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2020 Conference Schedule

Planned Sessions at the 2020 AMTA Conference

Tentative list as of 11/16/2020 - information subject to change -  times are based on Eastern Time Zone.

Note: AMTA Committee and Board meetings may be scheduled outside of conference hours,
click here to see the draft meeting schedule.


Thursday, November 19, 2020

Thursday, 10:00 am - 1:00 pm

Add-on Course A.  Neuro Tune Up! 
Presenter(s): Elizabeth Stegemoller, PhD, MT-BC

Review neuroscience and how it applies to music therapy. Learn or refresh your knowledge on neuroanatomy and function of major areas of the brain. Discuss basic principles of neuroplasticity and how they apply to music therapy. (Pre-registration and additional fee required.)

Add-on Course B.  Business 101: Marketing, Budgeting, and Rates OH MY!

Presenter(s): Jennifer Pinson, MT-BC; Lindsey Wright, MT-BC

Marketing, budgeting, and rate setting are critical pieces to running a successful business. Learn effective strategies for these key skills.  Whether you are just starting out or need some new ideas, you won’t want to miss this information which will help you to grow your business. (Pre-registration and additional fee required.)

Add-on Course C.    Your Way, My Way, and the Truth: Theoretical Orientation and Bias in Our Profession

Presenter(s):  Alecia Meila, MM, MT-BC and Coleen Shanagher, MA, MT-BC

Music therapists often align with a particular theoretical orientation to inform practice and communicate treatment effectiveness. However, a lack of understanding for other orientations, along with professional bias, can cause conflict. Join us to explore theoretical orientations and approaches, implications for our educational programs and supervisors, and to confront the intraprofessional biases permeating our profession. (Pre-registration and additional fee required.)

Thursday, 1:00 pm – 6:00 pm

5th Annual Passages Conference:

Brought to you by the American Music Therapy Association Students Board of Directors, Passages is a free mini-conference for students and young professionals. This year it will stream live through Facebook. Link:  Keynote Speaker: Dr. Hakeem Leonard 

Please join us for the event and share the event link from the American Music Therapy Association Students Facebook page. 

Thursday, 1:15 pm-6:15 pm

Add-on Course D.  Learning, Teaching, and Supervising Verbal Use in Music Therapy
Presenter(s): Elizabeth Schwartz, MA, LCAT, MT-BC

Basic verbal skills are necessary for effective and competent practice at every level of music therapy, yet there is limited literature on how to learn, teach, and supervise verbal skills. Learn from a comprehensive four level framework, basic to advanced, as a foundation for developing and using verbalization that fits the scope and level of practice, client needs, and ethical practice. (Pre-registration and additional fee required.)

Thursday, 2:00 pm – 6:00 pm:

Add-on Course E.  The Latest and Greatest in Music and Neuroscience Research
Presenter(s): Patricia Izbicki, PhD

In the last 20 years, the field of music, music education, music therapy and neuroscience has blossomed into a recognized research entity. Things are moving quickly, making it difficult for practitioners and clinicians to keep up with new developments. Synthesize, disseminate, and discuss the latest and greatest in music and neuroscience research with the goal of translating basic research to the clinical setting (i.e., from bench to bedside). (Pre-registration and additional fee required.)

Add-on Course F.  Dementia 101: How to Navigate the World of Dementia and Meaningfully Engage Everyone in the Room

Presenter(s): Tara Jenkins, MT-BC

Have you struggled to effectively, successfully, and meaningfully engage older adults in music therapy? Explore how music therapists can become the experts in dementia care, develop strategies and techniques to strengthen therapeutic skills, and discuss dementia-specific scenarios from real life examples in a clinical setting. (Pre-registration and additional fee required.)

Thursday, 7:00 pm

Opening Session

Thursday, 9:00 – 10:00 pm

AMTA Digital Beat Cypher

Join music therapy beat makers as they create and compose new music using a sample that was shared with permission from the Nordoff Robbins Center at New York University. A beat cypher is a form of Hip Hop freestyle and expression in which artists share their creativity by creating a new groove from pre-composed music (also known as flipping a sample). A cypher needs an audience for group energy, support, and encouragement! All are welcome to join. Due to the nature of playing live electronic music through the internet, please make sure you are able to adjust your headset volume in case of sudden shifts in volume or changes in sound.


Friday, November 20, 2020

Friday, 8:30 am -9:30 am

Internship Fair
  • 8:30 am- 8:35 am: Welcome and Introductions
  • 8:35 am-8:45 am: Trustbridge (West Palm Beach, FL)
  • 8:45 am-8:55 am: West Virginia University Medicine, Ruby Memorial Hospital (Morgantown, WV)
  • 8:55 am-9:05 am: Charlie Norwood VA Medical Center (Augusta, GA)
  • 9:05 am-9:15 am: Meaningful Day Services (Brownsburg, IN)
  • 9:15 am- 9:25 am: Arbor Hospice/Hospice of Michigan (Ann Arbor, MI)
  • 9:25 am- 9:35 am: J. Iverson Riddle Developmental Center (Morganton, NC)
  • 9:35 am-9:45 am: University of Iowa Health Care (Iowa City, IA)
  • 9:45 am: Farewell

Friday, 10:00 am – 11:00 am

Keynote Address: "Rhythmic Medicine”

Dr. Nina Kraus

Friday, 11:15 am - 12:30 pm

Neuroscience Session:
  • The Translational Use of Rhythm for Gait Training: From the Lab to the Clinic, Presenter(s): Jessica Grahn, PhD; Sarah Thompson, MM, CBIS, MT-BC; Cognitive neuroscience studies contain valuable information about how different elements of a rhythm-based intervention may be changed to maximize clinical outcomes. Outline crucial neuroscience findings that should inform clinical decision-making. Discuss identifying responses to rhythmic interventions and the use of clinical tools that can be used to alter responses. Enjoy interactive demonstrations as well as suggestions you can incorporate directly into clinical work. 
Concurrent Sessions:
  • Unwrapping the Gift of Music Therapy with Refugees and Immigrants, Presenter(s): Amy Bliss Tenney, JD, MAMT, MT-BC; Mallika Singh; Discuss potential goals, benefits, and challenges to using music therapy with refugees and immigrants. Get recommendations, interactive sample music therapy interventions, and resources for working refugees and immigrants generally and within music therapy. Discuss valuable results of a survey of US music therapists working with refugees.
  • Music Authenticity: Client Preferred Music the way Clients Prefer, Presenter(s): Kyle Fleming, MT-BC; Instruments welcome! It often isn't enough to simply sing the song. Our emotional responses and associations with the music we enjoy are based as much in how the song is performed as it is in what the song is. Lay the groundwork for the idea of "musical authenticity," what it means to be authentic to genre during sessions, and how to build our knowledge of the nuances of a broad range of genres.
  • A Theoretical Model for the Use of Singing to Improve Early Auditory Development in Very Preterm Infants, Presenter(s): Amy Smith, PhD, CCLS, MT-BC; Learn about the development of a theoretical framework for understanding how intrauterine speech characteristics of pitch, rhythm, and prosody can be implemented as essential music elements in an intervention to improve auditory development and long-term language outcomes in very premature infants. Discuss, implications for clinical practice as well as preliminary results of phase one research based on the framework. 
  • Real World Challenges in Research: When a Multi-nation Pragmatic Trial Meets a Pandemic, Presenter(s): Claire Ghetti, PhD, CCLS, MT-BC; Toro Söderström Gaden, MA-MT; Lucja Bieleninik, PhD; Ingrid Kvestad,PhD; Christian Gold, PhD; Engaging in research requires the careful navigation of various types of real-world challenges. Pragmatic trials aim to evaluate the effectiveness of interventions within a spectrum of real-life practice contexts. When such a trial is multi-national, variation among cultural and practice contexts increases. Explore how one multi-national pragmatic randomized controlled trial handled real-world challenges and variations linked to cultural differences and an unfolding global health crisis.
  • Facilitating Drum Circles – Online, Presenter(s): Christine Stevens, MSW, MA, MT-BC; Many live events and clinical sessions have been cancelled due to the COVID-19 Pandemic. Join author and music therapist Christine Stevens in this HealthRHYTHMS session.  Experience Guided Imagery Drumming, a “back-pack band” ice-breaker, and Inspirational Beats. Learn to use audio playalong tracks and found sounds for engagement from home-based clients.  Please bring your drum, rattle, flute, or found sound to the jam.  You will receive a 7 minute audio play-along.

Friday, 12:00 pm - 3:00 pm

Add-on Course G.  Mindfulness, Music and Mandala: Cultivating Self-Compassion around Privilege and Bias
Presenter(s): Sangeeta Swamy, PhD, MT-BC, LPC; Jennifer Hicks, E-RYT, MT-BC

Gain powerful inner tools to chip away at socio-cultural privilege and bias through mindfulness, loving kindness meditation, and Supportive Music & Imagery. (Pre-registration and additional fee required.)

Friday, 12:00 pm - 5:00 pm

Add-on Course H.  Growing with the 2019 AMTA Code of Ethics
Presenter(s): Janice Shreibman, MM, MT-BC; Carol Shultis, PhD, MT-BC; Kevin Hahn, MM, MT-BC; Barbara Bastable, MA, MT-BC; Jen DeBedout, MM, MT-BC; Rachelle Morgan, MA, MT-BC; Jennifer Sokira, MMT, LCAT, MT-BC;Cheryl Stephenson, MM, MT-BC

With the AMTA Ethics Board, discuss recent trends in ethical concerns identified by AMTA members.  Explore predetermined scenarios, identify the ethical dilemma(s), and practice using an ethical problem-solving method to generate potential solutions and their consequences.  Discussion points include topics such as the impact of current topics on professional practice, their effect on collegial relations, and maintenance of self-care. (Pre-registration and additional fee required.)

Add-on Course I.  Relationally Based Music Psychotherapy

Presenter(s):  Christine Routhier, MA, MT-BC, LMHC; Carol Merle-Fishman, MA, LCAT, LMHC

Explore the integration of Relational Integrative Psychotherapy and Internal Family Systems theory within the practice of music psychotherapy in a private practice setting. Outline the Continuum Model of Guided Music & Imagery and discuss music and imagery demonstrated as an approach that can be effectively used on virtual platforms. Learn about issues related to ethics and self-care for practitioners. (Pre-registration and additional fee required.)

Add-on Course J.  Motivational Interviewing in Music-Centered Music Therapy

Presenter(s):  Noah Potvin, PhD, MT-BC

Verbal processing is an essential skill for music therapists in many treatment settings, yet it can be difficult to determine the role of verbal skills in music-centered therapeutic processes where therapeutic transformation is explicitly located in the music encounter. Learn about motivational interviewing, an evidence-based verbal process that aligns with music-centered practices by eliciting change talk that, in turn, promotes patient-directed music engagement. (Pre-registration and additional fee required.)

Friday, 1:30 pm - 2:45 pm

Neuroscience Session:
  • The Neuroscience of Music and Autism: Research and Practice, Presenter(s): Miriam Lense, PhD; Blythe LaGasse, PhD, MT-BC; Researchers from psychology, neuroscience, and music therapy present current evidence in neuroscience, music, and autism.  Learn about musical/non-musical development, neurological findings, and aspects of music stimuli/engagement that facilitate development. Review current studies on music/music therapy, along with implications for clinical practice.
Concurrent Sessions:
  • Building Multicultural Repertoires with the Cultural Insiders–Chinese Song Repertoires and Resources, Presenter(s):Angel Leung, MM, MTA, MT-BC; Pan Ho, MSSc, MTA, MT-BC; With globalization, the cultural backgrounds of clientele served by music therapists are more diverse than ever before and it is important for clinicians to have appropriate music and cultural knowledge to connect with clients and care-takers to provide best care possible. Focus on Chinese music repertoires and cultures, particularly the Southern part of China (Hong Kong and Macau included) and its application in various clinical settings.
  • Bust a Myth: How Music Therapy Addresses Misconceptions in Military Populations, Presenter(s):Kathleen Sanders, MT-BC; Andrea Blunt, MM, MT-BC; Danielle Kalseth, MM, MT-BC; Explore myths and misconceptions that contribute to the military/civilian divide in the United States. Music therapists working with military populations will identify the impact of stigma through patient testimonials and clinician observation. Discuss how music therapy addresses these misconceptions and associated stigma within military populations. 
  • Turning Adversity into Innovative Advocacy, Presenter(s): Dena Register, PhD, MT-BC; Kimberly Sena Moore, PhD, MT-BC; Maria Fay, LSW, LCAT, MT-BC; Rebecca Preddie; Judy Simpson, MT-BC; In a time of unprecedented change and challenge, music therapists continue to engage in advocacy. Join the AMTA and CBMT government relations teams to hear results of a national survey on pandemic-related changes to practice and discuss examples of creative, reflexive and innovative advocacy. 
  • Research Committee Presents... From Research to Practice: Evidence-based Use of Therapeutic Drumming, Presenter(s): Annie Heiderscheit, PhD, LMFT, MT-BC; Martha Young; Therapeutic drumming has been implemented in a variety of settings to to improve health outcomes and well-being. The accessibility of drumming for many clients as well as the body of research surrounding therapeutic drumming has significantly increased in the past decade. Hear a systematic review and summary of the results of this research. Get information regarding the therapeutic and health benefits of drumming and recommendations for implementation. 

Friday, 3:00 pm - 4:15 pm

Neuroscience Session:
  • Developing and Evaluating an Evidence-Based Music Program in Your Community for Individuals with Dementia, Presenter(s):  Jessica Strong, PhD, ABPP; Melita Belgrave, PhD, MT-BC; Music therapy is commonly used with older adults with dementia, particularly those who experience behavioral or psychiatric symptoms. These symptoms can be exacerbated in acute care settings. Address the connection between research and clinical work. First, get snapshots of training models for use with other staff when working with dementia, including the Geriatrics 5Ms model (Tinetti, 2017). Second, address how to develop and implement music therapy interventions based on appropriate implementation models. Finally, discuss considerations for evaluating music therapy interventions for older adults with dementia, specifically using these evaluations to contribute to the evidence-based literature. 
Concurrent Sessions:
  • Untangling Gendered Addictions Treatment and the Role of Music Therapy, Presenter(s): Joy Willenbrink-Conte, MA, MT-BC; Many addictions treatment settings utilize gender separate/specific spaces, operating from a gender binary versus spectrum or continuum understanding.  How and why did we arrive here, and what are the impacts on music therapy? Hear about a music therapist's experiences in these spaces, woven with review of relevant literature, particularly sources that amplify voices of treatment participants, clients, and/or consumers. 
  • Lessons from Difficult Times: Music Therapy to Support Children who Experience Trauma, Presenter(s): Marta Hernández, MA, MT-BC; Cindybet Pérez, PhD, MT-BC; María del Carmen Gil, MM; Natalia Rodríguez, MMT; Explore a music therapy treatment model to provide emotional support to minors from the group and residential child centers in Puerto Rico. The program initiated as a first-aid music therapy service after Hurricane María and has grown since then to become an ongoing strong program that uses music therapy to support traumatized children. Learn about pre-post results, collected data, session plans, songs, and interventions.
  • Pediatric Music Therapy in the United States: A Roundtable Discussion, Stephanie Epstein, MM, MT-BC; Marial Biard, MM, MT-BC; David Knott, MM, MT-BC; Caitlin Krater, MS, MT-BC; Clare Arezina, MME, CCLS, MT-BC; Ashley Scheufler, MME, MT-BC; Amy Love, MA, MT-BC; Mark Fuller, Jr., MT-BC; With the Pediatric Work Group, discuss current guidelines and practices of clinical care and the state of the field. Survey results from a 2020 article will be disseminated, along with program development, clinical practice, standards of care, and program challenges. Get updates on projects and initiatives as well as actively participate in discussions and pose questions.
  • People Get Ready: Mobilizing Musical Resources to Transform Prison Culture, Presenter(s): Erinn Epp, MA, MT-BC; How can a choir contribute to the transformation of the culture within a prison? Drawing on frameworks of restorative justice, theories associated with Community Music Therapy, and the presenter’s work as a choir director within a medium-security men’s prison, explore how the mobilization of musical resources has led to personal, social, and communal transformation among inmates, and the resulting impact on both the prison and the wider university community.
  • "The G Word" - Exploring Giftedness as Part of Neurodiversity, Meredith Pizzi, MPA, MT-BC; Bronwen Landless, MMT, MT-BC; Tracy Wanamaker, MSEd, MT-BC; Highly and profoundly gifted individuals present with a profile that is often misunderstood and misdiagnosed. Explore neuro-diverse perspectives and learn about resources, information, and ideas about how to identify, support, and advocate for gifted and twice exceptional clients and learners.  

Friday, 4:30 pm - 6:00 pm

Current Conversations Networking Event 

Focus on acknowledging and addressing the current sociocultural climate and its impact on our clients, clinical work and our own identities as clinicians and individuals in the world. Topics include: Online Telehealth, Coping with COVID, Technology in Music Therapy, Stress and Burnout, Allies of Social Justice, Community Health and Wellness, Cultural Humility, Reflexivity & Anti-Oppressive Practice, and Envisioning the Future of AMTA. Topics will be facilitated by clinicians, educators and researchers who are invested in these dialogues. The event will be hosted on Zoom.

Friday, 4:30 pm - 5:45 pm

Neuroscience Session:
  • The Intersection of Neuroscience and Music Therapy in Mental Health and Well-Being, Presenter(s): Amy M. Belfi, PhD; Andrea Dalton, MA, MT-BC; Mental health treatment, specifically music therapy for mental health issues, has historically centered on psychosocial and interpersonal interpretations of behavior. Increased insights into neurological processes involved with both mental health and music has begun to propel the work of music therapists forward in a powerful way. Join a music neuroscience researcher and a music therapist for a look at what we know and what we can still learn to increase efficacy of music therapy practice.
Concurrent Sessions:
  • Cultural Intersections and Ethnocultural Countertransference: A Double-Edged Sword, Presenter(s): Suzanne Osman, MT-BC; Amid the backdrop of globalization, emphasis on cultural intersections has risen to the forefront of contemporary issues within the music therapy profession. Research suggests that ethnicity and culture touch deep, unconscious feelings in most individuals. There are multiple influences on culture as it deeply shapes identity. Explore cultural intersections and ethnocultural countertransference in the therapeutic relationship stemming from personal, culturally diverse experiences. 
  • Beat Buddies: Creating Meaningful Social Experiences for Inclusive Groups of Preschoolers, Presenter(s): Carly Reese, MT-BC; Learn about the research method and results of a study designed to explore the beneficial components of social skills interventions for inclusive groups of preschoolers. Explore the research design and findings of the study, including which social skills emerged in participants, which social skills participants found valuable when identifying a friend, and how music therapists can best musically and non-musically elicit those social skills. 
  • I Can Follow the Manual and Still Make it my Own!” Music Intervention Training and Therapist Fidelity, Presenter(s): Deanna Hanson-Abromeit, PhD, MT-BC; Kimberly Sena Moore, PhD, MT-BC; Monitoring integrity of intervention implementation is vital to determining efficacy. See a model of a treatment fidelity training process and procedures of a manualized group music intervention with at-risk preschoolers. Explore the music therapist's perception of training and adherence to intervention implementation as well as application of interventionist integrity to treatment decision-making and strategies for clinical practice.
  • Not Your Grandma’s Nursing Home:  Music Therapy at A Continuing Care Retirement Community, Presenter(s): Abigail D’Arcangelis, MT-BC; What is a Continuing Care Retirement Community (CCRC) and how does it radicalize music therapy with older adults? Through video case studies and interactive interventions, explore a full time music therapy program at one CCRC. Experience the broad scope of practice possibilities and the trending shift in the culture of aging, including updated terminology and other models of elder living. Leave empowered to better market and facilitate music therapy in today’s expanding world of elder care.  
  • Academic Excellence: From CBMT's 2020 Practice Analysis to Comprehensive Testing, Presenter(s) Joy Schneck, MM, MT-BC, Petra Kern, PhD, MTA, DMtG, MT-BC; Educators and clinical training directors instill academic excellence in every graduating student and want them to excel in their careers. How does CBMT’s 2020 “Practice Analysis Survey” and the new “Board Certification Domains” support your vision through comprehensive competency testing? Find out and learn about resources for you from CBMT representatives.

Friday, 6:00 pm – 7:00 pm

AMTAS Business Meeting

Friday, 6:00 pm – 7:30 pm

Assembly Meeting

Friday, 7:00 pm - 10:00 pm

Add-on Course K.  You Can't Pour from an Empty Cup: Sustainable Self-Care Strategies for the Real World
Presenter(s): Jennifer Hicks, E-RYT, MT-BC

Making self-care a priority in our daily personal and professional lives is generally easier said than done, particularly with the challenges of this past year. Review research and writings by music therapists on burn-out as well as ways to prevent and reduce its negative effects through self-care. Explore a variety of self-care strategies and choose at least one to integrate into your daily life. (Pre-registration and additional fee required.)

Add-on Course L.  The Inputs and Outputs of Home Recording

Presenter(s): Robert Stewart, MM, MT-BC

With the recent transition to tele-health services for many music therapists, at-home recording has become a much-needed skill set. Learn how to record, edit, mix, add effects, and bounce to mp3 both audio and MIDI tracks using Garageband and ProTools. Gather information about necessary hardware, such as microphones, cables, and MIDI controllers. (Pre-registration and additional fee required.)

Friday, 8:00 pm - 9:30 pm


Hosts: Bernie and Natasha Thomas; Guest Emcee: Mike Viega
Come join an interactive digital music experience where audiences can control the music in real time! Using an Ableton template designed for play by Bernie Thomas of BT Playgrounds, attendees will be invited to share in the flow and progression of the music by remote controlling the keyboard, submitting their own audio samples, and even controlling the music with the flashlights on their phones! Intrigued? Join the CollaboRAVE! For those planning to attend, be mindful that there will be flashing lights (smart phone flashlights) at times during the event in case you have a sensitivity to this.


Saturday, November 21, 2020

Saturday, 8:30 am – 9:30 am

Internship Fair
  • 8:30 am- 8:35 am: Welcome and Introductions
  • 8:35 am-8:45 am: Tallahassee Memorial Healthcare Medical Music Therapy (Tallahassee, FL)
  • 8:45 am-8:55 am: Roman Music Therapy Services (Wakefield, MA)
  • 8:55 am-9:05 am: UK Healthcare (Lexington, KY)
  • 9:05 am-9:15 am: Ann Storck Center (Fort Lauderdale, FL)
  • 9:15 am- 9:25 am: Capital City Hospice (Columbus, OH)
  • 9:25 am- 9:35 am: Riley Hospital for Children (Indianapolis, IN)
  • 9:35 am-9:45 am: Shenandoah Valley Westminster- Canterbury (Winchester, VA)
  • 9:45 am: Farewell

Saturday, 10:00 am - 11:00 am

Keynote Address: Angel Band Project

Rachel Ebeling

Saturday, 11:15 am - 12:30 pm

Concurrent Sessions:
  • The Angel Band Project: Using Music for Healing with Survivors of Sexual Exploitation, Presenter(s): Sarah Michaelis, MMT, MT-BC; The Angel Band Project’s mission is to use the power of music to break the silence around sexual violence.  It provided music therapy services in a residential program for survivors of sexual exploitation in substance use recovery. Discuss music therapy treatment planning, implementation, documentation, outcomes and considerations for providing music therapy to survivors of sexual exploitation through a trauma-informed lens.
  • Adapt and Overcome: Music Therapy with Military Populations During a Global Crisis, Presenter(s): Abigail Palmer, MT-BC; Diane Langston, MM, MT-BC; Get insight from music therapists working with military populations through Creative Forces®: NEA Military Healing Arts Network. Discuss pivoting from clinical in-person treatment to virtual care on a clinic to community continuum, the unique symptoms of military personnel, and responses to circumstantial changes on a global level.
  • Creative Aging Experiences in a Virtual Space, Presenter(s): Melita Belgrave, PhD, MT-BC; Learn about developing and implementing creative aging music therapy sessions in a virtual space. Experiences include live interactive sessions as well as asynchronous sessions for older adults in various settings with various cognitive, psychosocial, and physical needs.  Get sample session goals and objectives, interventions, and ideas for technology used.
  • Using the CBMT Self-Assessment Exam to Identify Strengths and Weaknesses for Exam Success, Presenter(s): Joy Schneck, MM, MT-BC; Karen Howat; Learn to use the CBMT Self-Assessment Exam as a function to assist with identifying strengths and weaknesses in exam preparation. 
  • Remixing Pivotal Moments in Nordoff-Robbins Music Therapy, Presenter(s): Michael Viega, PhD, LCAT, MT-BC; Claudia Orozco; C'airra Cotte; Learn how online technology aided in Nordoff-Robbins music therapists exploring pivotal musical moments. Remixing, using a variety of music technologies (plug-ins, DAWs, and MIDI) was the primary musical method of investigation. Results of an arts-based research study will be shared. Discuss remixing and the use digital music technologies within telehealth for online music psychotherapy. 
  • Research Committee Presents... “I’m published! Now what?” The Practice and Importance of Promoting Scholarly Work, Presenter(s): Kimberly Sena Moore, PhD, MT-BC; Noah Potvin, PhD, MT-BC; Researchers are trained in conducting and disseminating research, however, little coaching exists on how to promote scholarly activity. This is important to enhance one’s research profile and bring exposure to journals and music therapy scholarly work. The Journal of Music Therapy and Music Therapy Perspectives Associate Editors-Communications will guide you in how to promote scholarly activity.
Oral Research Poster Session
  • Group Music Therapy for Survivors of Sexual Violence: A Mixed Methods Evaluation of Participant Perceptions and Symptom Reduction; Megan Fedor, MT-BC, Colorado State University
  • A Systematic Review of Music Interventions Used to Address Emotional Needs of Older Adults; Sekyung Jang, PhD, MT-BC, Radford University
  • Understanding Lyrical Expression: Songwriting Themes in Pediatric Cancer; Jaime Kennington Wilhite, MT-BC, Maryville University; Tracie Sandheinrich, PLPC, MT-BC, Maryville University; Crystal Weaver, LPC, CRC, MT-BC, Saint Louis University     
  • Understanding the Critical Leitmotif of life”: A Qualitative Inquiry on Hospice Music Therapists’ Perception of Human Death; Hye Rim Kim, MMT; Mi Hyun Bae, PhD, FAMI; Hansei University

Saturday, 12:00 pm – 2:45 pm

Global Perspectives Session

The Global Perspective Session showcases international music therapy projects, scholarly work, and service opportunities from around the world. This year's session includes eight presentations. They highlight both professional and student experiences ranging from international clinical work, applying funding for international work, the impact of global crises (including COVID-19 pandemic) on faculties, students and communities, and social justice in inclusive music education.

Saturday, 12:00 - 4:00 pm

Add-on Course M.  Mismatch Negativity, PRP, DCR & Music: Clinical Applications of Advanced Concepts in Neuroscience
Presenter(s): Dale Taylor, PhD, MT-BC; Janice Lindstrom, MA, MT-BC

The NIH has announced a new initiative to establish a relationship between music therapy and neuroscience. Get a working knowledge of neuroscience terminology, research techniques and advanced concepts that help understand and explain music therapy goals, interventions and outcomes. Apply such terms as pre-attentive response potential, mismatch negativity, and similar neuroscience findings to your own experiences. (Pre-registration and additional fee required.)

Add-on Course N.  Music Therapy in ACTion: Integrating Acceptance and Commitment Therapy into Your Practice

Presenter(s): Hannah Lingafelt, MA, MMT, LCMHC, MT-BC

Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) is a new model of therapy that has demonstrated positive outcomes in populations including individuals with chronic pain, individuals with anxiety, and individuals with depression.  In this experiential and interactive intensive course, learn what ACT is, experience ACT interventions, and explore how to integrate ACT into your music therapy practice from assessment to implementation to evaluation. (Pre-registration and additional fee required.)

Saturday, 12:00 pm - 5:00 pm

Add-on Course O.  Research Committee Presents... Case Study Research Design
Presenter(s):  Kathy Murphy, PhD, LCAT, MT-BC; Annie Heiderscheit, PhD, MT-BC, LMFT; Nancy Jackson, PhD, MT-BC

Carrying out research studies as a clinician is a daunting task. Most clinicians are not given the time, financial support, or materials needed to carry out a randomized control trial.  However, clinicians often have interesting case material or have developed innovative methods of addressing client needs.  See ways in which clinicians can conduct research using case study research designs demonstrated. (Pre-registration and additional fee required.)

Add-on Course P. CANCELLED

Add-on Course Q.  Addressing Common Behavioral Issues of ASD Using Rhythm-Based Regulation Strategies
Presenter(s):  Fatima Chan, MME, MT-BC; Casey DePriest, MT-BC

Learn to use rhythm-based strategies to address problematic behaviors of individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder. Explore the movement and sensory differences of autism and learn innovative rhythm-based techniques that support more functional movement, sensory regulation, and reliable communication in individuals with severe autism. (Pre-registration and additional fee required.)

Saturday, 1:30 pm - 2:45 pm

Assembly Meeting


MTex Sessions:
  • I Am Who I Am and I’ve Never Felt Less Like Myself: The Development of Music Therapy Students, Presenter(s): Jacob Wilson; During the course of education, a music therapy student takes on many challenges and undergoes a great deal of growth. Through self-reflection and reading literature, learn to identify key themes and stages in the development of professional identity, balancing professional and personal identity, and compartmentalization of individual interests and roles.
  • Experience of Therapeutic Group Drumming in School Violence Prevention Program, Presenter(s): Eun Sil Suh, PhD, KCMT, MT-BC; Examine therapeutic group drumming intervention for reducing aggression in adolescence as a possible program for school violence prevention. Learn about qualitative and quantitative research that were implemented in Korea with regard to this intervention. Discuss dyadic, synchronized, and improvisational group drumming intervention and collaboration between music therapists and music teachers.
  • Passport to Excellence: CBMT's Global Opportunities, Presenter(s): Joy Schneck, MM, MT-BC; Petra Kern, PhD, MT-BC, MTA, DMtG; The global reality of the workforce has touched the music therapy profession. Professionals are seeking employment abroad, yet, the diversity of music therapy degrees is challenging global mobility.  Certification is the passport to excellence, allowing employers worldwide to identify professionals' competencies. In the US, the Certification Board for Music Therapists ensures a standard of excellence for safe and competent music therapy practice and provides the basis for employment and state licensure. 
Concurrent Sessions:
  • Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee Presents: A Status Report for 2020, Presenter(s): Melita Belgrave, PhD, MT-BC; Members from the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee will present work on increasing diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives within AMTA. Learn about their roles in working with other committees for tasks, developing language, resources, and more.
  • From Inquiry to Internship: The Students’ Guide to Success, Presenter(s): Jennifer Hicks, E-RYT, MT-BC; Kyle Fleming, MT-BC; In this session specifically designed for music therapy students, learn from representatives of diverse national roster sites and theoretical perspectives, tips for inquiring about, applying, interviewing, and preparing for internships. Ask questions and actively engage in discussions around each of these important steps.
  • C.A.M.P. Caregivers: Implementation a Parental Support Group in the Medical Setting, Presenter(s): Stephanie Epstein, MM, MT-BC; Victoria Smith, MA, MT-BC; There is limited research exploring inpatient parental support groups, much less those utilizing the creative arts. Examine the implementation of a creative arts and music parent/caregiver support group with parents and caregivers of pediatric inpatients. Discuss interventions utilized, parent/caregiver feedback, implications for use, and difficulties in implementing such a group as well as applications in numerous clinical settings.
  • GIM and Depression: Evidence for Real-World Clinical Practice, Presenter(s): Tim Honig, MMT, MT-BC; Explores the use of the Bonny Method of Guided Imagery and Music (GIM) with clients who have clinically significant depression. In addition to surveying research evidence, get preliminary findings from a multi-site research study examining therapeutic outcomes when using GIM in the treatment of depression, illustrated by case vignettes with musical examples. These findings are woven together with theories of change in GIM for an in-depth look at GIM and depression.

Saturday, 3:00 pm - 4:15 pm

Concurrent Sessions:
  • I Think I'm an Ally. Am I an Ally? Strategies for Ally Development, Presenter(s): Amy Donnenwerth, MA, MT-BC; Jennifer Geiger, MA, MT-BC; As we move our profession forward it's critical to examine how an ally role can support the diversity of people we serve. It's equally vital to examine how well we can support diversity through an ally role. Professional growth in ally development will help us engage in thoughtful, sensitive interactions with others. Understand where improvements are needed, create an action plan, find resources and implement thoughtful strategies.
  • Integral Thinking: A Model for Music Therapy Curriculum Design and Implementation, Presenter(s): Patricia Winter, PhD, MT-BC; Lauren DiMaio, PhD, MT-BC; Sekyung Jang, PhD, MT-BC; At the 2011 AMTA national conference, Dr. Kenneth Bruscia lectured on the importance of Integral Thinking in Music Therapy. The three ways of thinking: Outcome, Context, and Experience, capture various theoretical approaches, needs of clients, and music therapy methods. Learn how one university intentionally used Integral Thinking in Music Therapy to design their curriculum, supervise students, and teach professional competencies. 
  • An Integrative Model of Musical Development: Theoretical Perspectives and Clinical Applications, Presenter(s): Laura Beer, PhD, MT-BC; Jacqueline Birnbaum, MA, NRMT, LCAT, MSed, MT-BC; Music touches all areas of a child's development: physical, emotional, cognitive, spiritual, and social. Each area is vital for healthy development and a positive sense of self. Learn about an integrative model of musical development and discuss approaches to treating children with trauma and other challenges.  See concrete applications illustrated to show how the model can be used.
  • Honor Our Story, Honor Our Song: Supporting Family-Centered Care During Pediatric End-of-Life, Presenter(s): Lydia Westle, MMT, MT-BC; Navigating diverse cultural, spiritual and psychosocial needs of patients and families during pediatric end-of-life presents unique challenges in the hospital setting. Case examples will demonstrate how use of voice and family-preferred songs, as well as collaboration with the interdisciplinary team, created opportunities for memory making, legacy building, and closure. Explore countertransferences and discuss approaches utilized to navigate personal grief.
  • Self-Care: Not All Bubble Baths and Ice Cream, Presenter(s): Kelsey Lownds, MM, MT-BC; True self-care is not all about bubble baths and ice cream, it is making the choice to build a life you don’t regularly need escape from.  Take a self-care assessment and begin developing an individualized self-care plan all while increasing understanding of true self-care.
  • Music Therapy Facilitated Virtual Reality: Feasibility and Innovation in Inpatient Palliative Care, Presenter(s): Angela Wibben, MM, MT-BC; Adreanne Brungardt, MM, MT-BC; Virtual Reality (VR) provides a unique opportunity to link a technology-based visual experience with an auditory therapeutic music intervention. Learn about the feasibility, acceptability, and patient outcomes of a pilot study utilizing music therapy-facilitated virtual reality in inpatient palliative care. Hear a presentation of pilot data to help inform and spur creative thought processes of applying VR technology and protocols to varied client populations and/or diverse goal areas.

Saturday, 4:30 pm - 5:45 pm

Concurrent Sessions:
  • Beyond La Bamba-  Latin American Music Therapy Network, Presenter(s): Cynthia Koskela, EdM, MT-BC; Marlen Rodriguez-Wolfe, MM, MT-BC; Jeniris Garay, EdM, MT-BC; Patricia Zarate, MA, BM, MT-BC; The Latin American Music Therapy Network is an online community that seeks to support Latin American music therapists and allies interested in becoming more culturally responsive when working with Latin American clients. Music therapy advocacy and community building have been essential in building the network. If you are a music therapist who would like to get to know more about the network, social justice, music therapy advocacy, and how to become involved, join us in this session.
  • Memory, Brain, and Music Interventions for Memory Impairments in Adults with Brain Injuries, Presenter(s): Noriko Nakamura, MT-BC; Discuss memory types, their definitions, and related brain regions in detail. Then focus on music interventions addressing verbal memory in individuals with acquired brain injuries (ABI). Assessment tools for verbal memory include the Rey Auditory Verbal Learning Test and Digit Span. Explore clinical implications for providing music interventions to address verbal memory in adults with ABI.
  • Clinical Recommendations for Serving Clients with Hearing Loss, Presenter(s): Jessica MacLean, MM, MT-BC; Tyler Caldwell, AuD; Music therapists work with clients with hearing loss across the lifespan in a wide variety of settings. Get an introduction to working with clients with hearing loss, with a focus on how hearing loss and hearing assistive technology affect speech and music perception, including separate musical elements. Discuss clinical recommendations with a music therapist and an audiologist.
  • Responding to COVID-19: The AMTA COVID-19 Task Force, Presenter(s): Lori Gooding, PhD, MT-BC; Barb Else, MPH, MT-BC; Andrea Dalton, MA, MT-BC; Seneca Block, MA, MT-BC; Heather Wagner, PhD, MT-BC; Rachelle Morgan, MA, MT-BC; David Knott, MM, MT-BC; AMTA responds to disaster events that affect music therapy professionals, students, and the clients/patients we serve, but nothing has impacted our community like the COVID-19 pandemic. Hear members of the AMTA COVID-19 Task Force reflect on their work supporting the music therapy community during the pandemic. Topics covered will include teleservices, resources, and other areas.  Learn about future plans to continue to support our community as we move forward. 
  • Encountering Transgenerational Grief and Trauma Through Analytical Music Therapy, Presenter(s): Brian Abrams, PhD, LCAT, MT-BC; Explore the phenomenon of transgenerational grief and trauma as it manifests through Analytical Music Therapy. Key literature, the uniqueness of the Analytical Music Therapy form for accessing transgenerational grief and trauma, and case material from the presenter's own work as an Analytical Music Therapy trainee, will all be considered. Materials included in this presentation are quoted directly from an article, "Encountering Transgenerational Trauma Through Analytical Music Therapy" that has been accepted for publication in the Nordic Journal of Music Therapy.

Saturday, 6:00 pm -7:00 pm

AMTA Business Meeting

Saturday, 6:00 pm -7:30 pm

AMTAS Business Meeting

Saturday, 7:30 pm

Angel Band One Voice Concert

Saturday, 8:30 pm - 9:30 pm

Unmuted: A Virtual Open Mic

If you have a song, rap, poem, lyrics, instrumental or digital piece that you’d like to share, unmute yourself and join us for a special virtual open mic on Saturday night! Solo acts, socially distant group acts, and pre-recorded videos are welcomed! Please sign up in advance (1 entry per participant, 5 minute limit). Look for sign-up information in your registration e-bag.


Sunday, November 22, 2020

Sunday, 9:30 am – 10:30 am

Internship Fair
  • 9:30 am- 9:35 am: Welcome and Introductions
  • 9:35 am-9:45 am: West Music (Iowa City, IA)
  • 9:45 am-9:55 am: Institute for Therapy Through the Arts (Chicago, IL)
  • 9:55 am-10:05 am: Children's Minnesota (St. Paul, MN)
  • 10:05 am-10:15 am: Banner Health (Phoenix, AZ)
  • 10:15 am- 10:25 am: Music Worx Inc (San Diego, CA)
  • 10:25 am- 10:35 am: Music Therapy Center of CA (San Diego, CA)
  • 10:35 am-10:45 am:  Texas Children's Hospital (Houston, TX)
  • 10:45 am: Farewell

Sunday, 10:00 am - 1:00 pm

Add-on Course R.  Heartbeats 101
Presenter(s): Grace O’Leary, MT-BC

We all know that heartbeat recordings are an incredible legacy project, but how do we ensure both our recordings and our application of the intervention are high quality? Learn not only tips and tricks for recording and editing heartbeats, but how to implement the intervention in a way that is meaningful and part of the therapeutic process, not just a product to present near end of life. (Pre-registration and additional fee required.)

Add-on Course S.  Finding the Beauty in Neurodiversity

Presenter(s): Alyssa Wilkins, MT-BC; Ava Marvin, MT-BC

Music therapists have a unique opportunity to help clients of all abilities tap into the self and give an outlet to individuals who may struggle connecting with others. Explore how to use music therapy to help neurodiverse individuals regulate, connect, and express themselves in a neurotypical world. (Pre-registration and additional fee required.)

Add-on Course T.  5 Steps for Persevering in Tough Times

Presenter(s): Cathy Knoll, MA, MT-BC

Music therapists will learn solid, field-tested strategies for moving forward professionally no matter the roadblocks they may encounter. Hear about significant professional and personal challenges others have encountered, and walk through specific steps necessary for developing a contingency plan, facing difficult challenges, rescuing a job, building professional value, and exploring new markets and profitable income-producing projects. (Pre-registration and additional fee required.)

Sunday, 11:15 am - 12:30 pm

Concurrent Sessions
  • Access for All: Critical Thinking about Inclusion in Music Therapy Presentations, Presenter(s): Kaitlin Shelton, MT-BC; Discuss rationale and practical strategies for creating accessible presentations on music therapy at conferences and in community outreach settings.  Employ universal design, radical inclusion, and social justice while relating the conversation to disability allyship in everyday work and interactions.
  • Update from the 21st Century Commission: Where We Are Now, Presenter(s): Jennifer Hicks, E-RYT, MT-BC; Donna Polen, LCAT, MT-BC; Hear from members of the Commission on the Education and Clinical Training of 21st Century Music Therapists who will highlight charges from the AMTA Board; describe themes that emerged in response to the two key questions and five charges; review previous work and next steps; and emphasize the importance of connecting with the Commission and ways to do so as we move forward.
  • Join the Club: Supporting Professional Development through a Journal Club, Presenter(s): Kirsten Meyer, MA, MT-BC; Andrea Dalton, MA, MT-BC; Allison Hingley, MM, MT-BC; Sarah Pitts, MA, LPMT, CPRP, MT-BC; Music therapists can benefit from peer groups, whether journal clubs, peer supervision groups, or other variations. Members of a seven-year-old journal club spanning three regions share experiences meeting virtually to engage in peer support and research review. Discuss the structure, functions, and benefits of peer groups, and get practical tips for starting your own journal club or peer support group.
  • CANCELLED - Research Committee Presents... Translational Research as a Bridge Between Music Therapy Research and Practice; Presenter(s): Deanna Hanson-Abromeit, PhD, MT-BC; Helen Shoemark, PhD, RMT; Researchers generate knowledge to inform music therapy practice; yet clinicians find it difficult to translate research into practice. Define translational research and create a pathway of research to practice and constructing relevant clinical research. Explore a model of skill in generating and employing research in clinical practice and how translational research can contribute to advancing music therapy research and practice.
  • Music Therapy and Competency Restoration for Adult Defendants, Presenter(s): Robert Stewart, MM, MT-BC; Around 10% of the residents of state psychiatric hospitals are considered incompetent to proceed with their trial. For these people, competency restoration is a top priority in their treatment plans. There is a growing trend of using music therapy to assist in this process. Cover the laws and current research surrounding music therapy in competency restoration as well as personal experience providing this service at Florida State Hospital.  
  • The Professional Life of Eva Augusta Vescelius Prior to 1900, Presenter(s): Emily Sevcik, MDEd, LPC, MT-BC; Eva Agusta Vescelius was a prominent woman who laid the groundwork for the music therapy profession. While music therapy historical texts discuss her pivotal work at the turn of the 20th century, little discussion has been dedicated to the foundation her work was built upon. Enjoy an interactive timeline of Vescelius' professional musical career and influences that led to her to form the National Society of Musical Therapeutics in 1903. 

Sunday, 12:00 pm - 5:00 pm

Add-on Course U.  Music Therapy in Neurodegenerative Disorders 101
Presenter(s): Becky Wellman, PhD, LPMT, MT-BC; Piper Laird, MM, MT-BC; Lisa Gallagher, MA, MT-BC

Patients with neurodegenerative disorders present a complex and varied set of concerns and challenges. Music therapy can be the glue that brings all of the pieces together to make significant differences in their lives. Review different neurodegenerative disorders, explore specific challenges for patients and their families/caregivers, look at assessments and goals, engage in symptom simulations, and try interventions to be successful in treatment. (Pre-registration and additional fee required.)

Add-on Course V.  Music Therapy, Trauma, & Complex Clinical Profiles

Presenter(s): Kathleen Murphy, PhD, LCAT, MT-BC; Annie Heiderscheit, PhD, MT-BC, LMFT; Lisa Jackert, MA, MT-BC

Trauma experiences & histories underlie many mental health disorders. Participate in music experiences presented in an experiential format with intent to demonstrate how they can be used safely in the clinical setting. Learn from experiences, case studies, and biographical information that may be uncovered by the music. Review ways in which principles of trauma informed care can be infused into music therapy clinical practice and discuss contraindications. (Pre-registration and additional fee required.)

Add-on Course W.  Energize Your School-Based Music Therapy Services

Presenter(s): Kellee Hansen, MS, MT-BC; Laurel Rosen-Weatherford, MM, MT-BC; Angela Snell, MSEd, MT-BC

Do your school-based services need a tune up? Energize your tool box to support students across all educational environments, considering both face-to-face and virtual learning settings. Upgrade your skills in school-wide programming, assessment, user-friendly IEPs, goal-based session planning, documentation, effective communication, and interdisciplinary collaboration. Leave this session ready to communicate, advocate and re-invigorate! (Pre-registration and additional fee required.)

Sunday, 12:30 pm - 2:00 pm

Clinical Populations Networking Event

Focus on topics as traditionally centered around populations and/or locations of practice. Topics include Mental Health & Forensics, Older Adults, Military, Medical Settings, Business Owners, Neurodiversity, Hospice and End-of-Life, Trauma Informed Care, Early Childhood, Music Therapy in Schools, and Students and Interns. Topics will be facilitated by clinicians who work with consideration of and/or are stakeholders within these communities. The event will be hosted on Zoom.

Sunday, 1:15 pm - 4:15 pm

Add-on Course X.  Using Online Tools for Tele-Medicine, Tele-Teaching and Virtual Drum Circles:

Presenter(s): Christine Stevens, MSW, MA, MT-BC

During these times, many live events and clinical sessions have been canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Learn four steps to leading online programs, from tele-medicine to online drum circle facilitation.  Learn recommended tools to enhance audio, video, and screen sharing. Learn the basics of being an online host and facilitator. Practice the four keys to maintaining your online presence. Discover how to make a video invite. Outline an online session, title, protocol and receive feedback. (Pre-registration and additional fee required.)

Sunday, 1:15 pm - 5:15 pm

Add-on Course Y.  Out with the Old, in with the new: Innovating Internship from application to graduation

Presenter(s): Jennifer Peyton, MM, MT-BC; Jess Rushing, PhD, MT-BC

Stuck in a rut with the same old method? Internship directors must revise approaches and processes to fit the ever-changing needs and trends of younger generations of interns and students. Explore characteristics of Millennials and Gen Z, innovative application and interview techniques, supervision, schedules, and evaluation model of a successful internship setting. This presentation is designed for supervisors only. (Pre-registration and additional fee required.)

Sunday, 1:30 pm - 2:45 pm

Concurrent Sessions:
  • Stories from Three Transracial Adoptees: Navigating Identity and Applications for Music Therapy, Presenter(s): Rebecca West, MM, MT-BC; Hillary Fredenburg, MA, MT-BC; Jacob Uban, MA, MT-BC; Focus on the lived experiences, lens, and journeys of three music therapists who identify as transracial Korean-American adoptees in this panel presentation. Each speaker will briefly share biographies and discuss their journey in navigating growing up in predominantly white culture. Explore the application of experiences and perspectives to music therapy and potential factors in working with both transracial adoptees and individuals from marginalized identities.
  • Integrating Interprofessional Education into Music Therapy Training through Psychiatric Simulations, Presenter(s): Bronwen Landless, MMT, MT-BC; Hakeem Leonard, PhD, MT-BC; Interprofessional Education is integral to student training in the health professions.  Learn about the processes, challenges, solutions, and benefits of creating a psychiatric patient simulation to motivate knowledge synthesis and collaboration by music therapy, psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner, and theatre students.
  • Music Therapy Program Evaluation to Test Standardization of Clinical Protocols Across Creative Forces Network, Presenter(s): John Hogue, MS, MM, MT-BC; Nathaniel McLaughlan, MA, MT-BC; Andrea Lockard, MM, MT-BC; Learn about music therapy-specific program evaluation based on initial standardization of documentation and workload reports. Results show that standardization of templated notes is facilitated through anchor points, which guide the documentation process while allowing for customized care. This process enables the network to coordinate care from clinic to community. 
  • Recertification Reboot. Convenient, Economical, and Certificant-Centered, Presenter(s): Hindi Burkett, MT-BC; Acquiring 100 recertification credits does not have to be confusing or costly! Review the newly-released CBMT Recertification Manual Seventh Edition, identify new and updated areas for earning credits and evaluate various economical options for obtaining credits. Get familiar with the new online platform for recording continuing education credits. Bring your recertification questions and scenarios for thoughtful discussion and suggestions!
  • Research Committee Presents... A Constructive Approach to the Manuscript Peer Review Process: Providing Meaningful Feedback, Presenter(s): Blythe LaGasse, PhD, MT-BC; Laura Beer, PhD, MT-BC; The process of peer review is vital to the integrity of research and other forms of scholarly works published within the profession. Hear about a constructive peer review process that focuses on evaluating  content, integrity, and fit of a manuscript for a journal. Consider ways of presenting feedback that are constructive and supportive, even when a manuscript is deemed unfit for the journal. 
  • Music Therapy for Social Connectedness in Adults with Addictions: Research and Applications, Presenter(s): Mike Silverman, PhD, MT-BC; Sonia Bourdaghs; Social connectedness represents a consequential factor in addiction but has received inadequate attention in the music therapy literature. Get a summary of social connectedness and addiction research, understand neurological rationale for targeting social connectedness, and hear results of two music therapy studies investigating social connectedness in adults with addictions.

Sunday, 3:00 pm - 4:15 pm

Concurrent Sessions:
  • Canciones en Español II: Clinical Applications of the Hispanic Songbook, Presenter(s): Ariel Weissberger, MA, LCAT, MT-BC; Mariana Aslan, MA, LCAT, MT-BC; Continue to build your repertoire by exploring classic songs from the Hispanic songbook that will help connect with Spanish speaking clients at a deeper level. Learn to sing and play songs in their appropriate style, review their country of origin, and discuss meaning and history behind them. Explore new material, but attendance to Session I is not required. Enjoy a live interactive presentation with pre-recorded videos. 
  • CANCELLED - The Impact of Invisible Illness and Invisible Disability on Music Therapy Practica Students, Presenter(s): Rebecca Warren, MM, MT-BC; Invisible illnesses or invisible disabilities (II/ID) have physical or psychological effects but are not apparent to an observer. This exploratory study revealed the effects of II/ID on music therapy practica students included physical, psychosocial, and cognitive symptoms, which led to various choices for disclosure/nondisclosure and the request/use of individualized accommodations. 
  • Parent Coaching of Music Interventions for Children with AS, Presenter(s): Eugenia Hernandez-Ruiz, PhD; How can we help parents implement effective music strategies with their children with Autism Spectrum Disorder? Music therapists are in an ideal position to coach parents. Learn about an emerging parent coaching model with videos of feasibility studies.
  • Together We Must Have Hope: Community Music Therapy at Hope Lodge, Presenter(s): Tori Obermeier, MT-BC; Learn about the background, interventions, impact, and further implications of community music therapy groups at Hope Lodge, a free lodging program sponsored by The American Cancer Society, offered to oncology patients and caregivers in need. 
  • Using Numbers to Tell a Story: Outcomes & Metrics for Program Support, Presenter(s): Debbie Bates, PhD, MT-BC; Music therapy outcomes are much more than can be numerically quantified, however, numbers can tell their own unique stories which help to show the impact of a program. Learn about types of metrics and documentation-based patient reported outcomes reported in one hospital-based program that has significant growth in the past 11 years.
  • Termination in Music Therapy: Navigating through the Complexities and Demystifying Process, Presenter(s): Leslie Henry, MM, MT-BC; As part of the treatment process, termination (an identified professional competency) has a small amount of literature and is a topic rarely presented on at professional conferences.  In order for individuals we work with to optimally benefit from the therapeutic relationship, better comfort and confidence is needed for the music therapist in this vital phase of care.  Develop solid skills gaining comfort with this phase of treatment. 

Sunday, 4:30 pm - 5:45 pm

Concurrent Sessions:
  • Weathering in Music Therapy: the eroding impact of racism (and what we can do about it), Presenter(s): Marisol Norris, PhD, MT-BC; Natasha Thomas, PhD, MT-BC; Black non-male stress appraisal and coping responses exist within a unique socio-cultural context. Utilizing Arline T. Geronimus’ (2001) “weathering” framework, explore the ways Black non-male and dually marginalized populations have been historically socialized to endure high levels of physical and psychological stress. Explore the reciprocal impact of weathering on health outcomes and culturally responsive and sustaining strategies to alleviate this stress.
  • Critical Pedagogy within Undergraduate Music Therapy Curricula: A Grounded Theory Exploration, Presenter(s): Rebecca West, MM, MT-BC; Scant research exists exploring the role of critical pedagogy within music therapy curriculum. There is a need to identify how music therapy educators provide opportunities for their students to name systemic oppression, reflect on identities, and respond to enact change. Discuss the results of a grounded theory study that sought to explore why music therapy educators believe critical pedagogy is important and how they apply critical pedagogy in their curricula.
  • What Could We Do Now?: Promoting Cognitive Flexibility for Persons on the Autism Spectrum, Presenter(s): Blythe LaGasse, PhD, MT-BC; Michelle Hardy, MM, MT-BC; Many children on the autism spectrum show difficulties with cognitive flexibility (the ability to adapt behaviors based on changing environments). Learn how the integration of child-centered and neuroscience approaches can be used to promote cognitive flexibility. Hear a case study of a adolescent which illustrates concepts with a specific emphasis on executive function and social communication. 
  • An Electronic Drum Circle for Patients, Family, and Staff at a Comprehensive Cancer Center, Presenter(s): Samuel Rodgers-Melnick, MT-BC; Learn about a group drumming intervention using electronic instruments to deliver care to patients, family members, and staff through the privacy of headphones. Data was collected on feasibility, attendance, and effects of the intervention on symptoms. Preliminary data and participants’ responses support the feasibility, acceptability, and utility of this intervention for addressing the psychosocial needs of hematology/oncology patients.
  • Mastering Barriers: Responses from the Global Music Therapy Community, Presenter(s) Petra Kern, PhD, MT-BC, MTA, DMtG; Daniel Tague, PhD, MT-BC; Today, three major barriers and an unpreceded global pandemic must be overcome for continued growth of the profession. The complexity of the issue can be better understood when considering global viewpoints. Hear perspectives, examples, and potential solutions from music therapy leaders worldwide.
  • Religious & Spiritual Cultural Reflexivity in Music Therapy and End-of-Life Care, Presenter(s): Noah Potvin, PhD, MT-BC 
    Music therapy in hospice is a resource-oriented practice requiring ethical and effective culturally reflexive practices respecting patients’ religious and spiritual traditions. This presentation will examine one such cultural positioning by framing music therapy as a ministry for Christian patients that facilitates access to spiritual resources promoting healthy end-of-life transitioning.

Sunday, 6:00 pm

Closing Session:The Michaela McClain Band

Michaela McClain is a critically-acclaimed singer/songwriter with a "warm groove" and "rich mezzo-soprano voice." Growing up in a musical family, and the youngest of six singing sisters, Michaela performed widely in choirs, concerts, and special events throughout her young life. In 2011 she began writing and performing her own music, touring extensively throughout New York and New Jersey with drummer Meredith Foreman, guitarist Raul Abbad, and bassist Brad Schwartzseid. Since the formation of The Michaela McClain Band, Michaela has performed over three hundred live concerts, with her band and in intimate solo engagements.

A trained musician from Montclair State University's prestigious John J. Cali School of Music, Michaela has released four EPs (Take a Chance, Bittersweet Melodies,The Manhattan Sessions, The Dallas Sessions), several music videos (“I Will Rise”, “Some Men Need To Hear This”, ”Cold Hearts," etc.) and a full-length CD/DVD, Michaela McClain: Live at Blue Light Sessions. Her music is featured on Sirius FM, in well-known listening rooms and at various music festivals. Michaela has played the legendary World Cafe Live, PA opening for artists, Haley Reinhart, Mason Jennings & Jonny P.  As of Fall 2016, Michaela left her full time teaching job of 8 years to pursue performing, writing and private instruction. Michaela teaches piano, ukulele and voice lessons out of her home studio in Montclair, NJ.


AMTA Committee and Board Meetings

Draft Meeting Schedule

  • Friday from 6:00 - 7:00 pm
  • Saturday from 6:00 -7:30 pm
  • APAC has scheduled meeting outside of the conference. Times are 2:00-4:00 Eastern, Wednesday 9/23 and 3:00-5:00 Eastern, Monday 10/19.
Assembly of Delegates
  • Wednesday, November 18, 8:00 pm - 10:00 pm
  • Friday, November 20, 6:00 pm - 7:30 pm
  • Saturday, November 21, 1:30 pm - 2:45 pm
  • (The first meeting will be before the conference and not on the platform.  The 2nd and 3rd meetings will be on the platform during the conference.)  Contact(s):  Angela M. Snell (
The Commission on the Education and Clinical Training of 21st Century Music Therapists

The Commission is planning to meet via Zoom (a recurring link will be used) during the conference on Wednesday, November 18, 10:00 am - 12:00 pm. Contact(s): Jennifer Hicks (; Donna Polen (

AMTA Membership Committee

Will meet prior to the conference October 23, 2020, 8:00 pm - 10:00 pm via Zoom. Contact(s): Angie Elkins ( and Jennifer Hicks (

Professional Advocacy Committee

Will meet on Thursday November 19, 10:00 am – 2:30 pm and again on Friday November 20, 12:45 pm – 1:45 pm via Zoom. Contact(s): Tracy Wanamaker ( and Leslie Henry

Standards of Clinical Practice Committee

Will meet on Wednesday, November 18, 5:00 pm - 7:00 pm. Contact(s): Ellary Draper (

Clinical Practice Networking Committee (CPNC)
Gabriela Asch-Ortiz - or 

Meeting Time- 3 to 6 p.m. on 11/19  

International Relations Committee (IRC)
Yu-Ling Chen -
Wednesday, Nov. 18, 6-8pm EST
Friday, November 20, 12-1  EST
International Students/Professional Networking at 11-12 on Saturday, November 21

Workforce Development and Retention Committee (WDRC)
Jessica Fletcher-
Friday, Nov. 20 at Noon

Interprofessional Collaborative Resources Committee (ICRC)
Kory Antonacci -
Monday, November 16th from 4-8pm  
Diversity Equity and Inclusion Committee (DEI)
Melita Belgrave -
Thursday, November 19th from 4:30-6:00  
AMTA Research Committee Meeting
Tuesday, November 17th 7:30-9:30 pm
Continuing Education Committee (CEC)
Tuesday, November 17, 8:00-9:00 pm
NER Business meeting

Monday, November 16th: 8-9:30pm
Adrienne Flight

Government Relations Committee

Monday, November 16th, 8-10 pm ET

Reimbursement Committee

Tuesday, November 17th, 8-10 pm ET




International Student/Professionals
Monday, 11/16 from 6 - 7 pm EST
Contact: Ming Yuan Low (
• Brief description: This affinity network meeting is intended for international students and professionals that are currently studying and working in the US. And yes, if you are overseas and studying or working in an US based institution, you are welcomed too!
Latin Music Therapy affinity group
Monday, 11/16 from 7 - 8 pm EST
Contact: Cynthia Pimentel Koskela (
Find your local number:
• Brief description: Calling la familia! Please join us for a space to build community, meet new colleagues and learn more about the network! - Please be aware that this space is for Latinx/es identifying music therapists.
Latinx Music Therapy affinity group
Monday, 11/16 from 9 - 10 pm EST
Contact: Gabriela Asch-Ortiz (
Asian Music Therapists Network
Tuesday, 11/17 from 6 - 7 pm EST 
Contact: Ming Yuan Low (
• Brief description: This affinity network meeting is for Asian music therapists from all over the world! Grab a boba, naan, adobo, or some noodles and dumplings and join us! Remember to leave your shoes at the door!
Black Music Therapy Network
Tuesday, 11/17 from 7 - 8 pm EST
Contact: Marisol Norris (
• Brief description: The purpose of this gathering is to foster community and holistic professional growth and support for the Black music therapy community. All Black music therapists, Black music therapy degree- or credential-seeking professionals, and Black AMTA participants are welcomed to attend this gathering and connect with members of the Black music therapy community.
Tuesday, 11/17 from 9 - 10 pm EST
Contact: Tony Torres (
• Brief description: This will be an affinity space for folx who self-identify as both LGBTQIA2+ and BIPOC.
Chinese Music Therapists/Students Networking Meeting
Saturday, 11/21 from 9 - 10 pm EST
Contact: Saiping Lin (
• Brief description: This group meeting offers opportunities for Chinese music therapy community to share and update latest news and resources, job positions and related topics together. We welcome music therapists with different culture backgrounds to join this meeting as well.
LGBTQIA2+ Affinity group
Sunday, 11/22 from 6 - 7 pm EST   
Contact: Beth Robinson (
• Brief description: This affinity group meeting is open to music therapists and students who identify as LGBTQIA2+. In this supportive safe space we will discuss topics including: being out at work, discrimination, intersectionality, disclosure, gender identity, and the benefits of being LGBTQIA2+.
South Asian Music Therapists
Sunday, 11/22 from 7 - 8 pm EST
Contact: Sangeeta Swamy (
• Brief description: An affinity group for music therapists (students, interns, professionals) who identify as South Asian, Desi, and/or Bahujan to connect.
Disabled Music Therapists Collective Affinity Group Meeting
Sunday, 11/22 from 8  – 9 pm EST
Contact: Rachel Reed (
• Brief description: The purpose of this space is for members of the music therapy community who identify as disabled (including neurodivergent, chronically ill, and mental illness) to experience a sense of inclusion while at the conference, and to provide an opportunity to share in a safe and supportive environment without allies present. This meeting will be open to those attending AMTA conference as well as those who are not.
Cantonese Music Therapy Network
Sunday, 11/22 from 9 - 10 pm EST
Contact: Pan Ho (
• Brief description: this is the meeting for Cantonese speaking music therapy professionals, interns and students.