Berklee Develops New Technologies in Music Therapy

By 
Liz Burg
March 8, 2011
Guests experiment with new technologies at the first Music Therapy Technology Symposium, 2010.
Professor Richard Boulanger demonstrates a product to the group during the first Music Therapy Technology Symposium.
Student Jin Ku Kim shows off the musical possibilities of an iPad at the first Music Therapy Technology Symposium.
Students demonstrate new technology options.
Photo by Phil Farnsworth
Photo by Phil Farnsworth
Photo by Phil Farnsworth
Photo by Phil Farnsworth

Berklee College of Music's Music Therapy and Electronic Production and Design departments have collaborated to develop cutting-edge music therapy software and hardware that extend beyond those offered for general clinical use.

Over the past semester, a class from Berklee's Music Therapy Department and a class from Berklee's Electronic Production and Design Department have worked to advance the technologies currently available in music therapy. For example, students and faculty have been developing new technologies to perfect video motion-tracking so clinicians can look at how physical therapy patients move and assess whether they're able to regain a wider range of motion because of their music therapy treatment.

Michael Moniz, associate professor specializing in music technology for music therapists, and Richard Boulanger, Ph.D., professor of Electronic Production and Design and an international pioneer in computer music and computer-based alternate music controllers, will showcase the latest advances at the second annual Music Therapy Technology Symposium. Open to the public, the symposium will take place on Tuesday, April 5, from 9:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m. at Berklee's David Friend Recital Hall, 921 Boylston Street, Boston.

Student developers will demonstrate their current projects, and experiential demonstrations will take place in order for attendees to gain hands-on experience in technologies being discussed. The one-day event will begin with a talk on the field's technological research and development by Wendy Magee, Ph.D., international fellow in music therapy at London's Royal Hospital for Neuro-disability.

A special demonstration station will showcase what music therapy technology might look like in the future. Boulanger and his team of Berklee software developers will showcase their custom software and hardware based on the Apple PowerBook, Apple iPad, Nintendo WiiMote, RockBand guitars and drums, and other technologies. Music therapy faculty members will also present low-cost iPhone, iTouch, and iPad applications that are readily available for music therapists.