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R.F. Unkefer Academy for Neurologic Music Therapy: International Neurologic Music Therapy Training Institute

For Music Therapists and other Neurologic Rehabilitation Professionals

Thursday, February 16, 2017 – Sunday, February 19, 2017
Registration: 7:30 am
Course begins: 8:00 am

Training begins at 8 am on Thursday morning and ends at 12 noon on Sunday.

Please make sure that your travel arrangements allow you adequate time to get to/from the airport, as completion of the training in its entirety is expected to gain the NMT credential and certificate.

RESERVE YOUR FLIGHTS & ROOMS NOW! Houston will be ramping up for the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo. It’s a fun, but busy time in Houston. 

Course Location & Facilities Host:
Texas Woman's University
Institute of Health Sciences -Houston Center
6700 Fannin St.
Houston, TX 77030
Main line: (713) 794-2000

Target Audience

Music Therapists and other Rehabilitation and Neurologic Professionals.

Course Description

Neurologic Music Therapy is defined as the therapeutic application of music to cognitive, sensory, and motor function due to neurologic disease of the human nervous system. Neurologic Music Therapy is research-based. Its treatment techniques are based on the scientific knowledge in music perception and production and the effects thereof on nonmusical brain and behavior functions. Populations served by Neurologic Music Therapists include, but are not limited to: stroke, traumatic brain injury, Parkinson's and Huntington's disease, cerebral palsy, Alzheimer's disease, autism, and other neurological diseases affecting cognition, movement, and communication (e.g., MS, Muscular Dystrophy, etc.). The 4-day, 30-hour workshop will provide therapists with advanced clinical training and scientific knowledge in the field of NMT.

Course Curriculum:

  • Scientific Foundations of NMT
  • Neuropathology/ Disease Review
  • Sensorimotor Techniques: Rhythmic Auditory Stimulation, Pattern Sensory Enhancement, Therapeutic Instrumental Playing
  • Speech Techniques: Melodic Intonation Therapy, Musical Speech Stimulation, Rhythmic Speech Cueing, Vocal Intonation Therapy, Therapeutic Singing, Oral Motor and Respiratory Exercises, Developmental Speech and Language Training through Music, Symbolic Communication Training through Music
  • Cognitive Techniques: Music Neglect Training, Auditory perception Training, Musical Attention Control Training, Musical Mnemonics Training, associative Mood and Memory Training, Musical Executive Functions Training, Music Psychosocial Training


Up to $11 per visit for 24 hour period at TWU
Texas Woman's University
Institute of Health Sciences -Houston Center
6700 Fannin St.
Houston, TX 77030
Main line: (713) 794-2000

TIRR Memorial Hermann parking information: Up to $12 per visit for 24 hour period. The closest parking to TIRR is available in Garage 6, next to TIRR Memorial Hermann Hospital on Moursund St.

Hotel Accommodations

RESERVE YOUR FLIGHTS & ROOMS NOW! Houston will be ramping up for the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo. It’s a fun, but busy time in Houston. Book your group rate using the NMT Group Block for TIRR.


Refunds, less a 50% charge, will be granted if cancellation notice is received in writing no later than 14 calendar days prior to the course start date to If you register and do not attend, or do not fulfill the requirements of the class, your course fee will not be refunded. Cancellation of the event by TIRR Memorial Hermann will result in a full refund of monies received. TIRR Memorial Hermann is not responsible for the refund of travel, hotel, or any other expenses under any circumstances. TIRR Memorial Hermann reserves the right to cancel or change any programs for due cause. In the event of a cancelation, participants will be notified via email and contact phone number submitted in the registration.

Schedule Topics and Times subject to change by course instructors

Thursday, February 16, 2017

TimeTopic & Activity
7:30 - 8:00 amRegistration and Refreshments
8:00 - 9:45 amIntroduction to Principles of Neurologic Music Therapy: Scientific Models, Research, and the Role of Music in Therapy and Medicine
9:45 - 10:00 amBreak
10:00 am - 12:30 pmNeuropathology Disease Review
12:30 - 1:30 pmLunch Provided
1:30 - 2:00 pmTransformational Design Model/Assessment
2:00 - 3:15 pmSpeech and Language Rehabilitation (rhythm, motor planning & speech)
3:15 - 3:30 pmBreak
3:30 - 5:30 pmSpeech and Language Rehabilitation (rhythm, motor planning & speech)
6:00 - 7:30 pmOptional Social Hour at TIRR Memorial Hermann.


Friday, February 17, 2017

TimeTopic & Activity
8:00 - 9:30 amSpeech/Language Clinical Presentations
9:30 - 10:45 amPatterned Sensory Enhancement (PSE)
10:45 - 11:00 amBreak
11:00 am - 12:30 pmTherapeutic Instrumental Music Performance (TIMP)
12:30 - 1:30 pmLunch Provided
1:30 - 2:45 pmSensorimotor Practice Session I (PSE, TIMP)
2:45 - 4:00 pmSensorimotor Practice Session II (PSE, TIMP)
4:00 - 5:00 pmGait Assessment
5:00 - 5:30pmNMT Fellowship Presentation


Saturday, February 18, 2017

TimeTopic & Activity
8:00 - 9:30 amRAS Gait Training
9:30 - 9:45 amBreak
9:45 - 11:00 amRAS Practice Session
11:00 am - 12:30 pmCognitive Rehabilitation
12:30 - 1:30 pmLunch Provided
1:30 - 3:45 pmCognitive Rehabilitation
3:45 - 4:00 pmBreak
4:00 - 5:30 pmNMT with Developmental Disabilities
7:00 - 9:00 pm*Optional Networking Dinner at Pappasito’s Mexican Cantina near NRG Stadium ($25)


Sunday, February 19, 2017

TimeTopic & Activity
8:00 - 11:00 amCognitive Rehabilitation
11:00 - 11:45 amWrap up, Final Evaluation, Written Exam, Question/Answer
11:45 - 12:00 amCourse Evaluation
12:00 – 12:30pmCertificates from Dr. Michael Thaut
12:30 - 1:00pmGroup Photo


Learning Objectives

Upon completion of this course participants will be able to:

  1. Be able to demonstrate a basic definition and introductory knowledge about neurologic music therapy (NMT), terminology and its role within the rehabilitation team including facilitation and collaboration with PT, OT, and SLP
  2. Demonstrate an increased knowledge of current research supporting NMT techniques as they relate to rehabilitation
  3. Demonstrate a working knowledge of the Transformational Design Model; a model to assist in treatment selection based on functional goals
  4. Identify current clinical assessments that can be used by NMT’s for treatment evaluation in collaboration with other therapeutic disciplines
  5. Be able to answer basic neuroanatomy and pathology questions related to a variety of neurologic disorders

Assessment of Learning Objectives

Upon successful completion of this course and a written test, a certificate of completion in advanced Neurologic Music Therapy training will be issued by the Robert F. Unkefer Academy for Neurologic Music Therapy. Completion of the NMT training allows the board-certified music therapist to practice and use the credential of NMT for three years. This training is open to other students and professionals outside of the field of music therapy; however, completion of the NMT training does NOT allow one to practice outside their professional licensure-training-certification. There are no required prerequisites to take this training.

Education Credits

Course participants must complete any & all formal assessments, procedures, and criteria required for credit or certification. As per Memorial Hermann policy, participants must attend the entire course in order to receive CEUs/CCUs and course certificate, no partial credits will be given.

Academy training in NMT is recognized by the World Federation for Neurologic Rehabilitation (WFNR) and the International Society of Clinical Neuromusicology (CNM). Members of CNM and the WFNR’s special interest group for NMT are conducting the academy training. This International Training Program of the Academy is endorsed by the World Federation of Neurologic Rehabilitation (WFNR), by the European Federation of Neurorehabilitation Societies (EFNS), and the International Society for Clinical Neuromusicology (CNM). Training is also approved by the U.S.Certification Board for Music Therapists (CBMT) as advanced provider for Continuing Music Therapy Education (CMTE) credits. Credits awarded by CBMT are accepted by the U.S. National Board for Certified Counselors (NBCC). [The Robert F. Unkefer Academy for Neurologic Music Therapy, #P-105, maintains responsibility for program quality and adherence to CBMT policies and criteria].

Completion of this course does not ensure that the participant is currently a Board Certified Music Therapist (MT-BC). Verify music therapy board certification status at

Participants must attend the entire course in order to receive CEU’s/CCU’s and course certificate.

Dr. Michael H. Thaut

Michael ThautMichael H Thaut received his masters and PhD in music from Michigan State University. He is also a graduate of the Mozarteum Music Conservatory in Salzburg/Austria. At Colorado State University he is a Professor of Music and a Professor of Neuroscience and serves as Co-Director of the School of the Arts and Chairman of the Department of Music, Theater, and Dance since 2001. He has also directed the Center for Biomedical Research in Music for 10 years. He was a Visiting Professor of Music at the Mozarteum in 1985, and a Visiting Professor of Kinesiology at the University of Michigan/Ann Arbor in 1993. He has also been a Visiting Scientist in Neurology at Duesseldorf University Medical School since 1995 and was recently appointed as Visiting Professor at Heidelberg University of Applied Sciences in the Department of Music Therapy.

Dr. Thaut’s internationally recognized research focuses on brain function in music, especially time information processing in the brain related to rhythmicity and biomedical applications of music to neurologic rehabilitation of cognitive and motor function. He received the National Research Award in 1993 and the National Service Award in 2001from the American Music Therapy Association. He has over 120 scientific publications and has authored and coauthored 3 books. His works have appeared in German, Japanese, Korean, Italian, and Spanish language. Popular TV media and numerous print media have featured his research nationally and internationally.

As a former professional violinist in the classic and folk genre he has recorded several recordings of chamber and folk music in the US and Germany and has toured in Europe extensively with folk bands and chamber groups. He is also the author of a landmark anthology of Northern European and American fiddle music. In 1995 his group ‘Folk Chamber Ensemble ‘ played 3 invited concerts at the Northwest German Summer Music Festival entitled ‘Folk Meets Classic’. He continues to perform in small chamber and folk ensembles as time permits.

Dr. Corene P. Hurt-Thaut

Corene ThautCorene P. Hurt-Thaut received her master’s in music therapy, and her PhD with an interdisciplinary focus of music, neuroscience and statistical design, from Colorado State University. She is currently a special assistant professor of music therapy in the Department of Music Theatre and Dance at Colorado State University, a research associate at The Center for Biomedical Research in Music since 1997, and the co-founder and program director of the Unkefer Academy for Neurologic Music Therapy International Training Institutes and Fellowship Trainings for Neurologic Music Therapy since 1999. She is nationally and internationally recognized for her clinical expertise in the evidence based practice of Neurologic Music Therapy, with clinical experience including 3 ½ years as a music therapist at Wesley Woods Geriatric Hospital and the Center for Rehabilitation Medicine at Emory University Medical School in Atlanta, and 4 years as a Neurologic Music Therapist at Poudre Valley Hospital and The Center for Neurologic Rehabilitation in Fort Collins, Colorado. Her work has included a diverse range of clinical populations including: stroke, Parkinson’s disease, traumatic brain injury, cerebral palsy, multiple sclerosis, Alzheimer’s disease, autism, and psychiatric disorders. She served on the exam committee for the National Certification Board for Music Therapy (CBMT) as both a member and Committee Chair from 2001-2006, and as an elected member of the CBMT National Board of Directors from 2009-2013. She has also served as President and Vice President of the Midwestern Region of American Music Therapy Association. Dr. Hurt-Thaut has numerous research publications in the area of music and motor control as well as ten book chapters highlighting specific applications of neurologic music therapy to her credit.

Dr. Gerard E. Francisco, MD

2014 Winter Dr FranciscoGerard E. Francisco, MD, is the Chief Medical Officer at TIRR Memorial Hermann Hospital, in Houston, Texas, where he also serves as the Director of the NeuroRecovery Research Center. Dr. Francisco is Clinical Professor and Chairman, of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation (PM&R) at the University of Texas (UT) Health Science Center Medical School at Houston.

Dr. Francisco completed training in PM&R at the University of Medicine and Dentistry, New Jersey Medical School/Kessler Institute for Rehabilitation, where he was appointed Chief Resident in his final year. He went on to complete a Postdoctoral Fellowship in brain injury rehabilitation at the Baylor College of Medicine, in Houston, Texas.

Dr. Francisco’s research encompasses motor recovery in different population and the application of robotic and neural interface technology and Neuromodulation to augment rehabilitation. He has been the principal and co-investigator for many studies in these areas, including an RO1 grant from the national Institutes of Health. He has published extensively in peer-reviewed journals and textbooks. An accomplished speaker, Dr. Francisco has given numerous lectures and presentations throughout the world. He was awarded the University of Texas Dean’s Teaching Award of Excellence three times, and in 2013 admitted to the prestigious UT Academy of Health Science Educators. He is an active member or officer of various rehabilitation organizations, including the Association of Academic Physiatrists (President-elect), American Academy of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, and the International Society of Physical and Rehabilitation Medicine. In addition, he is Chief of the ACGME Residency Review Committee for PM&R, and a director of the American Board of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation.

Amy D. Marroquin, MT-BC

Amy MarroquinAmy D. Marroquin graduated cum laude, from Sam Houston State University with a degree in music therapy in 1995. She is a Board Certified Music Therapist and a member of the American Music Therapy Association. She received her advanced fellowship training in Neurologic Music Therapy (NMT) at The Center for Biomedical Research in Music, maintained at Colorado State University. She was also trained as a Certified Brain Injury Specialist through the Brain Injury Association of America. Amy has worked as a music therapist at TIRR Memorial Hermann for the past 15 years, 14 of those years as a trained Neurologic Music Therapist. For the past 12 years she has also acted as the Internship Director for the American Music Therapy Association’s National Roster Music Therapy Internship Program at TIRR Memorial Hermann. At TIRR she not only carries a full caseload, but is currently involved in 2 clinical research projects, and is active in the Motor Recovery Lab, which is led by Dr. Gerard Francisco, CMO, TIRR Memorial Hermann. Amy has presented locally, nationally, and internationally regarding the use of NMT in the rehabilitation setting, including presentations at professional conferences for Speech Language Pathology at American Speech and Hearing Assoc. Nov. 2011 and Physical Therapy at Texas Physical Therapy Assoc. in Oct. 2006. In March 2013 she was invited, along with several colleagues, to lead a 4 day master works course for the music therapy students and faculty at University of Montpellier in Montpellier, France.

Maegan Morrow, MT-BC

Maegen Morrow 2015Maegan Morrow graduated from Sam Houston State University and received her advanced fellowship training in Neurologic Music Therapy at the Robert F. Unkefer Academy of Neurologic Music Therapy. She is a Board Certified Music Therapist and member of the American Music Therapy Association, and currently works at TIRR/Memorial Hermann. She is also a Certified Brain Injury Specialist and has spent most of her career with the Brain Injury and Stroke population in Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation. She is also an internship supervisor on the National Roster of Internship sites under the American Music Therapy Association (AMTA). She has been practicing for 12 years as a clinician as well as being a performing artist and guitar teacher. She is well known for her work with some high profile patients at TIRR Memorial Hermann, and has been featured in the media including: Dr. Sanjay Gupta’s medical interviews on CNN, Newsweek, USA Today, and on the, ABC Nightline with Bob Woodruff and Diane Sawyer.

Suzanne Oliver, MT-BC, NMT Fellow

Suzanne Oliver is the Founder and Executive Director of Neurologic Music Therapy Services of Arizona/NMTSA, a nonprofit organization that has provided clinical music therapy services to the Phoenix community for over 32 years. She also founded a school for students with autism, approved through the Arizona Department of Education, in 2007. Suzanne is a Board Certified Music Therapist received her NMT training in 1999, and additionally has completed three fellowships through the Center for Biomedical Research in Music since that time. Suzanne assisted in developing the Unkefer Academy for Neurologic Music Therapists at CSU and co-authored the Medical Coding and Records Manual: Neurologic Music Therapy. Her passion is to educate the community on current research regarding the impact of rhythm on the brain and how this knowledge can positively impact the treatment of individuals with neurologic differences and improve their everyday life.

Speaker Disclosures / Conflicts of Interest

Policy & Procedures exist whereby all speakers must disclose any relationships which may cause a conflict of interest. Any relevant financial and non-financial relationships will be disclosed via speaker agreement, written notification after agreement, and prior to presentation.

Michael Thaut

  • Financial: Financial compensation for this presentation
  • Non-financial: None to disclose

Corene Thaut

  • Financial: Financial compensation for this presentation
  • Non-financial: None to disclose

Gerard E. Francisco

  • Financial: TIRR Memorial Hermann CMO
  • Non-financial: None to disclose

Suzanne Oliver

  • Financial: Travel expenses
  • Non-financial: None to disclose

Amy Marroquin

  • Financial: TIRR Memorial Hermann Employee
  • Non-financial: None to disclose

Maegan Morrow

  • Financial: TIRR Memorial Hermann Employee
  • Non-financial: None to disclose

Cost / Registration

Registration for this course is now closed