Prof. Dr. Michael Thaut
Michael Thaut received his Master in Music in 1980 and his PhD in music with a cognate minor in movement science in 1983, both from Michigan State University. He is also a graduate of the Mozarteum Music Conservatory in Salzburg/Austria. At Colorado State University he was a Professor of Music and a Professor of Neuroscience and served as CoDirector of the School of the Arts and Chairman of the Department of Music, Theater, and Dance from 2001-2010. He was also the director of the Center for Biomedical Research in Music for 11 years. He has been a Visiting Professor in medical and music schools around the world (Germany, Italy, USA, Japan), and 2010-2012 was chancellor of the University System of the SRH-Foundation Heidelberg. He currently is Professor of Music with cross appointments in Neuroscience and Rehabilitation Science at the University of Toronto where he directs the Music and Health Research Collaboratory (MaHRC) and the Masters/PhD programs in Music and Health Sciences. He has been a Visiting Professor in medical and music schools around the world (Germany, Italy, USA, Japan), and 2010-2012 was chancellor of the University System of the SRH-Foundation Heidelberg.
Dr. Thaut’s internationally recognized research focuses on brain function in music, especially time information processing in the brain related to rhythmicity and biomedical applications of music to neurologic rehabilitation of cognitive and motor function. He received the National Research Award in 1993 and the National Service Award in 2001from the American Music Therapy Association. He has over 120 scientific publications and has authored and coauthored 3 books. His works have appeared in German, Japanese, Korean, Italian, and Spanish language. Popular TV media and numerous print media have featured his research nationally and internationally.
As a former professional violinist in the classic and folk genre he has recorded several recordings of chamber and folk music in the US and Germany and has toured in Europe extensively with folk bands and chamber groups. He is also the author of a landmark anthology of Northern European and American fiddle music. In 1995 his group ‘Folk Chamber Ensemble‘ played 3 invited concerts at the Northwest German Summer Music Festival entitled ‘Folk Meets Classic’. He continues to perform in small chamber and folk ensembles as time permits.
Dr. Corene P. Hurt-Thaut
Corene P. Hurt-Thaut received her master’s in music therapy, and her PhD with an interdisciplinary focus of music, neuroscience and statistical design, from Colorado State University. She is the co-founder and Program Director for The Academy of Neurologic Music Therapy since 1997, assistant professor and research associate at the Univeristy of Toronto, and associate professor at the ArtEZ Academy of Music - ArtEZ Conservatorium. She is nationally and internationally recognized for her clinical expertise in the evidence based practice of Neurologic Music Therapy, with clinical experience including 3 ½ years as a music therapist at Wesley Woods Geriatric Hospital and the Center for Rehabilitation Medicine at Emory University Medical School in Atlanta, 4 years as a Neurologic Music Therapist at Poudre Valley Hospital and The Center for Neurologic Rehabilitation in Fort Collins, Colorado, and 10 years of private practice and community outreach Neurologic Music Therapy session. Her work has included a diverse range of clinical populations including: stroke, Parkinson’s disease, traumatic brain injury, cerebral palsy, multiple sclerosis, Alzheimer’s disease, autism, and psychiatric disorders. She served on the exam committee for the National Certification Board for Music Therapy (CBMT) as both a member and Committee Chair from 2001-2006, as an elected member of the CBMT National Board of Directors from 2009-2013, and more recently on the Practice Analysis Committee (2015) and as a co-author of the Self-Assessment Exam (2016). She has also served as President and Vice President of the Midwestern Region of American Music Therapy Association. Dr. Hurt-Thaut has numerous research publications in the area of music and motor control as well as ten book chapters highlighting specific applications of neurologic music therapy to her credit.
Suzanne Oliver, MT-BC, NMT Fellow
Suzanne Oliver is the Founder and Executive Director of Neurologic Music Therapy Services of Arizona/NMTSA, a nonprofit organization that has provided clinical music therapy services to the Phoenix community for over 32 years. She also founded a school for students with autism, approved through the Arizona Department of Education, in 2007. Suzanne is a Board Certified Music Therapist received her NMT training in 1999, and additionally has completed three fellowships through the Center for Biomedical Research in Music since that time. Suzanne assisted in developing the Unkefer Academy for Neurologic Music Therapists at CSU and co-authored the Medical Coding and Records Manual: Neurologic Music Therapy. Her passion is to educate the community on current research regarding the impact of rhythm on the brain and how this knowledge can positively impact the treatment of individuals with neurologic differences and improve their everyday life.
Kathrin Mertel, MM, MT-BC, NMT Fellow
Kathrin Mertel earned her diploma in music therapy in 2003 and completed her Master’s Degree in Neurological Music Therapy in 2005. 2006 – 2011 she was working full-time at a Neurological Rehabilitation Center in Dresden where she mainly treated patients suffering from TBI and cerebral palsy. From 2011-2021 she was working at the Cochlear Implant Center of the University Hospital Dresden. There she established a treatment program focused on auditory perception training and cognitive training. In addition to her clinical work, Kathrin Mertel is the author of publications, gives lectures and workshops and held a teaching assignment at the Music Therapeutic Institute of the University of the Arts in Berlin until 2020. In Fall 2021 Kathrin began her Ph.D. studies under Dr. Michael Thaut at the University of Toronto.
Dr. Charlene Santoni
Charlene Santoni received her Master’s Degree in Vocal Pedagogy and her Ph.D. in Music and Health Science with a specialization in voice from The University of Toronto. Her doctoral research explored ways of influencing oral-nasal balance in speech and singing in typical speakers and speakers with hypernasality. Her work earned publication in the Journal of Voice, Folia Phoniatrica et Logopaedica, and The International Journal of Pediatric Otorhinolaryngology. She also co-authored a chapter on music-inspired speech and language rehabilitation that is featured in the Oxford Handbook for Music and the Brain. She is currently a guest lecturer at The University of Toronto and a sessional singing voice instructor at McMaster University. She also maintains a private studio where she provides advanced singing training, singing voice rehabilitation services, and vocal intonation therapy. In 2014, she was awarded The National Association of Teachers of Singing Voice Pedagogy Award. Charlene is a Neurologic Music Therapy Affiliated Professional that specializes in vocal intonation therapy. For more information about Dr. Santoni, you can visit her website: www.charlenesantoni.com .
Ruth Rice, DPT
Ruth Rice, Physical Therapist, has been involved with research on the effects of rhythm and music for neurological rehabilitation techniques for the last 20 years and has also been a clinician treating orthopedic and neurological diagnoses for the last 22 years. Ruth received her Masters’s degree in Physical Therapy in 1988 and a Doctorate in Physical Therapy in 2008. She has been a clinician at Poudre Valley Hospital in Fort Collins for the last 20 years where she actively works with NMT.
Dr. Laurien Hakvoort
Laurien Hakvoort, RMTh, NMT Fellow, received her BA in creative therapy music in Amersfoort and her master’s in music therapy from University of the Pacific, California, USA. She holds a PhD in behavioral sciences from Tilburg University. She is a music therapist since 1994, worked for 17 years as music therapist in forensic psychiatry and currently in her private practice Muzis.net. She has run the ArtEZ NMT Parkinson group for 8 years. She is a music therapy lecturer for bachelor, pre-master and master at ArtEZ University of the Arts, Enschede, the Netherlands and is a freelance researcher.