Using the Power of Music to Heal

“I like to say that I came to Berklee to fulfill my destiny. Many years ago, as a freshman music major at Boston University, I decided I needed to get out of the practice room and into the world. So I became a music therapist. Later, when I was asked to come to Berklee in 1995 to launch a music therapy program, I saw it as preordained.“

Suzanne Hanser knows that an effective music therapist must be as skilled a musician as a clinician. Traditionally, music therapists had been trained in conservatories, but such limited musical focus makes it difficult to connect to diverse populations and age ranges. Berklee music therapy students have the ability to bring a variety styles and techniques into the therapeutic milieu; Berklee graduates are working to improve the lives of soldiers returning from Iraq and Afghanistan with PTSD and patients coping with Alzheimer’s disease.

“Our students do practicums at some of the world’s finest medical and academic institutions right here in Boston, working directly with clients ranging from developmentally delayed children to seniors with dementia. When they graduate, they will be ready to test for licensure and work in hospitals, schools, or in private practice.”

Suzanne B. Hanser, Ed.D., MT-BC

Chair, Music Therapy Department