RELEASE: Laura Beer Travels to Japan to Speak at World Congress of Music Therapy

Marylhurst’s director of music therapy to be featured expert on cultural context

Laura BeerDr. Laura Beer has been invited to Tsukuba, Japan as a featured speaker at the 15th World Congress of Music Therapy, July 5 – 8, 2017. The event, expected to welcome 2500 attendees, features spotlight educational sessions, cultural events and an opportunity for music therapists and music and health related specialists to share papers and research.

“This bilingual (English and Japanese) event will give participants the opportunity to share the latest information, research outcomes and personal experiences from a wide variety of international perspectives,” said Michiko Kato, executive director of the Japanese Music Therapy Association.

Each day kicks off with a “spotlight session” featuring a group of international experts shining the spotlight on issues in the field such as trauma work, well-being in aging, and cultural context. Dr. Laura Beer is one of the experts in the conference’s July 8 spotlight session, Music in Music Therapy and the Cultural Context. This panel of presenters will explore the importance of cultural context from their own culture and how it impacts the therapeutic process. Dr. Beer will be joined by moderator Annette Heiderscheit, Augsburg College (USA); Sunelle Fouché, MusicWorks (South Africa); Rika Ikuno-Yamamoto, Tokai University (Japan); and Brynjulf Stige, University of Bergen (Norway).

Later that same day, Dr. Beer will give a solo presentation, Crisscrossing Cultures: Eastern and Western Concepts & Practices of Music Therapy, based on her paper published in the academic journal Qualitative Inquiries in Music Therapy. In her study, Dr. Beer examined the challenges of Asian students who travel to the United States to receive their training in music therapy, often returning to their home country – and culture – to begin their practice as music therapists.

Dr. Beer will also participate in a symposium titled Critically Evolving: Current Trends in Arts-based Research in Music Therapy. She will be joined by six other experts, along with moderator Michael Viega, SUNY (USA), in a discussion of the arts-based approach to research. Researchers who prefer this arts-based method find that this unique approach more fully expresses and embodies research participants’ creative, emotional and intellectual lives. “The intent is to stimulate responsivity through an artistic medium that bypasses rational thought and intellectualized reactions,” Dr. Beer explained.

Laura Beer, Ph.D., MT-BC, ACMT
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 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 Dr. Beer’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.

Laura Beer is chair of the Department of Counseling & Creative Therapies and director of the music therapy program at Marylhurst University. 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.

About Marylhurst University
Marylhurst University, a private, nonprofit applied liberal arts and business university 10 miles south of Portland, Oregon on Highway 43, is regionally accredited and nationally recognized for innovation and academic excellence in serving students who want to complete their bachelor’s degree or earn an advanced degree. Empowering students to impact the world since 1893, Marylhurst offers degree completion programs at the bachelor’s level, master’s degrees and professional certificate programs both on campus and online. We are the premier university that weaves together the liberal arts with professional studies and prepares graduates to be ethical leaders who think critically and creatively.

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