News From Terre Haute, Indiana

December 23, 2008

Woods faculty, students, grads attend music therapy conference

Tracy Richardson, associate professor and director of the Master of Arts in Music Therapy program at St. Mary-of-the-Woods College, and Sharon R. Boyle, associate professor of music therapy at SMWC, recently attended the American Music Therapy Association Annual Conference in St. Louis.

Richardson conducted a two-hour workshop titled, “I Write the Songs: Songwriting in/as Music Therapy.” This workshop focused on helping music therapists become more confident with the use of songwriting as a clinical tool in music therapy sessions.

Richardson attended the Great Lakes Region executive board meetings as president-elect of the Great Lakes Region of the AMTA.

Boyle co-presented with other music therapy educators from the University of Dayton and Eastern Michigan University in a roundtable titled, “Teaching Undergraduate-Level Clinical Improvisation.” The presentation focused on three different models for teaching clinical improvisation in the undergraduate setting. Boyle also attended the Great Lakes Region executive board meetings as the state representative from Indiana.

The following undergraduate music therapy students also attended the conference: Amber Finch, a senior music therapy major from Fox River Grove, Ill., who is currently doing an internship at Park Nicollett Hospital in Minneapolis; Julia Lopez-Kaley, a junior music therapy major from Quincy, Ill.; Morgan May, a junior music therapy major from Terre Haute; and Jennifer Pinson a junior music therapy and psychology major from Mooresville.

Several MAMT students and graduates attended the conference. Current MAMT students who attended include Rachel Maurer from Evansville, Debbie Gombert from Ann Arbor, Mich., Julie Edgell from Fort Wayne, Bethany Koch from Waterloo, Ill., Bridget Landers from Chicago, and Rachelle Norman from Overland Park, Kan.

Graduates of the music therapy programs at SMWC are active and involved in the American Music Therapy Association as presenters, assembly delegates and committee members. Graduates of the MAMT program who served as presenters at the organization’s annual conference include Larisa McHugh from Dayton, Ohio, Peter Meyer from Minneapolis, Annette Whitehead-Pleaux from Worcester, Mass., and Jody Montgomery from Duluth, Minn.

St. Mary-of-the-Woods College offers a baccalaureate degree in music therapy for women enrolled in the campus-based undergraduate program. For more information, contact Boyle at

The college also offers a graduate program in music therapy to both women and men in a flexible distance-learning format. For more information, contact Richardson at More information about St. Mary-of-the-Woods College can be found at