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Janice Harris Joins Music Therapy Department as SMU Hugworks Music Therapy Supervisor

She will mentor SMU students working with clients with special needs

Janice Harris, a well-known North Texas music therapist, has been appointed the SMU Hugworks Music Therapy Supervisor in the Division of Music at SMU’s Meadows School of the Arts, beginning with the fall 2011 semester.

“I am thrilled to have a professional of Janice’s caliber join Barbara Bastable, our music therapy clinical coordinator, and me as part of our team,” said Dr. Robert Krout, director of the music therapy department at the Meadows School. “She will serve as a mentor and supervisor to our music therapy students, working with them one-on-one in our free music therapy clinic here at SMU as they provide weekly private and group sessions for children and adults with special needs from throughout North Texas. She will also oversee our students working in outplacement settings.”

Harris is past president of the Southwestern Region of the American Music Therapy Association (SWAMTA). She has also served as secretary, continuing education director, assembly delegate representative and vice president of SWAMTA and serves on the Continuing Education Committee for the Certification Board for Music Therapy. She has provided music therapy in rehabilitation hospitals, pediatric, geriatric, and psychiatric settings, school districts, home health and wellness programs, and in private practice. She received her Bachelor of Music in music therapy from Sam Houston State University in 1995, and a Master of Arts in music therapy from Texas Woman’s University in 2001. She is also trained in neurologic music therapy and performance wellness. Harris maintains a private practice in the Dallas area working primarily with children and adults who have developmental disabilities and is host and producer of The Music Therapy Show broadcast on

Dr. Krout said that the position at SMU is the outgrowth of a long-term partnership with two local organizations, Hugworks and the KidLinks Foundation.

Hugworks, founded in 1981 by SMU alumni James Newton ’75 and Paul Hill ’72 along with Paul Stookey of Peter, Paul and Mary, is a nonprofit organization that specializes in bringing therapeutic entertainment, music therapy, comfort and encouragement to hospitalized and physically/emotionally challenged children in hospitals, rehabilitation centers, schools, early childhood centers and music therapy clinics. The Meadows School’s music therapy department has partnered with Hugworks for the past five years. SMU music therapy students have worked under the mentorship of Hugworks music therapists to provide services in a variety of settings, including SMU’s own music therapy clinic, the Hugworks Music Therapy Clinic in Hurst, Texas, and area hospital, rehabilitation and aged care centers.

“SMU students must complete 1,200 hours of supervised fieldwork before graduation and board exams, so the opportunity for them to work with the therapists at Hugworks has been critical to their successful completion of our program,” said Dr. Krout.

The funding for the SMU position has been made possible by a generous grant from the KidLinks Foundation, a Dallas nonprofit led by SMU alumnus J.W. Brown (’68, ’71) that supports Hugworks and its collaboration with SMU through golf tournaments, the Symphony of Chefs and other fundraising events. For more than a decade, KidLinks has been improving the emotional and physical needs of children by directly funding music entertainment and therapy programs in Texas. Founded and funded by people working within the energy industry, KidLinks enables children to experience pleasure and joy in spite of dire circumstances. And for children with developmental delays, the music entertainment and therapy programs funded by KidLinks are enabling them to learn, grow and thrive despite impossible odds.

“Thanks to the ongoing support of such organizations as Hugworks and KidLinks, we have been able to grow our music therapy program at SMU to capacity,” said Dr. Krout. “We now have a full complement of 20 music therapy majors, and there is a waiting list for services in our clinic. Our priority now is to expand our clinic services to help meet the ever-increasing demand from the community.”

For additional stories about the Meadows department of music therapy, see:

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