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.
Director, Music Therapy Program
Department of Music
Ph.D., University of Northern Colorado
MA, New York University
BA, Smith College
Laura Beer has extensive clinical experience as a music therapist, having trained with Clive and Carol Robbins at the Nordoff-Robbins Music Therapy Center in New York City and worked in the field for over 24 years.
Her most recent clinical experience is as a music therapist in hospice care; during this time she received national recognition for her work. She is an established researcher and author in peer-reviewed journals, a published songwriter, and she serves on the Editorial Board of Music Therapy Perspectives.
One of Laura's primary research interests is in the creative use of music in qualitative studies. She recently published an article in a major research journal that discussed how music, when used with skill and sensitivity, can enhance and strengthen a research study that employs qualitative methodologies. Other research pursuits include the challenges international students face in bringing a western style education back home; clinical improvisation with various client populations; working with children who have special needs; music therapy in hospice care; music therapy with people who have dementia; and the roles spirituality can take in therapy and higher education administration.
Previously, she served as Coordinator of Music Therapy at Lesley University in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and also taught and coordinated the internship program at Naropa University, located in Boulder, Colorado. Both of these programs were dual degree music therapy and counseling psychology courses.