New Director Named for Music Therapy Program

Laura Beer, PhD, MT-BC, will join Maryville University on June 1

Maryville University has announced Laura Beer, PhD, MT-BC, will serve as director of the music therapy program, effective June 1. The program is offered at both undergraduate and graduate levels through Maryville’s Walker College of Health Professions.

Maryville University offers one of the top 20 master’s degrees in music therapy nationally and is the only music therapy program offered in the St. Louis area.

“We are excited to have Dr. Beer join our faculty and expect a smooth transition in program leadership,” said Charles J. Gulas, PhD, dean of the Walker College of Health Professions.

Beer comes to Maryville from Marylhurst University in Marylhurst, Oregon, where she is an associate professor and director of the music therapy program as well as chair of counseling and creative therapies. Previously, she served as coordinator of music therapy at Lesley University in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and also taught and coordinated the internship program at Naropa University in Boulder, Colorado.

She has extensive clinical experience as a music therapist, having trained with Clive and Carol Robbins at the Nordoff-Robbins Music Therapy Center in New York City and worked as a clinician in a wide range of settings—most recently, as a music therapist in the neonatal intensive care unit. As a hospice music therapist, Beer received national recognition for her work.

Beer is also incoming editor-in-chief (assuming the full role in 2019) for Music Therapy Perspectives, a national music therapy journal, and has published a monograph in a major research journal on the challenges facing international students who bring a western style education back home. Her primary research interests center on multicultural issues in music therapy education as well as arts-based methodologies.

An internationally known expert, Beer has presented at the 2017 World Congress of Music Therapy in Tsukuba, Japan, as well as the national conference for the American Association of Music Therapy.

Beer received her doctorate at the University of Northern Colorado, her MA at New York University and her bachelor’s at Smith College.