Ronna Kaplan, M.A., MT-BC, a Past President of the American Music Therapy Association and Chair-Elect of the National Coalition of Creative Arts Therapies Associations, is the Chair of the Center for Music Therapy at The Music Settlement, a community music school in Cleveland, Ohio. The Music Settlement, one of the largest and oldest community arts schools in the U.S., has been in existence for 104 years, with a mission of creating a community where artistic expression belongs to everyone by serving those who seek personal growth through the arts.
In addition to her 15 years of experience as an adjunct music therapy instructor, Ronna’s more than 40 years of clinical music therapy experience have encompassed work with premature infants through adults up to the age of 103 years. She has conducted research on the effects of music on premature infants and on music therapy program goals and outcomes for individuals with autism spectrum diagnoses. She is particularly interested in addressing the needs of new parents, young children, individuals with diagnoses on the autism spectrum, and individuals with language delays and/or problems in the area of social skills through music therapy interventions.
Ronna possesses a graduate degree in special education from Kent State University and an undergraduate degree in music therapy and music education from Michigan State University, as well as certificates in Nonprofit Management, Neurologic Music Therapy, Orff Level I and DIR/FloortimeTM Basic Course. Having published articles and book chapters, guest lectured at several colleges and universities, and presented nationally and internationally, Ronna has also held positions in state, regional and national music therapy organizations. Ronna co-chaired AMTA’s Early Childhood Music Therapy Network from its inception in 1994 until 2006 and was chair of AMTA’s Autism Think Tank/Task Force from 2008 to 2009, and she presently chairs the AMTA Diversity Task Force. She was honored with the Association of Ohio Music Therapists Past Presidents' Club Award in 2011, the AMTA Professional Practice Award in 2003, and the Great Lakes Region of AMTA’s Service Award in 1997 and their Honorary Life Member Award in 2014.