Our mission in the Wartburg music therapy clinic program is to provide exceptional, evidence-based music therapy sessions to clients of all ages and abilities. Music therapy optimizes the abilities of our clients through interactive music-making in areas of communication, socialization, rehabilitation, speech, stress management, memory care, and emotional expression. Our approach is individualized to each client. 

These services are coordinated by Wartburg music therapy faculty, and all student-led sessions are supervised by experienced music therapists who are Board Certified (MT-BC). Sessions are held in the music therapy clinic on the Wartburg campus, in the community in designated therapy spaces, or through private, confidential telehealth sessions. Our clients can be referred by medical professionals, family, community facilities, and schools, but many are self-referred. 

For further information on how music therapy may be appropriate for you or for someone you know, please contact the clinical coordinator at or use the session information form on this page.

Our supervised student music therapists work to address the sensory, social, and communication barriers often encountered by neurodiverse people. We work with schools and individual families to provide individualized experiences in instrument play, singing, music games, and songwriting to help individuals on the Autism spectrum achieve their wellness goals.

Under supervision, student music therapists use music to improve cognitive, motor, and social skills for individuals with developmental disabilities. By engaging in group songwriting, rhythm games, singing, and instrument play, people with disabilities can express themselves and connect with others more effectively. Our clinic provides services to both organizations and individual families.

Music-based interventions provide cognitive stimulation, physical activity, and social connection for those with dementia and other age-related illnesses. The elderly in our community can experience improved symptom management by engaging in instrument play, singing, and movement to music with our students and supervising music therapists. Our clinic works with several eldercare facilities in the Cedar Valley.

Engaging in music therapy with our supervised student therapists can help clients manage mental illnesses such as depression, anxiety, and chemical dependency by learning and practicing new coping skills and gaining insight into their behavior. Songwriting, musical improvisation, lyric discussion, and music-based relaxation are all effective music therapy techniques for groups and individuals with mental health concerns. We work with several hospitals and organizations in the Cedar Valley.

Information will be coming soon.

Frequently Ask Questions

Music therapy is the intentional and respectful use of music to address non-musical goals within a therapeutic relationship by a credentialed music therapy practitioner who has completed an approved music therapy training program.

No.  Music is an innate ability in everyone.  Prior musical training is not necessary to participate fully in music-making, although some clients do have a musical background.

Although many training clinics charge a modest fee to cover instrument care costs, there is no fee for this service at this time  (Sept 2020- August 2021).

During the first three sessions, clients will meet with the supervising therapist and student to discuss client needs and aims and to engage in some music-making activities. During these sessions, clients and therapists learn about musical, social, cognitive or behavioral strengths that will help the client forward in achieving their goals. In consultation with the supervising therapist, the student music therapist may recommend either individual or group sessions.

Music therapists assess emotional well-being, physical health, social functioning, communication abilities, and cognitive skills through musical responses; design music sessions for individuals and groups based on client needs using music improvisation, receptive music listening, song writing, lyric discussion, music and imagery, music performance, and learning through music; participate in interdisciplinary treatment planning, ongoing evaluation, and follow up.

Yes, it can do much to ameliorate and process emotions that may block our ability to function in everyday life.  We use music in various, but specific, ways to work through difficult emotions.  Sometimes this means more receptive, reflective use of music and at other times more active improvised music-making – all guided by the client, and supported by the music therapy student and supervisor.  Depending on the client’s circumstances, this could occur in individual or shared group sessions.  

We are conducting our sessions via telehealth technology, so the client can be in the comfort of their own home, in a day-facility, hospital, or residential facility for personalized interactive music-making.  Students and supervisors are located in an assigned music therapy space from which they will conduct the session.

  • The American Music Therapy Association (AMTA) is the professional organization that sets the standards for music therapy practitioners across the USA.
  • The Wolrd Federation of Music Therapy connects professional associations around the globe.
  • The Music Therapy Association of Iowa provides a list of board certified music therapists.


Barbara Ashton

Music Therapist in Residence

Kyle Fleming

Assistant Professor of Music Therapy and Clinical Supervisor