April 26–27, 2024

In 1938, Wilhelmina “Billie” Harbert introduced the first in a series of courses in what would later become the Music Therapy Program at University of the Pacific. This first course, “Musical Guidance and Therapy,” captured Harbert’s passion to use music to assist those with educational, mental health or medical concerns.  That spirit has been preserved to this day at Pacific.

FRIDAY, APRIL 26, 2024
The Beat of the Heart

7:30–9 p.m., Faye Spanos Concert Hall

"The Beat of the Heart” is a documentary film exploring the groundbreaking work of Brian Schreck, a board-certified music therapist. His work involves recording patients’ heartbeats and incorporating them into musical pieces composed by patients and their families. Join us! (free and open to the public)

Q&A following the screening: Schreck will answer questions and share the work he’s been doing with Pacific’s music therapy students.

Brian Schreck and patient
Celebrating 85 years of music therapy
Saturday, April 27, 2024
Celebratory Symposium

8 a.m.4:30 p.m.

On Saturday, April 27, we will feature presentations for both music therapy students and practicing clinicians, running concurrently. Topics will include medical music therapy, forensic mental health, research, supervision, education and clinical practice.

Symposium Schedule

8–9 a.m. | Registration

Location: Rehearsal Halls

As you register for our event, enjoy some breakfast snacks, and catch up with friends old and new.

9–10:50 a.m. | Session #1

(Attendees choose one of the following)

Partners in Care: Dignity Health and Pacific Music Therapy

Location: Instrumental Rehearsal Hall

Learn about the special collaboration between St. Joseph’s Medical Center/Behavioral Health and Pacific’s Music Therapy program and how it benefits patients, students, and the Stockton community.

Presenter: Casie Little, MA, MT-BC

Pacific Alumni Research Panel I

Location: Choral Rehearsal Hall

Recent Pacific’s music therapy graduates will present their original research papers. Current faculty will serve as panel discussants.

10:50–11 a.m. | Break

11–11:50 a.m. | Session #2

(Attendees choose one of the following)

Appreciative Practices in Music Therapy Education

Location: Instrumental Rehearsal Hall

How do your teachers teach you what you are learning? How did your teachers learn how to teach? This qualitative case study research investigated the teaching practices of undergraduate music therapy faculty and how they learned those practices. Learn about appreciative education and how this framework is applied to music therapy pedagogy.

Presenter: Raquel Ravaglioli, Ph.D., MT-BC

A Retrospective Analysis of Medical Music Therapy and Pain Management

Location: Choral Rehearsal Hall

This presentation shares results from a recent retrospective study investigating the effectiveness of medical music therapy on pain management. The secondary purpose of the study was to describe the clinical aspects of a medical music therapy program.

Presenter: Dawn Iwamasa, Ph.D., CCLS, MT-BC

11:50–Noon | Break

Noon–2 p.m. | Luncheon

Location: Vereschagin Alumni House

Current Pacific students, faculty and alumni come together to celebrate the legacy of music therapy at Pacific.  

2–2:50 p.m. | Session #3

(Attendees choose one of the following)

Music, Movement, and Motor Skills of Children with Autism

Location: Instrumental Rehearsal Hall

Learn about the impact of rhythmic cueing and martial arts movements on motor skills of children with autism.

Presenter: Hilary Yip, MM, MT-BC

Incorporating Community Engagement into Music Therapy Clinical Education: From Placement to Partnership

Location: Choral Researsal Hall

This presentation centers the role of the community in music therapy clinical training. Participants will explore partnership structures, reciprocity, power dynamics, and university-community relationships in music therapy practica.

Presenter: Shelly R. Z. Broder, MA, MT-BC

2:50–3 p.m. | Break

3–4:50 p.m. | Session #4

(Attendees choose one of the following)

Music Therapy in the California State Hospital System

Location: Instrumental Rehearsal Hall

Music therapy is an integral form of treatment for patients who are committed to the state hospitals. The panel discusses treatment considerations for both LPS and forensically committed patients.


  • Karen Moran, MA, MT-BC
  • Tara Brinkman, MT-BC
  • Ofir Uziel, MT-BC

Pacific Alumni Research Panel II

Location: Choral Rehearsal Hall

Recent graduates of Pacific’s music therapy program will present their original research papers. Current faculty will serve as panel discussants.

Presenter Biographies

Tara Brinkman, MT-BC, received her BM in Music Therapy from University of the Pacific in 2006 and has worked at DSH-Atascadero since her internship in 2007. She works with patients under various commitment codes and serves as the internship director and coordinator for the hospital’s cognitive day treatment program. 

Shelly R. Z. Broder, MA, MT-BC, Assistant Professor of Music Therapy at Pacific University, Oregon. Her diverse clinical experiences include psychiatric and medical settings, schools and community programs, with veterans, children with emotional-behavioral disorders and disabled adults. She is a PhD candidate in Education and Leadership at Pacific University. 

Dawn Iwamasa, PhD, CCLS, MT-BC (she/her/hers), Assistant Professor of Music Therapy at Florida State University. She has more than 20 years of clinical experience and expertise in medical music therapy. Her research interest focuses on the intersection between policy and the practice of music therapy.

Casie Little, MA, MT-BC, is the Coordinator of Music Therapy and Experiential Learning at University of the Pacific and directs the Music Therapy Program at St. Joseph’s Medical Center and Behavioral Health Center in Stockton.

Karen Moran, MA, MT-BC, is a music therapist and internship director at DSH-Napa, specializing in forensic mental health. Additionally, she maintains the position of Assistant Professor of Practice on University of the Pacific’s San Francisco Campus. She has dedicated her career to guiding students through their education and into music therapy. Her primary instrument is viola, and she enjoys playing a variety of genres.

Raquel Ravaglioli, PhD, MT-BC, Director of Music Therapy and Associate Professor at Biola University, California. In addition to undergraduate degrees in music therapy and violin performance, she completed a graduate degree in Creative Arts Therapies with an emphasis in music therapy and a doctoral degree combining higher education and counselor education. Her current research interests include effective teaching practices and early childhood development and music therapy.

Ofir Uziel, MT-BC, works as a rehabilitation therapist with a background in social justice. Ofir’s primary goal is to deliver therapeutic service to forensic and psychiatric populations in most effective and inclusive manner. Ofir is using transpersonal and humanistic approaches to apply music therapy promoting creativity, insight and mindfulness practice. 

Hilary Yip, MM, MT-BC, Music Therapy Program Director at California State University, Northridge. She is a doctoral candidate in the Music Education with Music Therapy Empha­sis program at the University of Miami. For over a decade, she has provided music therapy services in Texas, Florida and California. 

Music therapy's beginnings at Pacific