Suzanne B. Hanser, Ed.D., MT-BC, is a professor and the founding chair of the Music Therapy Department. She is a past president of the World Federation of Music Therapy and the National Association for Music Therapy, and a noted researcher, author, clinician, musician, and speaker.
"These days there's a lot of attention to New Age philosophies and approaches to life, and drumming circles have become very popular. People get a lot out of that, and for some it's a spiritual experience. They think that's music therapy. But music therapy is scientific in addition to being an artistic endeavor. It's really a structured and formulaic approach to meeting individual needs. Music therapy is the systematic approach to using music to meet the specific need of a person or group. Music has to come so naturally to the therapist that he or she can be totally with the client and tuned in to what he or she needs at the moment, totally empathizing and understanding not only what the person's saying, but what they're feeling."
"I came here to establish a music therapy program that was state of the art. I knew that we could take advantage of research and impressive medical advances here in Boston, which has some of the finest hospitals. I also knew that Berklee itself was the finest institution training contemporary musicians."
"The psychoneuroimmunology of music therapy demonstrates the connection between mind and body, and helps to explain how music therapy can ultimately affect health and wellbeing. Berklee music therapy students learn the scientific basis for their clinical work, analyze research findings, and practice diverse music therapy strategies in their fieldwork. Berklee’s graduates represent the future of this field, and their talents are bringing out the best in humanity."
"All of my research, writing, speaking, training, administration and clinical work has informed my teaching at Berklee. Most of all, my students inspire and educate me every day."