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Research activity is critical to the advancement of the music therapy profession as it enhances the understanding of music as a unique human behavior, and provides best practice guidelines for clinicians.

Students in all four degree programs have the opportunity to engage in research activity. All students take courses in research methods and statistics that focus on reading, understanding and locating appropriate research literature. Additionally, students develop their own research questions, design research methods and learn how to analyze data.

At the graduate level, all students are required to complete an independent research project. Masters degree students in music therapy complete a thesis, while doctoral students complete a dissertation. Undergraduate students who are accepted into the Honor’s Program can also conduct thesis research.

Completed research projects can be presented at a variety of professional conferences in state, regional, national and international venues. When appropriate, student research can also be submitted for publication in research or clinical journals.

The following list includes some of the outstanding student research projects that have been conducted here at the University of Miami:

Undergraduate Honor's Theses

Amy Hanlon: Declarative mnemonic training, cognitive style, and long-term memory of children with learning

Beth Hunter: Music in ancient Greek society: Form, function and philosophy.

Masters Theses

Joy Fairfield: The effect of rhythmic speech cueing on speech intelligibility in patients with hypokinetic dysarthria

          resulting from Parkinson’s Disease.

Patricia Hlavin: The effect of music and directed imagery on acute pain.

Janine Jackson: The effect of familiar versus unfamiliar music on the emotional components of disaster stress.

Anqi Jiang: The effect of Therapeutic Instrumental Music Performance on upper extremity functioning in young
          children with cerebral palsy.

Amy Kalas: Joint attention responses to simple versus complex music of children with autism spectrum disorder.

Daisaku Kamahara: The effect of verbal rehearsal versus musical rehearsal on the recognition and acquisition of
          English vocabulary words by adult non-native English speakers.

Erin Keenan: The immediate effect of rhythm on the timing of upper extremity movements in patients with Parkinson’s

Xueli Tan: A cross-cultural study of the perception of emotions in music: Effects of rhythm and pitch.

BriAnne Weaver: Communication of emotion through instrumental improvisation by adolescents with and without
          emotional and behavioral disorders.

Kie Yamada: Music preferences of young offenders.

Doctoral Dissertations

Eunju Jeong: Development and validation of a music-based attention assessment (MAA) for patients with traumatic
          brain injury.

Linda Lathroum: The relationship between pitch processing and phonological awareness in five-and six-year-old

Hayoung Lim: “Developmental Speech and Language Training through Music” for children with Autism Spectrum

Julie Stordahl: The influence of music on depression, affect, and benefit finding among women at the completion of
          treatment for breast cancer.