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Ronna Kaplan, M.A.
Ronna Kaplan, M.A., MT-BC, a Past President of the American Music Therapy Association, is the Forest City Enterprises 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 100 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 35 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.

Entries by Ronna Kaplan, M.A.

Can Music Save Lives?

(3) Comments | Posted June 26, 2014 | 5:19 PM

Can music save lives? Listen to and watch professional pianist, composer, author, and American Music Therapy Association (AMTA) artist spokesperson Robin Spielberg share her personal story about the power of music here.

Robin grew up playing the piano. It made her feel better after a...

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Music Therapy and Military Populations: An Update

(4) Comments | Posted March 3, 2014 | 3:07 PM

I am very pleased to inform our readers that the American Music Therapy Association (AMTA) has just announced the publication of Music Therapy and Military Populations: A Status Report and Recommendations on Music Therapy Treatment, Programs, Research, and Practice Policy. You can obtain this landmark report, which discusses the profession...

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Robin Spielberg -- Celebrity Support for Music Therapy

(0) Comments | Posted November 12, 2013 | 2:07 PM

Fifteen years ago professional pianist Robin Spielberg's daughter Valerie was born at 23 weeks and five days! Weighing just under a pound, Valerie was too small for an incubator. Her eyes weren't even open yet and her lungs were not fully developed. Robin and her husband, Larry Kosson,...

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A White Wind Blew

(2) Comments | Posted March 13, 2013 | 2:56 PM

Author James Markert grew up in Louisville, Kentucky, and was intrigued by the Waverly Hills Sanatorium, a tuberculosis hospital with the highest rate of TB in the country, at a very young age. His debut novel, A White Wind Blew (Sourcebooks, Incorporated), is set in Waverly Hills, that massive Gothic...

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Music Therapy and the Military

(2) Comments | Posted January 2, 2013 | 9:50 AM

It was very fitting that between Veterans' Day, when we recognize our veterans and all they have done for our country, and Thanksgiving, when we show our gratitude for so many and for so much, the creation of a music therapy program at Walter Reed Army Medical Center...

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Music Therapy for Individuals With Autism

(3) Comments | Posted November 21, 2012 | 4:43 PM

Have you seen the video clip of Katy Perry and Jodi DiPiazza, an 11-year-old with autism, that is now all the rage on the internet? Katy and Jodi performed "Firework" at the Beacon Theater in New York as part of a Comedy Central special October 21 to raise...

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Music Therapy for Individuals With Alzheimer's and Other Dementias

(3) Comments | Posted August 8, 2012 | 1:56 PM

A couple months ago there was a big buzz about a video circulating widely on the Internet. The video, called "Alive Inside," showed a social worker giving an iPod filled with music to a nursing home resident. What ensued allowed viewers to witness the amazing power of music:...

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Music Therapy Intervention in Medical Settings

(18) Comments | Posted March 15, 2012 | 7:00 AM

Music therapy services in medical settings such as hospitals take many forms. Patient outcomes are individualized and specific. They are related to diagnoses, symptoms, "course of treatment," and discharge timelines. Although benefits are often described in medical terms, music therapy is clearly for the "whole person." Examples of the possible...

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Music Therapy in Early Childhood Classrooms

(3) Comments | Posted January 9, 2012 | 2:19 PM

Three young children with autism spectrum disorders sat expectantly in a semi-circle, their teachers behind them. To begin the session the music therapist presented a picture schedule of what was about to happen.

The first picture showed it was time to sing "Hello." Aiden waved when it was his...

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What Music Therapy Can Do for Health, Disability and Trauma

(4) Comments | Posted September 22, 2011 | 9:02 AM

In its more than 60 years, music therapy has grown and evolved as a profession, especially over the past few decades. It is becoming more commonplace for music therapists to utilize electronic devices, programs and instruments. They serve as tools to provide access to active music making to increase personal...

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Music Therapy: Global Perspectives

(5) Comments | Posted July 21, 2011 | 11:26 AM

" ... I have come to discover that the power of music cannot only heal but also build relationships, inspire momentous movements and establish a common network that helps bring us all together." -- Byungchuel Choi, organizer of the 13th World Congress of Music Therapy, held July 5-9, 2011 in...
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What Is Music Therapy?

(5) Comments | Posted June 1, 2011 | 8:06 AM

What is music therapy? George, a young boy with autism, lumbered down the hall, whining and crying as he approached the music therapy studio. He entered the room, removed his jacket, shoes and socks and threw them on the floor. From past experience I knew that it was pointless to...

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