Position: Adjunct Assistant Professor, Music Therapy
Employed Since: 2022
B.M., Michigan State University; Ed.S.,/M.A., Kent State University; Ph.D., University of Kansas
Dr. Gene Ann Behrens, MT-BC, recently retired as professor emeritus after 23 years of directing the music therapy program at Elizabethtown College. Besides overseeing the music therapy program, teaching, supervising practicums and advising students in their volunteer community work, Gene Ann supervised over 50 student research projects as part of a course, 35 honors research projects, and then mentored the students as they presented in several venues. Gene Ann also began a senior capstone clinical experience for seniors and supervised two to three additional clinical experiences each year. In addition, she advised the music therapy students in two community recitals, a troubadour singing project, and a campus Peace Day songfest each year. She also continues a 46-year career as a board-certified music therapist now focused on trauma as a Certified Traumatic Stress Specialist in Child Trauma.
Gene Ann’s research on music therapy and the neurobiology of trauma has led to 19 articles or book chapters and as well over 140 presentations, 40 of which were given in 15 countries such as Australia, South Korea, Austria, Japan and Argentina. More specifically, she was invited to speak for Penn State Hershey Medical Center; a NATO Security workshop in Ankara, Turkey; Mahatma Gandhi Medical College and Research Institute Campus, Pondicherry, India; and the music therapy school at ArtEZ University of the Arts in Enschede, Netherlands. During her sabbatical, she worked for over three months in Bethlehem, Occupied Palestinian Territory, conducting research and a music therapy program for children traumatized by the ongoing conflict. More recently she traveled twice to Somaliland where she conducted workshops on trauma-informed work for NGO staff and once with an NGO group from Philadelphia to the disadvantaged areas of Nairobi, Kenya to train teachers in the use of trauma-informed care. Most recently she completed a series of four videos on the neurobiology of trauma for the National Association of Korean Music Therapists and is working with Dr. Lillian Eyre on a Palestine Children’s Relief Fund project.
Gene Ann has served on committees and executive boards for the American Music Therapy Association and the Mid-Atlantic Region for Music Therapy as the Vice President of Membership and as a member of the Assembly of Delegates for 17 years, the exam writing committee for the Certification Board for Music Therapists for 5 years, and the research committee for the Mid-Atlantic Region for Music Therapy for 18 years. She also served on the World Federation of Music Therapy executive board as chair of the Global Crises Intervention Commission for six years and the North American Representative for three years. Currently, Gene serves on the editorial boards for Music Therapy Perspectives and Voices. She also was co-chair three times for the MAR- AMTA conferences.
Gene Ann also is an avid world photographer and artist who has had four exhibitions of her three shows, “Behind the Walls,” “Reflections and Memories—My Visual Memoirs” and “Womenfolk.”
Ph.D., University of Kansas, Lawrence, Kansas; 1997
Course of Study: Music Education with an emphasis in Music Therapy; minor in Counseling Psychology.
Dissertation: A Psychometric Evaluation of the MPEC—A Measure to Assess Accuracy in Identifying Emotions Represented by Music Improvisations.
Ed.S., Kent State University, Kent, Ohio; 1988
Course of Study: Music-Motor Development-Special Education.
M.A., Kent State University, Kent, Ohio; 1982
Course of Study: Special Education-Moderate, Severe, Profound Handicaps.
Thesis: The Use of Music Activities to Improve the Capacity, Inhalation, and Exhalation Capabilities of Handicapped Children’s Respiration.
B.M. in Therapy, Michigan State University, East Lansing, Michigan; 1976
Course of Study: Music Therapy.