Renowned Music Therapist Speaks at NHCH
Posted on Tuesday, January 17, 2012

NHCH employees and volunteers were treated to an inspiring presentation by renowned music therapist Annie Heiderscheit, Ph.D., MT-BC, FAMI, NMT, on how music can be an active agent in the healing process.

Dr. Heiderscheit explained the important role music has played in the healing process throughout history, including mentions of music healing in writings by Aristotle and Plato and physicians in the Baroque Era (1450 – 1600) prescribing music to patients.   Dr. Heiderscheit continued to explain how rhythm can be found throughout areas of the body, including our hearts, lungs, brain waves and much more. 

Professional music therapy started in 1950 after physicians began to notice music had a large impact after musicians played for World War II vets in VA hospitals.  Physicians began to study this impact and learned that music engages almost every part of the brain, not just one area.  Now, music therapy is an established healthcare profession that uses music to address physical, emotional, cognitive and social needs of individuals of all ages.   Music therapy can help promote wellness, manage stress, alleviate pain, improve quality of sleep, express feelings, enhance memory, improve communication, promote physical rehab, restore language and more. 

Dr. Heiderscheit is a board certified music therapist and has over 18 years of clinical experience. She completed graduate coursework in music psychotherapy at Temple University, obtained a master's degree in counseling at Iowa State University, and completed doctoral studies at the University of Minnesota. Dr. Heiderscheit has completed advanced training in the Bonny Method of Guided Imagery and Music and is a fellow through the Association for Music and Imagery (FAMI). She is also trained in Neurological Music Therapy (NMT) and is an endorsed facilitator in HealthRhythms Group Empowerment Drumming.

Dr. Heiderscheit teaches at the University of Minnesota in the Center for Spirituality and Healing. She maintains a private practice in music therapy, specializing in the use of music therapy in medicine and healing practices and in music psychotherapy.