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MU 649 - Advanced Practice in Music Therapy

  • 3 credits
View available sections

In this course we explore current topics in music therapy with a specific emphasis on current clinical practice.


Must be enrolled in one of the following Levels: Graduate (GR) OR Professional (PR)


Blythe LaGasse

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Dr. Blythe LaGasse is coordinator and associate professor of music therapy at Colorado State University. For over eleven years, she has been a music therapist specializing in working with children with autism spectrum disorders. She continues to provide services to children in Fort Collins and works at summer intensive therapy camps.

At CSU, Dr. LaGasse teaches undergraduate and graduate coursework in music therapy, coordinates the music therapy clinics, and directs the Music Therapy Distance Learning Program.

Dr. LaGasse holds degrees from the University of Kansas (Ph.D. with music therapy and communication neuroscience emphasis), Colorado State University (M.M. in music, music therapy), and University of Kansas (B.M. in music therapy). Additionally, she was certified in neurologic music therapy (NMT) and was a trainer for the NMT Academy for eight years. With a strong background in communication neuroscience, her research interests include the use of music to improve communication and cognitive skills in children with developmental disabilities and autism spectrum disorders.

Dr. LaGasse has publications in Frontiers in Integrative Neuroscience, the Journal of Music Therapy, Music Therapy Perspectives, and Music and Medicine. She has served as the American Music Therapy Association (AMTA) council coordinator for professional practices and the Midwestern Region AMTA president. She is on the editorial board for the Journal of Music Therapy and Music Therapy Perspectives.

Sarah Johnson

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Sarah Johnson received her MM degree in music therapy from Colorado State University (1989), and her BS degree in music therapy from the University of Minnesota (1984). In addition to guest lecturing at Colorado State, she served as the clinical supervisor for undergraduate and graduate music therapy students at CSU, and continues to teach in the online MM program. Sarah was also the co-coordinator of the community therapeutic outreach program of the Center for Biomedical Research in Music (CBRM) for over 12 years.

Sarah recently retired as the neurologic music therapist for the In-patient Rehabilitation and Out-patient Children's Therapy Services of University of Colorado Health (formerly Poudre Valley Health Systems), programs that she created over 25 years ago. Sarah has presented on Neurologic Music Therapy at the state, regional and national levels, and continues to teach and present on her clinical work internationally. The American Music Therapy Association has awarded Sarah the "Professional Practice Award," which recognizes "a significant contribution to the profession by utilizing special skills and/or knowledge in therapeutic practice, clinical supervision, education…”