The 2015 AMTA Conference will have a host of special sessions and events targeted at music therapy students. This includes student-focused sessions by leaders in music therapy on a variety of topics to build your knowledge of different areas of MT and a whole day of guitar skill-building workshops.


Special Student Sessions

See the Preliminary Program Addendum for full details on these special concurrent sessions and all of the other sessions being offered throughout conference.


  • Introduction to Neurologic Music Therapy for Students: Science and Clinical Practice, presented by Corene Thaut, PhD, MT-BC. (Friday, 7:30-8:45 am)
  • Professional Leadership from the Start! presented by Amber Weldon‐Stephens, EdS, LPMT, MT‐BC & Jean Nemeth, PhD, MT‐BC (Friday, 9-10:15 am)
  • An Overview of Evidence‐Based Music Therapy with Premature Infants in Neonatal Intensive Care, presented by Jayne Standley, PhD, MT‐BC (Friday, 2-3:15 pm)
  • Student Percussion Session: Percussion, Music Therapy and YOU!, presented Bill Matney, PhD, MT‐BC (Saturday, 3-4:15)
  • An Introduction to Nordoff‐Robbins Music Therapy for Students, presented by Jacqueline Birnbaum, MSEd, MA, LCAT, MT‐BC; Jenny Hoi Yan Fu, MA, LCAT, MT‐BC; and Ming Yuan Low, MA, MT‐BC (Saturday, 11 am-12:15 pm)


Student Guitar Bombardments


Take your guitar skills to the next level by attending the Student Guitar Bombardment sessions happening throughout the day on Friday. Learn from fantastic guitarists and try out new techniques to advance your playing and meet your future clients’ needs.


  • Friday, 7:30-8:45 am – Presented by Robert Groene, PhD, MT‐BC & Roy Kennedy, PhD, MT‐BC. Topics to include:
    • The Beatles: Capturing their essence with a single guitar on a few of their tunes
    • Country bass runs and a few licks
    • Travis Folk Picking: Three finger and thumb style
    • ’60s Folk and ’90s Folk
    • Baritone Uke Playing: Bar chords, fingerpicking, and strumming. These techniques will be presented in the context of rock n’ roll songs.
  • Friday, 9-10:15 am- Presented by Jon Oden, MT‐BC; Mark Ahola, MM, LCAT, MT‐BC. Topics to include:
    • Hip Hop Guitar: How to play a strum pattern suitable for hip hop influenced pop music
    • Pentatonic Improvisation: How to accompany clients improvising on black keys to play major, minor, blues pentatonic scales
    • Finding I, IV, V with Bar Chords: How to easily and quickly locate I, IV, V chords in any key when using bar chords or power chords
    • Goin’ to K.C. via Chicago blues: Learn to play rhythm/bass patterns and riffs to the song “Kansas City”
    • Altering Guitar Accompaniment: How to advance guitar proficiency beyond repetitive strum patterns and chord changes
  • Friday, 2-3:15 pm- Presented by Jamie Bartschi, MMT, MT‐BC & John Carpente, PhD, LCAT, MT‐BC. Topics to include:
    • Moveable Open Chords: Easily‐fingered but mature‐sounding chords. Adding beautiful drones and dissonances to your accompaniments by just moving up the frets
    • Un‐Barred Bar Chords: Breaking the rules of bar chords for easy fingering and amazing sound
    • Reverse Capo Work: An instant method of open tuning that is perfect for adaptive instrumentation, stunning one‐fingered harmonies, and accompanying your own melodies.
    • Eastern Accompaniment to Drumming: Exploring a Middle Eastern idiom to accompany clients drumming
    • Accompanying a Single Tone: accompanying a single tone (i.e., perseverative playing) using simple chord progressions and basic chord substitutions (i.e., functional harmony)
  • Friday, 3:30-4:45 pm – Presented by John Carpente, PhD, LCAT, MT‐BC, Destiny Henn, and Peter Meyer, MA, MT‐BC.  Topics to include:
    • Nordoff‐Robbins Guitar Techniques: Creating a musical emotional environment via dorian and mixolydian modes (meeting client’s playing)
    • Rock Guitar: Power chords, palm mute, hammer ons/pull offs, misc. techniques, demonstration on the Jamstik, a MIDI electronic guitar.
    • Jazz Guitar Workshop: Learn “Freddie Green” style chords and accompaniment and how to improvise through “the changes”
  • Friday, 5-6:15 pm – Presented by Peter Meyer, MA, MT‐BC & Matthew Logan, MA, MT‐BC. Topics to include:
    • Jazz Guitar Workshop: students will learn “Freddie Green” style chords and accompaniment as well as how to improvise through “the changes.”
    • Sound better, work less: Harmonic enhancements and efficiency hacks. Harmonically enhancing basic chord progressions and making chord transitions more efficient.


Don’t forget the AMTAS business meetings Friday from 6:15-7:45 pm and Saturday from 6-7:30. Stay Your student officers work hard throughout the year to support and connect music therapy students from around the country – see what they’ve been up to and how you can get involved.


Excited about all of these special student opportunities? Be sure to register by October 7 before rates go up!



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