Research Committee Report

Research Committee Report
Andrea McGraw Hunt, PhD, MT-BC
January 2016

We have many updates for you in this report! So many ways for you to get involved in research – please check out all these exciting opportunities:

  • New research funding for MAR members – deadlines approaching!
  • Andrew Knight, PhD, MT-BC, guest speaker for Research Track for MAR 2016 conference
  • Call for Research Poster Session for the MAR 2016 conference
  • MTR2025: Updates/Reflections on the AMTA Research Agenda


Research/Special Project Awards: We are very excited to announce an expansion of our Research/Special Projects awards. Our aim is to promote both individual and collaborative research for both students and professionals across the Region. These awards include:

MAR Research/Special Projects Award (up to $5,000.00). Close of submissions: February 8th, 2016

This award provides financial assistance to members of the MAR (students and professionals) who wish to pursue a research study or a special project consistent with the mission and goals of the MAR. For research studies, outcomes are to further clinical, professional or disciplinary knowledge. Quantitative, qualitative, or mixed methods as well as well as research synthesis may be used according to the research question(s) posed. For special projects, outcomes may include (but are not limited to) material products, publications, model demonstrations of practice, and education/training activities of potential benefit to the membership beyond the period of funding. Priority will be given to those applications reflecting research or special projects that 1) address a need in relation to the MAR mission and goals, 2) can reasonably be completed within a twelve-month period, and 3) includes methodology that is presented in a clear and systematic fashion.
MAR Collaborative Research Award (up to $5,000.00). Close of submissions: February 8th, 2016

This award is intended to stimulate cooperative research among scholars and clinicians (team science concepts) who have a focus on a clearly identified research project. They may also be used for interdisciplinary work with scholars outside the field of music therapy, especially when such work shows promise of continuing beyond the year funded (e.g. a pilot project in a hospital that provides preliminary evidence for a larger study). Collaborative project proposals are expected to describe plans for having the results of the research published. Teams that include both students and professionals are eligible to apply.
MAR Graduate Student Research Award (up to $1,000.00). Close of submissions: May 1st, 2016

This award will assist graduate music therapy students undertaking original thesis or dissertation research with a grant of up to $1,000.00 to support research costs prior to the completion of their thesis/dissertation. This can include assistance with materials (e.g. data collection tools, music, etc.), consultation fees (e.g. methodologist/statistician), and/or expert mentorship (mentorship from expert faculty in the student’s area of research who are not faculty at the student’s university of study). Systematic reviews, meta analyses and meta syntheses will also be considered, but final projects that do not involve research will not be considered. The award is given for excellence in concept, methodological sophistication, and clinical benefit.

Look for details and application guidelines for each of these awards on the MAR website: If you have any questions about these awards, please feel free to reach out to any of us on the Research Committee – Tony Meadows, Gene Ann Behrens, Joke Bradt, Andrea Hunt, and Gabby Ritter.


Research Track 2016: We are pleased to announce that Dr. Andrew Knight will be our invited speaker for the 2016 conference. He is currently Assistant Professor of Music Therapy at Colorado State University, and prior to that was a faculty member at University of North Dakota, where he supervised students at clinical placements in the Grand Forks community, taught undergraduate coursework, advised the student music therapy association, and conducted research. Prior to UND, he was an active clinician in the Milwaukee, WI, area with various music therapy clinical roles in nursing/geriatric facilities, school districts, and at agencies serving adults and children with intellectual and developmental disabilities. His current research pursuits include clinical applications of music therapy for toddlers with language impairments, adults with addiction issues, music therapy percussion pedagogy, and technology use in clinical settings.

Carrying on from last year’s theme regarding clinician-based research and small sample sizes, Dr. Knight will present two sessions: “Research Design for Small n Studies: Pilot and Feasibility Studies” and “n=1 designs: An Overview for Students and Clinicians”.

These two sessions will be supported by several other sessions in the Research Track, including:

Undertaking Clinical Research: An Overview of Small n Studies for Clinicians (n=1, case series, intervention development, feasibility, pilot) (presented by Dr. Joke Bradt)

Developing Research Questions and Design from Clinical Experience: A Workshop for Clinicians

Evaluating Arts-Based Research: Audience Perspectives (presented by Mike Viega)

Research Poster Session (hosted by Dr. Gene Behrens and Dr. Tony Meadows)

We hope that these sessions will be of interest to you, given the feedback we received from last year’s conference. We look forward to seeing you and learning about your research ideas!


Call for Posters for Harrisburg: If you are a student or professional with a research project that will be completed by March 2016, we encourage you to apply to present the project at the 2016 Research Poster Session. More information is available at, and contact Dr. Gene Behrens ( for the application form. Deadline to submit your proposal is February 11th 2016.


MTR2025: AMTA’s Agenda for Music Therapy Research

You may have heard about the MTR2025 symposium last summer, where researchers met to discuss the challenges and needs around music therapy research in the future. The group made several recommendations regarding research priorities and recommendations for reporting research. You can find the full proceedings of this event, as well as an executive summary on the AMTA Website:

For our final Research Track session, we will offer a panel discussion hosted by Dr. Tony Meadows, which will focus on the implications of these recommendations. We look forward to hearing your thoughts on the future of research in music therapy.