Barbara Wheeler

Barbara Wheeler, PhD, MT-BC, holds the designation of Professor Emeritus from Montclair State University in New Jersey, where she taught from 1975-2000. She initiated the music therapy program at the University of Louisville in Kentucky in 2000, retiring in 2011. She presents and teaches in the U.S. and internationally, including as an instructor at the Karol Szymanowski Academy of Music, Katowice, Poland. She has been an active clinician throughout her career and worked with a variety of clientele. Barbara edited several music therapy books and coauthored another. She is also the author of numerous other articles and chapters. She is a past president of the American Music Therapy Association. Barbara received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the World Federation of Music Therapy in 2017 and a Lifetime Achievement Award from the American Music Therapy Association in 2019.

Abstract of Paper: Breathing…. breathe in…. breath in…. Taking in and considering the state of music therapy in the United States in 2022.

This presentation will look at various aspects of music therapy in the United States, including clinical, education, research, and professional aspects. Clinical practice will look at where music therapy is practiced, both the clientele and the settings. Music therapy education, both academic and clinical training, will be shared. Quantitative and qualitative research and its role in clinical practice will be discussed. Professional aspects, including the professional association, the role of credentialing and government regulation, and professional growth will be presented. The presenter brings to this presentation 50 years of involvement in all of these areas of U.S. music therapy.


This workshop will present an overview of research, including quantitative and qualitative perspectives. It will include an overview of research. A description of some research methods, including quantitative methods such as single subject designs, surveys, correlational research, parallel group designs, and randomized control trials; qualitative methods such as phenomenological research, case study research, and arts-based research; and mixed methods research. Philosophical underpinnings of the methods will also be shared. Examples from the literature will be used to illustrate some of the methods. Particular attention will be on research applications to the arts therapies and on research methods that can help to inform practice. Participants will share clinical concerns and spend time developing simple research designs that might be used to explore these concerns. In this process, they will be able to exchange ideas about the research and receive feedback from each other and the presenter.