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University of Iowa News Release


Sept. 10, 2007

Sept. 15 Saturday Scholars event will explore music therapy

If you use recordings of your favorite band to help relax after a hard day -- or to get energized for a night out -- then you already understand music therapy.

Mary Adamek, director of the Music Therapy Program in the University of Iowa School of Music, will go a little deeper into the subject when she presents "Music Therapy: Improving Quality of Life," at 10 a.m. Saturday, Sept, 15, in Room 40 of Schaeffer Hall, the southeast building on the UI Pentacrest.

Adamek's lecture, part of the "Saturday Scholars" series sponsored by the UI College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, will be free and open to the public. This presentation will begin with a live performance by the Maia Quartet to kick off a yearlong collaboration between the quartet and the UI Music Therapy program titled "Music, Healthcare and Wellbeing." Adamek will also be joined for the presentation by students from the program.

Music has been used for centuries to treat physical and emotional disorders, from the use of drums and chants of the early medicine man's healing ceremonies to the scientifically based use of music in healthcare today. Today, music therapy is an established healthcare and education profession that uses music to address physical, cognitive, social and emotional needs of individuals of all ages.

Music therapy can improve the quality of life for persons who are well and can address the needs of children and adults with disabilities or illnesses. Many eastern Iowans currently receive music therapy services from the dozens of board-certified music therapists who work in schools, group homes, hospices and other healthcare agencies.

The profession of music therapy has received extensive media attention, but many people still ask, "What is music therapy?" Adamek's talk will highlight the variety of settings where music therapy is an essential treatment modality to enhance development in children and to improve the health and quality of life of individuals across the age span.

Participants in the presentation will have an opportunity to experience music therapy interventions through active music making directed by Adamek and students from the UI music therapy program.

The music therapy program at the UI School of Music is one of the oldest in the nation, and has been approved by the American Music Therapy Association (AMTA). Students in the program have the opportunity to become professionally certified as music therapists.

Adamek is co-author the textbook "Music in Special Education," published by the AMTA, and she has contributed chapters in two other textbooks published by AMTA. She maintains an active leadership role in state, regional and national music therapy organizations and is a past-president of AMTA.

Adamek has extensive professional experience as a music therapist and music educator. She is a specialist in the areas of music in special education, full inclusion music education, and supervision of music therapy students in training. She has presented music therapy lectures and workshops around the world and represented the AMTA at international meetings.

Adamek is a recipient of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences 2004 Collegiate Teaching Award and the 2004 American Music Therapy Association Service Award.

The resident string quartet at the UI School of Music since 1998, the Maia Quartet participates in a series of chamber music concerts on campus each year. Its members -- violinists Tricia Park and Zoran Jakovcic, violist Elizabeth Oakes and cellist Hannah Holman -- are all members of the School of Music faculty.

Founded in1990, the Maia Quartet has established itself nationally with performances in major concert halls including Alice Tully Hall in New York, the Kennedy Center Terrace Theatre in Washington, D.C., and Harris Hall at the Aspen Music Festival. More information, including photos and bios of the individual members of the quartet, can be found online at

The remaining events in the 2007 "Saturday Scholars" series are:

--Sept. 29: "Nanotechnology: Solving Big Problems with Small Science," Sarah Larsen, Department of Chemistry.

--Oct. 6: "Freedom of Expression: For a Price," Kembrew McCleod, Department of Communication Studies.

--Oct. 20: "Ethical Activism in the Poetry of Adrienne Rich and Mary Oliver," Linda Bolton, Department of English.

--Nov. 3: "Animated Culture: Contemporary Experimental Art Practices," Jon Winet, School of Art and Art History.

Saturday Scholars was developed to give the public a chance to hear about the latest teaching and research innovations by faculty members in the college. The sessions last about an hour, including a 20 to 30 minute presentation followed by time for questions. Refreshments are served. Additional information is available at

Individuals with disabilities are encouraged to attend all University of Iowa-sponsored events. If you are a person with a disability who requires an accommodation in order to participate in this program, please contact the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences in advance at 319-335-2610.

STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa Arts Center Relations, 300 Plaza Centre One, Suite 351, Iowa City, IA 52242-2500.

MEDIA CONTACT: Peter Alexander, Arts Center Relations, 319-384-0072; cell: 319-541-2846;