music Therapy since 2004 and a Music Therapist at The Music Settlement (TMS) since 1988, Ronna Kaplan has served clients ranging from premature infants to adults through 103 years-of-age with varied disabilities and levels of functioning. Her special interests are young children and individuals with diagnoses on the autism spectrum, language delays and/or problems in the area of social skills, as well as teen parents or those with mental illness. She was instrumental in developing the Center’s Outcomes-Based Measurement tool and program and supervised many TMS Center for Music Therapy interns. Ronna served as TMS Interim Co-Executive Director and Acting Director of the Performing Arts Department/Music School for several months in 2007.
Ronna earned a Bachelor of Music in Music Therapy and Music Education from Michigan State University and a Master of Arts in Special Education from Kent State University. She holds a Certificate in Nonprofit Management from the Mandel Center for Nonprofit Organizations at Case Western Reserve University, as well as certificates in DIRR/Floortime(TM)Basic Course and Orff Level I. She completed her Neurologic Music Therapy training from the Robert F. Unkefer Academy of Neurologic Music Therapy at Colorado State University’s Center for Biologic Medical Research in Music. Ronna conducted research on the effects of music on premature infants in Cleveland Clinic’s Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, as well as music therapy program goals and outcomes for clients with autism spectrum diagnoses at The Music Settlement. Additionally, she taught classes in Music Therapy Practicum and Adapted Percussion classes at Baldwin-Wallace College for 14 years.
She has held significant positions in state, regional, and national music therapy organizations. A Past President of the American Music Therapy Association (AMTA), Ronna co-chaired the AMTA’s Autism Think Tank/Task Force from 2008-2009 and the AMTA Diversity Task Force from 2010- 2015. She served as co-chair of AMTA’s Early Childhood Music Therapy Network from its inception in 1994 until 2006. Ronna has published articles and book chapters, guest lectured at colleges and universities, and presented nationally and internationally. She was honored with the Association of Ohio Music Therapists Past Presidents’ Club Award in 2011, the AMTA Professional Practice Award in 2003, the Great Lakes Region of AMTA’s Service Award in 1997 and their Honorary Life Member Award in 2014.
Currently, Ronna serves as a member of AMTA’s Masters Level Entry subcommittee and the Editorial Board for Music Therapy Perspectives. She became the Chair of the National Coalition of Creative Arts Therapies Associations (NCCATA) in October 2016. She also writes a music therapy column for the Huffington Post.
Having worked in music therapy for 24 years, Annette Whitehead-Pleaux is an Adjunct Professor at St. Mary-of-the-Woods College in Indiana. Her clinical work is currently focuses on pediatric burn and orthopedic populations at Shriners Hospitals for Children-Boston. There she provides clinical services that focus on pain management, anxiety management, reduction in trauma symptoms, body image, improving fine and gross motor skills, and quality of life issues. In addition to her clinical work, Annette has conducted clinical research on the effects of music therapy on pain. In 2003, she was awarded the Arthur Flagler Fultz Research Grant Award for her research on the effects of music therapy on pain and anxiety of pediatric patients undergoing medical procedures. She has an interest in and has written about using music assisted technology into music therapy practice, trauma, and multicultural issues. Prior to working with pediatric burn patients, she worked with children, adults, and geriatric individuals diagnosed with mental illness. Additionally, she has worked with children in special education classrooms and women and children at a domestic violence program. She has served AMTA since 1997 on the Assembly Delegates, the Board of Directors (2012- present) the Standards of Clinical Practice Committee (2002-present), the Research Committee (1997-2002), Financial Advisory Committee (2010-present), and the MPT Editorial Board (2011-present). She currently is the Speaker of the Assembly of Delegates. In 2003, Annette was named one of Thirty Extraordinary Bostonians by the Boston Event Guide. She was awarded the President’s Achievement Award by the New England Region in 2004 and again in 2012. She has a passion for knitting and being a mom.
Robert Groene is an Associate Professor and the Director of Music Therapy at UMKC. He received his BS, MA, and PhD degrees from the University of Minnesota. He is a past professor at The University of Iowa and Wartburg College. Dr. Groene is an active teacher researcher, clinician and research editorial board member in local, regional, national, and international venues. He was a past nominee for President-Elect of the American Music Therapy Association, Past President of the AMTA Midwestern Region, former Co-Chair of the AMTA Standards of Clinical Practice, and a recipient of the AMTA Service Award.
He is a former Interim Associate Dean of Academic Affairs at the Conservatory, a recipient of the Muriel McBrien Kauffman Conservatory Excellence in Teaching Award, and a recipient of the Kauffman Conservatory Service Award. Dr. Groene is a Leadership Fellow of the UM System and Co-Chair of the 2020 Task force Faculty/Staff/Student Climate Subcommittee. His current research interests include the efficacy of music therapy concerning neurologic music therapy, curriculum, imagery, dementia, road rage, dental fears, and aging in community.
Michael Viega, Ph.D., LCAT, MT-BC, is an Assistant Professor of music therapy at the State University of New York (SUNY), New Paltz and a Fellow in the Association of Music and Imagery. He has published and presented on a wide range of topics such as Hip Hop and music therapy (which can be found in a 2016 edition of Music Therapy Perspectives), arts-based research methodologies, therapeutic songwriting, and adverse childhood experiences and adolescent development. He serves on the editorial board for Music Therapy Perspectives and Voices: A World Forum for Music Therapy. He is currently the President-elect of the Mid-Atlantic Region of the American Music Therapy Association (MAR-AMTA) and on a national level, serves on the AMTA Assembly of Delegates.
Joy Allen, PhD, MT-BC is an accomplished clinician, researcher, and educator. She has extensive experience working with medical patients where she focuses on psychological health, pain management, and the family system. She is particularly passionate about working with individuals and families facing chronic illnesses, including cancer. Her current research interests include quantitative analysis of the effects of music therapy on the psychological health of medical patients, Guided Imagery & Music with medical patients, as well as medical music therapy theory development and efficacy research. She is currently chair of the music therapy department at Berklee College of Music.
Music is Jimniclucl by Kid Romance from the album Boston Hassle Comp
Varvara Pasiali, PhD, MT-BC, is an associate professor of music therapy at Queens University of Charlotte. She completed her Master’s in music therapy at the University of Kansas and her doctorate at Michigan State. Her research interests include early intervention, prevention, resilience, and parent-child attachment/reciprocity. Dr. Pasiali is a regular presenter at conferences and has published in various journals. She also serves on the editorial board of the Journal of Music Therapy, and Approaches: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Music Therapy. Mentioned in this podcast:
Five voices on one podcast! Yes, it’s true. Continuing our series of podcasts with editorial board members of the Journal of Music Therapy, we have Caitlin Krater, Dr. Sheri Robb, and Dr. Debra Burns.
Caitlin Krater, MS, MT-BC completed her masters at Indiana University Purdue University in Indianapolis (IUPUI) where her research focused on the use of implementation science with music therapy research to highlight the importance of music therapists’ clinical judgment during the implementation of a standardized protocol during stem cell transplant. She is involved in several other ongoing research projects seeking to better understand music therapists’ clinical decision-making as well as knowledge and use of an Evidenced Based Practice Model. She is currently the music therapist on the stem cell transplant unit at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center.
Debra Burns, PhD, MT-BC is Associate Professor of Music Therapy and Chair of the Department of Music and Arts Technology in the Purdue School of Engineering and Technology at IUPUI. Dr. Burns’ holds a PhD in Music Education and Music Therapy from the University of Kansas, MM in Music Therapy from Illinois State University and a BA in Music Education from Glenville State College in West Virginia. She specializes in music-based intervention research using mixed methodologies across the cancer treatment continuum from active treatment to survivorship and end of life. She is also interested in the integration of music technologies within music therapy pedagogy and clinical practice.
Sheri L. Robb, PhD, MT-BC is an Associate Professor and Director of the Undergraduate Honors Program at the Indiana University School of Nursing, Indianapolis, IN. She also serves as Program Director for the Indiana Clinical and Translational Sciences Institute KL2 Young Investigators Program. Sheri has received funding from the National Institutes of Health and Children’s Oncology Group, and her program of research focuses on development and testing of music therapy interventions to manage distress, improve positive health outcomes, and prevent secondary psychosocial morbidity in children and adolescents with cancer and their parents. She is internationally recognized for her work in pediatric music therapy and serves as Editor for the Journal of Music Therapy.
Claire Ghetti is part of the Grieg Academy Music Therapy Research Centre (GAMUT) and Associate Professor of Music Therapy at The Grieg Academy, University of Bergen, Norway. As a music therapist and child life specialist, she has extensive clinical experience with children and adults in intensive and long-term care medical settings. Claire has particular interest in exploring the ways in which music therapy may promote emotional-approach coping and buffer against traumatization in intensive medical contexts. She has conducted research and theoretical work in the area of music therapy as emotional-approach coping and as procedural support for invasive medical procedures. Current research includes evaluating the use of music therapy to improve quality of relation in preterm infant/parent interactions in order to promote optimal neurodevelopmental outcomes and improve parental psychological health. Along with colleagues at GAMUT, Claire is also researching the implementation of music therapy in substance use treatment settings in Norway, and she has published on the topic of music therapy and harm reduction. Claire has served on the editorial boards of the Journal of Music Therapy, Voices: A World Forum for Music Therapy, and Music Therapy Perspectives, and has authored journal articles and book chapters on various research methodologies and clinical approaches. She holds a Ph.D. in music education/music therapy with a minor in health psychology from the University of Kansas.
Dr Felicity Baker is a former Australia Research Council Future Fellow (2011-2015) in the area of music therapy and working on a study that aims to build a therapeutic model of songwriting across the lifespan. She is Founding Director of the International Research Network of Therapeutic Songwriting which has 32 members from 12 countries, and a professor of music therapy at the University of Melbourne.
Her clinical and research expertise are predominantly in neurorehabilitation with a special interest in communication rehabilitation and facilitating emotional adjustment to a changed identity via various music therapy methods.
Felicity is National President of The Australian Music Therapy Association, the national peak body for the discipline, and former editor of The Australian Journal of Music Therapy. She holds editorial board membership on The Journal of Music Therapy and the Nordic Journal of Music Therapy and has taught on international music therapy programs in Taiwan, USA, Germany, Denmark, Norway, and the United Kingdom.
Felicity was awarded a University of Queensland Foundation Excellence in Research Award (2008), an Australian Learning and Teaching Council Citation Award (2009), and an ADC Australian Leadership Award (2011).
Felicity has published widely with over 70 publications and is best known for her authored and edited texts: Music Therapy in Neurorehabilitation: A Clinician’s Manual. Jessica Kingsley Publishers (2006 with Jeanette Tamplin), Song Writing Methods, Techniques and Clinical Applications for Music Therapy Clinicians, Educators and Student (2005, with Tony Wigram), and Voicework in Music Therapy: Research and Practice (2011, with Sylka Uhlig).
“Music is the medicine of the mind.” (John A. Logan) To date, little is known about the neural underpinnings of music and its therapeutic application. As a music therapist, Dr. Elizabeth Stegemöller has witnessed several intriguing experiences where patients with a neurological disorder have overcome a debilitating condition through music. It is these experiences that have motivated her research goals. Dr. Stegemöller earned her bachelor’s degrees in Music Therapy and Biology with a minor in Chemistry from the University of Missouri – Kansas City in 2001. Following her degrees, she worked as a clinical music therapist before returning to graduate school earning her doctoral degree in Neuroscience at Northwestern University in 2010. Following the completion of her graduate degree, Dr. Stegemöller completed a postdoctoral fellowship in the Department of Neurology and Department of Applied Physiology and Kinesiology at the University of Florida. She joined Iowa State University in 2013 as an Assistant Professor in the Department of Kinesiology. Dr. Stegemöller’s main research focus is to understand the neurophysiology associated with the therapeutic effect of music on axial impairments in persons with Parkinson’s disease. She currently has multiple projects examining the effects of music on speech, swallow, repetitive finger movements, and gait in persons with PD. Dr. Stegemöller has received funding and has over 25 publications in her young career. In addition, Dr. Stegemöller is highly active in the Parkinson’s Action Network advocating for Parkinson’s disease research. Dr. Stegemöller is very passionate about her work and hopes that through her research and advocacy effort, she can contribute to the development of new and innovated therapies that demonstrate effectiveness at targeting PD symptoms often not improved with medication.