Marylhurst alumni and faculty in the music therapy program took an active role in the planning and presentation of the 2014 Western Regional American Music Therapy Association conference in Portland.
Dr. Laura Beer, music therapy program director, and Eric Hickey, alum, held a workshop for members of the Oregon Association for Music Therapy in January 2014.
Dr. Beer's three-hour presentation on clinical improvisation was followed by a two-hour workshop in drumming techniques led by Hickey.
Music therapy has roots in humanistic philosophies and has evolved into an evidence-based practice. Reconciling these two perspectives is possible through engagement in both clinical improvisation and drumming techniques. The five-hour workshop provided participants with the improvisational tools using drumming, keyboard and guitar techniques to facilitate engagement and build connections. Goals targeted through the use of improvisation, as well as uses of improvisation outside of goal-related music therapy were discussed. Examples of these include developing therapeutic relationship, assessment, processing a crisis, or preparing a client for a specific situation.