This AMTA-Pro podcast features music therapist Dr. Alicia Clair, Professor and Director of Music Education and Music Therapy at University of Kansas. In this informal conversation, Dr. Clair reflects on factors and events in her life that sparked her interest in dementia care and eventually led to a career in music therapy. Dr. Clair shares compelling insights and experiences from her professional journey as a clinician, researcher, author, professor, and active participant in AMTA.


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Alicia Clair: Reflections, Insights, and Stories

a conversation between Alicia Clair and Cathy Knoll

AMTA-Pro Podcast
January, 2011

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Podcast Discussion Outline

1. Life experiences that eventually led to a music therapy career.

2. Clinical insights from experiences as a music therapist in dementia care, stroke rehab, and COPD.

3. Thoughts about the rewarding nature of a career in music therapy.

4. Considering the importance of evidence-based practice, i.e. documenting impact of music and music therapy in clinical practice.

5. Importance of considering the music preferences of each individual in therapy.

6. Reflections on the education, clinical practice, and research in music therapy since the 1980’s.

7. Some thoughts about the opportunities awaiting in the future for music therapy students, interns, clinicians, professors, and researchers.

Speaker Biography

Alicia Ann Clair, Ph.D., MT-BC, is a Professor and Director of Music Education and Music Therapy at the University of Kansas and has just completed a year as the interim dean in the inaugural year of the KU School of Music. Dr. Clair is actively involved in clinical research and has published outcome studies with music and therapeutic music interventions for older adults including those who are well and those who are physically frail. She has specialized in clinical protocols for persons in dementia and their families, persons in rehabilitation for chronic pulmonary obstructive disease, and rehabilitation for persons with movement disorders due to injury or disease. Her book, Therapeutic Uses of Music for Elderly Adults, is widely used as a text in music therapy training programs and is available in Japanese and Korean translations. Dr. Clair served as a research associate at the Eastern Kansas VA Medical Center in Topeka, KS and was appointed by the Department of Veterans Affairs to develop transitional rehabilitation for polytrauma in combat injured. Dr. Clair is the recipient of many awards and honors including the University of Kansas Chancellor’s Award for Teaching Excellence, University of Kansas Motor Board Society’s Award for Teaching Excellence, and the American Association for Music Therapy (AMTA) national awards for research, professional practice, service, and the AMTA Presidential Award for service on the Commission for Education and Training.  She has served on the editorial boards of research journals including the Journal of Music Therapy, and Music Therapy Perspectives. Contact Information:  448 Murphy Hall, 1530 Naismith Dr., The University of Kansas, Lawrence, 66045.  Phone:   (785) 864-9636.  email: