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International Encounters in Clinical Music Therapy 2008

Centro Convegni Concordia, Venaria Reale (TO)

Fifth  Encounter

Friday  19 and Saturday 20, September 2008, 9.30 AM to 6 PM



Mary E. Boyle, Ed.D., LCAT, MT-BC

Director of Music Therapy Program

State University of New York at New Paltz, U.S.A.


"Assessing and Assuring Benefit of Music Therapy Services for Patients in General Medical Settings"

with the participation of

Sr.Mariam Pfeiffer, IHM, MA, LCAT, MT-BC

Director of Music Therapy

Marywood University, Scranton


Sr. Donna Marie Beck, CSJ, Ph.D., FAMI, MT-BC

Director of the Music Therapy Program

Duquesne University,Pittsburgh


Friday morning: Behavioral Music Therapy within the General Medical Setting

Friday afternoon: In Vivo Assessment and Treatment Role Plays for Varied Medical Units

(particularly targeting communicative behaviors)

Saturday morning: Music Therapy Techniques Addressing Client Strengths and Needs by Medical Unit

Saturday afternoon: Demonstration in Hospital


The focus of this weekend is the integration of music therapy assessment and treatment procedures for patients in general medical settings. 

The demonstration of patient benefit from music therapy in the general medical setting is a complex process. 

This weekend session will focus on common music therapy treatment strategies and related measurement procedures for patients by medical unit. 

Procedures which have been found to be both effective and ineffective as measurement instruments will be discussed.

Although medical goals for patients often appear simple, e.g., stabilization, improvement, acceptance, pain management and anxiety/stress reduction, measurement of benefit is complex due to issues related to patient diagnosis, patient scheduling, duration of patient stay on medical units, and music therapy procedures for clients with varied psychosocial and physiological needs. 

Particular attention will be placed in varied medical units including: dialysis, hospice, oncology, pediatrics, physical rehabilitation, progressive care, and general medicine. 

The demonstration of benefit arises from the assessment of the music therapist related to patient needs and strengths.  With varied music therapy procedures such as improv, song writing, lyric analysis, singing, instrumental performance, listening, relaxation exercises, analysis of benefit can be documented in multiple ways. 

Standard medical instruments and therapist designed instruments and procedures will be presented for discussion in terms of their relationship to common music therapy procedures.


Dr. Mary Boyle is Director of the Music Therapy Program at the State University of New York at New Paltz. 

She received her doctorate in Special Education Research with concentrations in Music Therapy and Behavior Analysis from Teachers College, Columbia University.  She received a Bachelor of Music Education from the University of Portland in Portland, Oregon. 

She has been interviewed in Psychology Today concerning her research with comatose patients.  Her research has been published in the Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis, the Journal of Music Therapy, and the Journal of Behavioral Education.

Other work has been published in Behavior and Social Issues and Music Therapy Perspectives.  With Dr. Robert Krout, she co-authored the Music Therapy Clinical Training Manual. 

She has written chapters in several books concerning music therapy, behavior analysis and physical rehabilitation

Sr. Mariam Pfeifer is Director of Music Therapy at Marywood University in Scranton, Pennsylvania. Her clinical work is extensive and features the development of a university clinic for persons with multiple handicapping conditions. It is unique because it is one of the few clinics in the U.S. which features special services for persons withhearing impairments and cochlear implants.

Sr. Donna Marie Beck, CSJ, Ph.D., FAMI, MT-BC

Sr. Donna Marie Beck is Director of the Music Therapy Program at Duquesne University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Sr. Donna Marie has published in both music therapy and nursing journals on how music can promote well-being. Her clinical work focuses on relationships between music and spirituality within the individual.




Boyle, M.E. (1982).  Adapting instruments and activities for the physically handicapped.  Utah Music Educators' Journal, 28, 7.

Boyle, M.E., & Greer, R.D. (1983).  Operant procedures and the comatose patient.  Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis, 16 (1), 3-12.

Nicholas, M.J., & Boyle, M.E. (1983).  Single case research in music therapy:  Journal of Music Therapy Publications 1964-1982.  Journal of Music Therapy,20 (3), 156-163.

Boyle, M.E. (1983).  Book review:  Hersen, M., & Barlow, D.  Single case experimental designs.  Journal of Music Therapy, 20 (3), 164-165.

Boyle, M.E. (1983).  Book review:  Johnston, J., & Pennypacker, H.S.  Strategies and tactics of human behavioral research.  Journal of Music Therapy, 20 (3), 165-167.

Boyle, M.E., & Greer, R.D. (1986).  REPRINT:  Operant procedures and the comatose patient.  In J.S. Bailey, G.L. Shook, B.A. Iwata, D.H. Reed, & A.C. Repp (Ad Hoc Editors), Behavior Analysis in Developmental Disabilities, JABA Reprint Series, 1, 66-75.

Boyle, M.E. (1986).  Music in operant procedures with comatose patients.  In R.R. Pratt (Ed.), Proceedings of the Music Education for the Handicapped Fourth International Symposium.  Lanham, MD:  University Press of America.

Boyle, M.E., & Greer, R.D. (1987).  REPRINT:  Operant procedures and the comatose patient.  In T. Ayllon & J.G. Roales-Nieto (Eds.), Behavioral Medicine:  Behavioral Interventions in Medical Problems.  In Spanish and English.

Boyle, M.E., & Krout, R.E. (1988).  Music therapy clinical training manual.  St. Louis, MO:  MMB Music, 75 pages.

Boyle, M.E. (1989).  Comatose and head injured patients:  Applications for music in treatment.  In M.H.M. Lee (Ed.), Rehabilitation, Music and Human Well-Being.  Saint Louis:  MMB Music.

Boyle, M.E., & Shanley, D.A.  (1992).  Reflections of Cuba.  Behavior and Social Issues, 2 (2), 95-98.

Boyle, M.E.  (1995).  On the vegetative state:  Music and coma arousal interventions.  In C.A. Lee (Ed.) Lonely Waters.  Oxford, England:  Sobell Publications.

Boyle, M.E.  (1995).  Book Review of Alcohol problems:  Talking with drinkers by Ruscombe-King, G. and Hurst, S.  In Music Therapy Perspectives, 13(1), p.53. 

Dorow, L.G., & Boyle, M.E.  (1998).  Instructor Feedback and Student Writing in Introductory College Classes. Journal of Behavioral Education


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