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From: Diane Knight, MS, MT-BC
Associate Professor and Director of Music Therapy

Sent: October 5, 2007

RE: UW-Eau Claire Music Therapy Program

To whom it may concern:

I am writing this letter to express my shock and deep concern over the fact that there is any discussion at all concerning the viability of the Music Therapy program at UW Eau Claire. As a graduate of the music therapy program at Eau Claire, and one who has had a 32-year relationship with the faculty and students of that program on a professional and personal level, and I can speak to the quality of that program. Although I am head of a department that offers the only other music therapy major in the state, I have always referred potential students to EC with confidence if ALVERNO College did not seem to be the right fit for them. I know that EC has done the same for us and this friendly competition has served to strengthen the music therapy base in this state. While there are many points I can address as to why you would not want to loose this fine program, I am going to focus on those areas that most directly reflect my personal experiences as a music therapy professor in Wisconsin.

First, please know that ALVERNO College has had a music therapy major since 1950 and while we serve a good number of students seeking training in one of the few music careers where they are guaranteed to get a job after they get their degree (I have had 100% placement of all my majors for the past 10 years!), the college does not offer degrees to males. We NEED Eau Claire for that among many other things! I routinely turn away several applicants a year due to gender. Also, during our entire history of offering a baccalaureate program in music therapy, the college has always had only one full-time faculty member in music therapy. Adjunct faculty have been hired on a part-time basis as needed, depending on enrollment and courses that were being offered. I share this information mostly to emphasize the fact that it is indeed possible for one person to manage an excellent department and carry other major college responsibilities as well. As has most likely been pointed out by other individuals, there is precedent for this model in numerous colleges and universities throughout the country. While we would love to have more programs with 2 full time faculty, it is very common for that situation to not exist.

The important issue is that EC should not want to loose out on the equity it has accrued over the years not only through the accomplishments of the faculty, but also the accomplishments of the students. Music therapy students consistently are among the top performers academically at any institution and all find employment within 3 months of graduation. Do not be the ones to silence that message. Second, consider whom the college wide contributions that have been made by your current Music therapy professor. Lee Anna Rasar can do more in one day than most people do in one week. Again, it would be redundant of me to site her phenomenal record of honors and accomplishments since coming to EC, and those of you who work with Lee Anna know full well that she is more than qualified to handle whatever challenges come her way to keep the music therapy program vibrant. She is a talented, passionate teacher whose care and concern for students is outweighed only by her love and empathy for the clients she serves. What a marvelous role model students have in her. The college could not afford to purchase the kind of positive PR Lee Anna and her students provide within the community and nationally for Eau Claire.

And last, the role of public education is to serve the public. As Job Hotline Coordinator for the State of Wisconsin, I can say that there have consistently been more jobs for music therapists than there are people to fill the jobs. In this current market, why would we take away from our young people the ONE major in music where at the end of 4 1/2 years, they know they will be employed? How many majors at your college can make that kind of guarantee? This is a very powerful marketing tool that happens to be true. Market research shows health care to be among the fastest growth areas for jobs. Why not prepare our states young people for jobs that will keep them in our state?

I strongly urge the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire to carefully consider this decision. Many years have gone into building a department with an International reputation. Don’t let these efforts be lost. We would become the ONLY state in the great lakes region without a music therapy degree within a public university or college. There are clients that need the care that students trained at Eau Claire can provide, and there are students that need the education that Eau Claire can provide.

Thank you for considering these concerns.

To whom it may concern:

My name is Amanda Klinger, formerly Johnson, and I am a 2002 graduate of the music therapy program at UW-Eau Claire. I am disappointed to hear that you are considering ending the music therapy program.

First, I would like to say that I may not have become a music therapist had it not been for the program offered at Eau Claire. No other school in Wisconsin offered the program at that time, and it was the career I had already chosen after observing a music therapist in a school district my senior year in high school. I now service 27 children through the Department of Developmental Disabilities in the state of Arizona. It makes you wonder what may have happened to the families and the children that receive my music therapy services, had Eau Claire not offered the program.

Secondly, I have been in a supervisory position through two separate jobs I have held and have supervised music therapy interns that came from programs in different states. I have been shocked, more than once, with their lack of music skills, i.e. guitar or piano accompaniment skills, aural listening skills, applied theory skills, etc. I did not enter the UW-Eau Claire music therapy program with the music skills mentioned above, yet I left the Eau Claire program with music competencies that I have not seen in most recent graduates from other universities. In saying that, I am not singing my own praises. It is a testament to the musical training I received at Eau Claire.

I am also shocked and confused to hear that the strategic plan is being used as a rationale to cut the Music Therapy program. It seems to me that the Music Therapy program actually showcases the strategic plan by combining research, teaching, and community service in the delivery of courses.

Recently, I read a book entitled, "This Is Your Brain On Music: The Science of a Human Obsession" by Daniel J. Levitin, which was a New York Times BestSeller and a Scientific American Book Club Selection. (I highly recommend the book, even for non-musical people, it is a fantastic overview of the connection between music and the human brain, written for lay readers. Reading it may help those of you trying to end the music therapy program understand exactly why we fight to keep the same program.) Even though it is written for the lay reader, and areas of the brain and how they process music are discussed in detail, I was amazed at how much I knew and remembered about music and its' affect on neural pathways in the brain. I remembered specific areas of the brain, what they are responsible for, how music is processed by each section, etc. Once again, I did not enter UW-Eau Claire with any of that information, nor have I taken a single course on it since Dr. Taylor's course during my instruction at Eau Claire. A simple quote from the book states: "Music listening, performance and composition engage nearly every area of the brain that we have so far identified, and involve nearly every neural subsystem." Why would you want to discontinue a program that encompasses that very quote?

In my daily practice, I see the wonderful affects of music on children. Just today I had a client with Down Syndrome who has had difficulty describing actions using a verb+ing in a phrase, i.e. "He is eating." I have a set of desk bells (small bells that are associated with a C Major scale). I sing a brief song to her, to ask what the person in the picture is doing. In response, she assigned each word of the phrase, and even some syllables, to the bells set in front of her, only after one week of modeling that application of the bells for her. After two weeks of work with phrases using the bells, she met 26 of 34 trials that I tested, or 76%. That is just a simple example of one music therapy application, in one session, with one child, in one day. Imagine how many other applications of music therapy could occur, how many other skills could be taught, in how many other sessions, with how many other clients, by how many other music therapists who graduate from your program .

I hope that you consider the thoughts expressed in this letter and continue to support your alumni (as we support you) by continuing the programs that they came from and learned so much from. Music Therapy was an important part of my life then, has continued to be in the present, and will be in the future, thanks to the Music Therapy program and the professors at the University of Wisconsin Eau Claire.

Amanda (Johnson) Klinger, MT-BC
Music Therapist-Board Certified
Phoenix, Arizona

To whom it may concern:

In all honesty, it bothers me to write in recommendation for a department and professor that needs no further recommendation. Countless recommendation letters have been sent in the past. The strong recommendations are a result of this one fact (a word that I do not use loosely), and that is that the UWEC Music Therapy department and Lee Anna Rasar are developing some of the strongest students to graduate from the University of Wisconsin - Eau Claire. Those that become Board Certified Music Therapists are among the best in the nation. Those that choose a different route tend to excel in that particular pursuit. However, both will agree that their lives and work have been directly and positively impacted by Professor Rasar and the Music Therapy program.

I entered the Music Therapy program in 1996 as a piano teacher wanting to broaden my skills. The next three years were turning points in my life. Was I receiving excellent training and experience in helping others? Or was I the client? I think both are true. I used Music Therapy to help a child diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder to emit his first ever verbalization (not vocalization). However, I also learned how to research and present findings in front of others thanks to Lee Anna's dedication to faculty-student collaboration. I used Music Therapy to promote decreases in maladaptive behavior for a child with a seizure disorder. However, I also learned the basics of longitudinal data analysis through that experience.

The list goes on.

To this day, 11 years later, I have a picture of that child with autism given to me by the parents. It is right in front of me on my desk next only to the picture of my own son. To this day, I e-mail Lee Anna monthly to see how she is doing and to thank her for everything. I'm grateful to be UWEC's first McNair PhD recipient. However, here is the bottom line on that: there is no doubt in my mind that it would have or could have happened had it not been for Lee Anna Rasar and your Music Therapy department!

Jeff Miller

To Whom It May Concern:

It has come to my attention that the Music Therapy Dept. at UWEC is under review. In response to this I am writing in strong support of the Music Therapy department and my experiences with the program.

I graduated Cum Laude from UWEC with a Bachelors of Music Composition in the spring of 2003. When I first came to UWEC I did not know that Music Therapy existed. I came to know about Music Therapy through one of the many community programs UWEC Music Therapy leads.

In the winter of 2001 I was asked to accompany (on guitar) a Christmas caroling activity at a nursing home. This was a community service assignment for the Intro to Music Therapy course. If this class was not in place I, and the many other students enrolled in the class would never be exposed to Music Therapy and the benefits to which it bestows upon the Eau Claire community. Through this experience, I developed an interest in Music Therapy and consulted with Lee Anna Rasar. She led me to other volunteer programs that Music Therapy sponsored.

In 2002 Ms. Rasar and I developed and implemented a Guitar techniques course .This course was to further equip Music Therapy students with advanced and focused guitar skills so that they would become more effective in their Music Therapy sessions. The course ran for two semesters where in I learned how to lead and teach in a group setting, develop course curriculum, and how to express my knowledge of guitar into a medical setting.

During this same year I taught guitar lessons at the Schmidt Music in Eau Claire. I specifically remember a student that had severe Muscular Dystrophy that wanted to take guitar lessons. Normally I would have not taken on this student because I thought they would not be able to develop the necessary muscle skills to play the instrument and I didn't want to spend the time on someone who might be 'different' to work with, slow in learning, and not able to keep up with me. But, I took on this student for quite some time because I had been taught and seen the ability of music and music therapy to successfully improve the quality of life of individuals with physical and/or mental disabilities. I have since been able to impact other communities in this same fashion. I now feel equipped to accommodate most guitar students who have disabilities. This has directly affected the community at large by providing access to services for many individuals who often have limited access in this society.

Since my graduation, I have led and managed many other community activities that have incorporated the same skills I learned from close association with Ms. Rasar and the UWEC Music Therapy program. These include leading music for Sunday worship services at nursing homes, volunteering in sing along in assisted living facilities, and incorporating Music Therapy techniques in the Minnesota Department of Corrections (Shakopee women's facility) where I volunteer on a weekly basis.

Many degree programs are applicable only to those students enrolled in them. The Music Therapy program is unique in that it continually educates students and the community on the importance of music to effect and enhance the lives of those people who have disabilities.

Until my relationship with the UWEC music therapy program began, I thought my musical talent as a guitarist was really just about performing good concerts. I never realized what an impact it could have on so many different types of people. I have gained confidence that I do have something to offer those who have disabilities. I know that many other students who are not music therapy majors have had their eyes opened as I have to the importance of music and music therapy in today's society through relationship with Lee Anna Rasar, the UWEC Music Therapy program and Music Therapy students.

The Music Therapy Program should not be cut. People's lives, including my own, are changed due to the education and community involvement it provides.

Please don't hesitate to contact me with further questions.


Vincent K. Rose

Rose Music Services
5445 Smetana Dr. Apt 2314
Minnetonka, MN 55343

October 8, 2007

To Whom it May Concern,

I am writing in strong support of the UWEC Music Therapy Program. I graduated from UWEC with a Bachelors in Music Therapy in 2003. I am one of five music therapy majors to receive a UWEC Leadership Award.

I have worked as a professional music therapist in the Maryland Public Schools (with clients who had the following diagnoses: Autism, Rett's Syndrome, Downs Syndrome, Asperger's Syndrome, various Developmental Disabilitiess) , South Mountain Restoration Center ( with geriatric clients who had the following diagnoses: Parkinson's Disease, Dementia, Alzheimer's Disease, Bi-Polar Disorder, Manic-Depressive Disorder and various other mental illnesses) Way Station and Turning Point ( with young adults who have various mental illnesses in a group setting). I completely credit my classroom education and internship through UWEC with providing me the skills, wisdom and opportunity for hands on practice so that I have been able to function as a skilled therapist in such a large variety of settings.

I have seen music therapy change people's lives. I have seen a young lady (16) go from speaking an average of 2 words during a half hour period of time to speaking upwards of 20 words/half hour. This result was elicited through specific music therapy techniques using singing and rhythm. Her verbal communication began to carry over to her everyday life. Her mother cried when explaining that because of music therapy this young lady was able to sing a hymn in front of her church congregation and how much it meant to her to receive all the praise from so many people there that never knew she could even speak. I have seen people with Parkinson's Disease walk with a smooth gait to music when their typical gait is uneven and often times causes them to trip and fall. I have seen an elementary aged young lady with Rett's Syndrome improve her range of motion and strength in her arms through playing a tambourine and hand drum to music. This same young lady also went from being non-verbal to making correct consonant sounds at the correct time within the context of a song. Her parents reported that this carried over to her home life and she even began to make consonant sounds and occasionally full words to express a need/desire. I have seen adults with mental illness write and perform songs for their peers providing an avenue of healthy self expression as well as improving self esteem through positive feedback from peers and staff at the day center they attended. I have seen inmates develop their ability to identify and express emotions in a healthy manner through lyric analysis and songwriting. Inmates have also improved their ability to manage anger and stress through relaxation to music techniques.

I have personally seen all of the above scenarios and many more similar results occur in music therapy sessions that I have led. As a professional music therapist, I have consistently utilized the skills gained from the classroom education and hands-on practice I gained through my education at Eau Claire and the University-Affiliated Internship. Thanks to my education, I have had the privilege to see music therapy changes people's lives. The Music Therapy Program showcases the mission and strategic plan of the university by combining research, teaching, and community service in the delivery of courses. In addition to clinical courses which are taught in community settings such as hospitals, nursing homes, forensic settings, public schools, and private homes, as a student I went into nursing homes, hospitals, and forensic settings one day weekly for academic courses and was graded on my music and clinical skills. This involvement is beneficial for everyone as the facilities/agencies benefit from free programming, the students gain real life experience and broaden their education, and the patients/residents/inmates receive the services they need to respond in meaningful ways. The community involvement of the music therapy faculty and students includes seeing over 1000 clients each week, making a deep impact on the Chippewa Valley and its connection to the university.

As you can tell from the real life examples I gave of my experience, it is very frequent that patients make responses in the musical context that are not noted in other venues. Having had clinical placements at Sacred Heart Hospital and the Eau Claire Juvenile Detentions Center, I gained an understanding of the criminal justice system and health care systems in America as well as awareness of economic and political factors and their effect on access to services for people with special needs.

The Music Therapy Program at UW - Eau Claire has 15 clinical placements prior to the internship. The students have participated with Lee Anna Rasar in a series of over 50 grants to conduct national research to assess the content of the music therapy curriculum on a national level and to integrate the American Music Therapy Association Professional Competencies into the curriculum at UW - Eau Claire.

I worked with Rasar on a Scholar project through the UW - System to conduct a major curricular revision and create a 10-year plan of course development based on the research findings. Each new course was created through a series of grants to establish the content through research, to pilot test the course, and then to assess the pilot run of the course. A developmental sequence for the courses was created with feedback from employers, clinical supervisors of students, and performance of students on the national competencies. Rasar was awarded the 2002 Professional Practice Award from the American Music Therapy Association for combining teaching, research, and community service through a series of grants in which she worked with her students and developed a curriculum that serves as a national model for excellence.

The Music Therapy Program encompasses the Universities strategic plan for teaching, research and community service beautifully. For there to be any question of this is shocking.

As a student, I was require to develop a Personal Professional Growth Plan that is based on the AMTA Professional Competencies as well as personal areas of interest and strength and areas of weakness that need to be strengthened. Beginning in the fifth semester I met 1:1 with the music therapy professor each week for clinical supervision of my work as a student music therapist as well as to present my professional growth work for each week of the semester. The Personal Professional Growth Plans include a separate plan for each semester and for each break period prior to the internship to insure that each student has met the competencies needed to be ready for the internship. Students develop their own criteria to measure their progress on the competencies. Intentionality is a hallmark of these growth plans. The supervisors of our students have highly praised them for their readiness clinically. UW - Eau Claire has a 100 % pass rate on the Certification Exam for Music Therapists.

Each student was/is also required to do research on a particular population and document their findings on a website which has become a valuable tool for professional music therapists as well as other students. I remember learning the skills of researching through study of various journal articles and professional publications. My topic was Music Therapy and Head Trauma, something I knew nothing about before this assignment. The Music Therapy website also includes a section on Multicultural programming. Rasar was awarded the Distinguished Service Award from the American Ethnic Coordinating Office in 2002. The original Music Therapy website at UW- Eau Claire won the Study Web Award as "one of the best educational resources on the World Wide Web". Since the Music Therapy Program has recently moved from the Dept. of Public Health Professions in the College of Nursing and Health Sciences into the Dept. of Music and Theatre Arts in the College of Arts and Sciences, the multiple music therapy websites are being redesigned and will soon be placed under a common web address. The Music Therapy program was commended for its use of clinical as well as web-based technology in the American Music Therapy Association review report for program re-approval. In clinical work the Music Therapy program at UW - Eau Claire uses the Soundbeam and has a video editing lab and a recording studio which are used in research as well as with patients.

Please visit the below link:

I participated in the University-affiliated internship. This style of internship allowed me to intern in several different settings and prepared me for the "real world" of a contracted music therapist. I gained experience working in the St. Paul Public Schools, Struther's Parkinson Center, Woodland Cottage (for clients with various forms of Dementia) as well as several short term projects such as educating/teaching UWEC nursing students how to use music in their daily interactions and therapies with patients.

Music Thearpy has been priceless to those clients whose lives have been changed as a result of my competence as a therapist due to my experience and education through the University of Wisconsin, Eau Claire. It absolutely shocks me that a program that helps so many people on a consistent basis and only requires salary for one professor may possibly be cut. Please make the correct decision. Do not take this invaluable education away from potential students and do not take this service away from the many, many clients who are improving in ways they and their families never thought was possible until they were introduced to music therapy.

Do not hesitate to contact me for further information.

With Concern,

Rebecca Rose (formerly Risberg)
2003 Graduate
Ph: 612-432-4479

October 8, 2007

To Whom It May Concern:

I am writing to express extreme concern at the current proposal to cut the music therapy program at UW-Eau Claire. I am writing from the perspective of an alumni of UW-Eau Claire (1996) and as the current President of the Wisconsin Chapter for Music Therapy.

Music therapy degree programs in Wisconsin offer a 100% employment rate in the field of music therapy. How many other professional programs can say that? As President of the Wisconsin Chapter for Music Therapy, I am responsible for fielding e-mails from the general public and for finding qualified music therapists to fill referrals. I can tell you there are currently not enough music therapists in Wisconsin to cover all of the requests for music therapy services. This is a very significant need which is just starting to be met or at least move in the right direction. Please don't put a halt to our momentum.

As an alumni of UW-Eau Claire and one of the students that was involved in the first faculty-student collaborative grant to modify the music therapy curriculum, I can speak to the endless hours of work that have been put into making this program what it is today. I have been extremely impressed by the students that have come out of the UW-Eau Claire program in recent years. I frequently attend continuing education courses across the nation, but Lee Anna has created functional curriculum and community involvement at UW-Eau Claire that cannot be found elsewhere. The residents of the Chippewa Valley will experience a severe loss should you choose to accept the recommendation to cut the program.

You cannot put a price on the public relations service Lee Anna and her students are doing for the University in the community on a daily basis. To use the strategic plan as the rationale for cutting the program is a farce. In terms of the University's Strategic Plan and delineated initiatives, the music therapy program is a leading example for other degree programs.

Lee Anna Rasar is more than capable of running the music therapy program at UW-Eau Claire without the addition of another full-time faculty. I read in the Spectator that Lee Anna is a tenured professor and she will be kept on staff even if the program is cut. Does that make any financial sense? The real issue here is getting the NASM report revised so that a second faculty member is not required for the music department to get accreditation. There are multiple Universities operating with only one faculty and Lee Anna has proven without a doubt that she goes above and beyond the call of duty for her students and for the University.


Kathy (Nelson) Schumacher, MT-BC, WMTR

President, Wisconsin Chapter for Music Therapy

October, 8, 2007

To Whom It May Concern,

I am writing this letter in support of the Music Therapy Program at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire. My name is Lisbeth Woodward, MT-BC, NMT. I graduated from UW-EC in 1991 and have been a music therapist at the Veterans Affairs Medical Center, Salem, Virginia, for sixteen years. I was a supervising MT for one year and have been the Music Therapy Internship Director for the past fifteen years. During my experience at this facility, I have been privileged to work with US Veterans from all different branches of the military, with varying disabilities and illnesses. I currently provide treatment for an average of 7,000 veterans and their families, per year, and witness the healing power of music therapy on a daily basis.

My job includes providing music therapy for clients suffering with, Alzheimer's Disease, Parkinson's Disease, Cerebrovascular Accident, traumatic brain injury, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, anxiety, depression, bi-polar disorder, schizophrenia, substance abuse, behavioral disorders, and a variety of acute medical illnesses. The treatment protocol for each client differs significantly, based on individual cognitive, physical, emotional, social, and behavioral levels of functioning. I was very fortunate to have received my education from the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire. The music therapy curriculum provided in-depth, comprehensive training that prepared me to be diverse in my skills and knowledge, and enabled me to work with such varying populations.

Many of the referrals I receive are for patients of whom traditional medicine and/or therapies have not produced treatment outcomes of which were expected or hoped. I have worked with dozens of stroke victims who thought they would never speak again. I can not express in words, the excitement and joy I feel when these individuals realize that all is not lost; that they can sing. Not only can they sing, but many can learn to speak through intonation and oral motor exercises, facilitated through music, components of music, and various instruments. Quite often, discharged clients return to visit and reminisce about their experience and express their appreciation for their remediated speech.

It is not an unfamiliar experience to witness a coma patient wake up to a favorite song and actually sing or hum a few verses. It has, however, been quite a surprise to our medical staff! I recall one individual in particular, that had suffered a traumatic brain injury. He was a middle-aged married man with a wife and family. He was in a coma like state and his prognosis was quite poor. My intern at the time was a very accomplished violinist. We attempted to stimulate him using preferred music and a variety of different instruments. Initially, he would respond with only brief periods of eye-contact. To our surprise, when the violin was introduced, he looked directly at us, picked his head up, smiled, and tried to say a few words. Little had we known that his father played the violin when he was a young boy. From that moment on, his rehabilitation had begun. This client slowly progressed to a much more functional state and was eventually discharged.

I have had other more unusual experiences, such as, working with an agitated veteran during his whirl-pool treatment. This individual was suffering from Alzheimer's Disease and could not comprehend what he was experiencing. Once the music was introduced, his agitation lifted and he immediately calmed down. The music provided comfort, reassurance, and familiarity. Now, not only were the physical therapists able to provide his treatment, but they also sang along and joined in creating a more comforting and secure experience for this veteran.

Yet another unusual experience was of working with a veteran who suffered with both late-stage Alzheimer's Disease and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. This individual was very resistive to daily care activities. Taking a bath confused him and he became resistive and combative with the nursing staff. The staff and physicians had tried everything they could think of, in order to make his experience less threatening. The current music therapy intern was a very accomplished cellist. Our client was drawn to the sound of the cello; therefore, we proposed to decrease his combative behavior by using guitar and cello. We started by working with the patient fifteen minutes prior to his bath, and when he was settled, with his privacy intact; we entered the tub room and proceeded to play. To the surprise of everyone involved, this technique provided excellent results.

I could share literally hundreds of stories similar to these. However, as the medical community continues to observe these experiences and becomes more familiar with MT techniques and outcomes, not only will these practices be an exception but they will be an expectation. Our music therapy profession is and will continue to go through growing pains. But, I am confident that with continued research, determined and educated therapists, and the support of our training institutes, such as my alma mater, the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire, our profession will flourish and bring many of those who suffer to a place of wellness. Who knows, it could easily be one of our parents, brothers, sisters, children, or perhaps even ourselves, that are benefited by music therapy. I know how I would like to be cared for if I have a choice.

In closing, please, continue to support the UW-EC Music Therapy Program. The benefits of music therapy are innumerous and offer hope where often there is little to none. Your continued support will ensure the training of skillful, knowledgeable, and well qualified music therapists, who in turn will strive for continued excellence in the field of Music Therapy.

Most Sincerely Yours,

Lisbeth A. Woodward, MT-BC, NMT Music Therapy Internship Director
Veterans Affairs Medical Center
Salem, Virginia

UW-EC Class of 1991

October 4, 2007

As a 1982 graduate of the music therapy program at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire, I would like to address the current discussion of possible elimination of the music therapy degree program at UW-EC.

I am a board certified music therapist and member of the American Music Therapy Association. I am employed with the Department of Veterans Affairs and work out of the VA Medical Center in St. Cloud, Minnesota. During the years 1985-1995, I served as a full-time music therapy clinician at the St. Cloud VAMC. In 1995, I was appointed Director of the National Veterans Creative Arts Program with the Department of Veterans Affairs and since then have reported directly to the Deputy Secretary of the Department of Veterans Affairs at VA headquarters in Washington, D.C.

The Veterans Health Administration (VHA) has and continues to recognize music therapy as a vital component of the treatment plan for veterans served in mental health, extended care, chemical dependency, and acute medical care settings. Music therapy, more now than ever before, is recognized as one of the very few treatment modalities that have proven to be successful in benefiting the widest range of medical diagnoses. This is evident in the VA medical system as music therapy is used as an effective treatment for returning military personnel from Afghanistan and Iraq who suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder and an array of physical challenges.

My academic experience at UW-EC in the music therapy undergraduate degree program prepared me completely for the professional work I have and continue to perform. In my travels and interactions with colleagues, I have spoken often of the high quality of education and training received at UW-EC. As I meet with prospective music therapy students from area high schools, I routinely encourage them to consider UW-EC in their selection of an academic institution. UW-EC provides students from Minnesota with a positive option beyond attending the University of Minnesota or Augsburg College in the twin cities area where daily challenges are far greater due to the metropolitan location.

While a student at UW-EC, I found that the experience attained through community practicums was invaluable in establishing an early understanding and application of the theories of music therapy. My six-month music therapy internship at the Gaenslen School in Milwaukee prior to graduation was efficiently supervised in all aspects and provided the basis for my professional work as a music therapist.

I have attended sessions presented by Lee Anna Rasar, MME, WMTR, MT-BC at regional and national music therapy conferences and have been extremely impressed with her scope of knowledge and commitment to the profession. Though my attendance at the University occurred prior to her being hired as a professor in the music therapy program, I have directly witnessed her ability to communicate ideas, experiences and conclusions directly and professionally in regard to a variety of music therapy-related subjects. Her commitment to excellence in the field of music therapy is clear and unique.

In conclusion, I will state that I feel it would be a grievous mistake to cut the music therapy undergraduate degree program at UW-EC. I am surprised to hear that such an idea has even been proposed for reasons relating to UW-EC's strategic plan. The music therapy program enhances and supports the strategic plan and mission of the University. My hope and belief are that reconsideration will be given and that through thoughtful, intellectual and creative means, the music therapy program at UW-EC will continue and prosper under the direction of Professor Rasar. Thank you for your time and please feel free to contact me if I can provide additional information regarding this subject.

Elizabeth Mackey, MT-BC (117)

Director, National Veterans Creative Arts Program
VA Medical Center
4801 Veterans Drive
St. Cloud, MN 56303
Phone: 320-255-6351
Fax: 320-255-6327

To Whom it May Concern:

I graduated from The University of Eau Claire's Music Therapy Program on December, 16th, 2006. I received my National Board Certification on December 22nd, 2006 and accepted a full-time job as a Music Therapist in Milwaukee, WI on December 28th, 2006. I am so proud to be an alumni of the University of Eau Claire and have encouraged multiple students to attend the university because of my experience. I attribute my accomplishments to UWEC because of the quality of education I received and the professors that mentored me. It is my dream to return to the Eau Claire area and provide Music Therapy for the community that helped shape the professional I am today. Part of my dream is to give back and nurture students in the UWEC Music Therapy program who will be needing practicum and internship opportunities. I have been an active member of the executive board of the Wisconsin Chapter of Music Therapy (WCMT) throughout my college career and plan to continue my involvement in order to be a part of a strong network of professionals in this state - many of which are products of UWEC. I returned yesterday from Colorado State University's Neurologic Music Therapy Training Institute. I was one of three young professionals that hold degrees from UWEC and was able to realize how the field of music therapy has progressed to provide strong research and a neuroscience based medicine. The UWEC program provides this cutting edge education that, through the leadership of Lee Anna Rasar, is preparing future Music Therapists and creating leaders in the field at such an exciting time. The program is internationally known and greatly respected (by multiple professions), giving honor to UWEC and supporting the "Standard of Excellence" all of us who are part of the UWEC family know to be true. There is no question of the integrity, depth, strength, and above-standard requirements the Music Therapy program carries. Lee Anna Rasar chooses to uphold this reputation in the Eau Claire Community and protect the only state university music therapy program. She and the students that continue to apply and desire to be apart of this reputable program strive on despite the reoccurring battle from University administration that appears to be close-minded with priorities of irrational budget decisions and questionable claims of such a program not meeting strategic planning guidelines. My dream is to continue to be proud of my university, support the program and university that has shaped the success in my life, and be part of a community that chooses to uphold and give top value to the Music Therapy program that is the epitimy of Excellence.

Thank you for reading my testimony.

Jennifer Martin, MT-BC, NMT

October 8, 2007

University of Wisconsin - Eau Claire Administrators
Support Letter for the Music Therapy Program

To Whom It May Concern:

I have the privilege and honor to be a graduate from the University of Wisconsin - Eau Claire Music Therapy Program and wish to express my complete shock and dismay that this incredible program may be cut from the University.

I created a music therapy program at MacPhail Center for Music in Minneapolis, Minnesota along with my colleague Todd Schwartzberg that served almost 600 individuals of all ages and needs throughout the Twin Cities region this last year. In comparison we do not even come close to the amount of healing, training, learning and support that the faculty and students of the Music Therapy Program provide to the Chippewa Valley community as each week they serve nearly 1000 individuals.

As a student of the University I had the unique opportunity to learn my trade while working in the community in a forensic setting, public school, nursing home, half-way house and a hospital. I participated with fellow students in national presentations, grant writing, submitting third party billing statements and research studies. I was among some of the first students to receive instruction on Biomedical Model of Music Therapy from Dr. Dale Taylor and have since continued my education with Neurologic Music Therapy and multimodal music therapy and stimulation in Neonatal Intensive Care Units. I strongly believe that had I not received such an excellent education under the direction of Lee Ann Rasar that I would not be as successful in my position as a music therapist and administrator.

Through my role as a music therapist I have witnessed my clients achieve goals that were unreachable with other therapeutic interventions. A client with a traumatic brain injury had an unstable gait and would fall an average of three times per day in her home and while she was at work. After two months of music therapy and using Rhythmic Auditory Stimulation her staff had reported that she only fell four times during the two month span. A young child with down syndrome said the word "Mom" for the first time during a music therapy session. Time and again research shows how music therapy results can be replicated and has sustainability throughout an individual's life. The University should put more funding toward a field that has such amazing outcomes, is extremely cost effective and reaches so many in the community.

The University of Wisconsin - Eau Claire is the only public school in Wisconsin that offers a music therapy degree program. Closing this program would only result in thousands of clients losing services, thousands of dollars lost in tuition for the University and many gifted students losing the opportunity to train in one of the top five degree programs for this field. The effect would be felt in our region as well as we see many interns work with our clients or choose the Twin Cities in which to practice.

Please continue to support this amazing program for the scope of individuals that benefit cannot begin to be counted as Lee Anna Rasar and her students truly transform lives and your community.


Melissa J. Wenszell, MT-BC, NMT Fellow
Music Therapy Coordinator
MacPhail Center for Music
UWEC Alumni

To whom it may concern,

I am writing you today to strongly urge you to reconsider any recommendations that you've received to cut the MT program at UWEC. I had the benefit of graduating from UWEC in 2003 with a degree in MT and have seen many lives, including my own, enriched, restored, and healed by music therapy. I am appalled to hear that it has been said and so argued that the music therapy program does not satisfy the criteria for the strategic plan of the college. If you cut the program on the basis of it not meeting the criteria for the strategic plan of the university, you are robbing many people in the Chippewa Valley and around the world access to all the wonderful benefits music therapy can provide. This would be a great disservice to your community and an irresponsible decision considering the facts. The MT program does an excellent job combining research, teaching, and community service in the delivery of its courses.

While I attended UWEC I started volunteering under the direction of Miss Lee Anna Rasar at Sacred Heart Hospital on the oncology, pediatric, and rehabilitation floors as well as with the women at the Eau Claire County jail my first year of the program. I continued volunteering in these two venues until I graduated with the exception of a semester abroad in Lismore, AU. These volunteer opportunities that I had under the direction and supervision of Miss Rasar opened up many more doors including playing harp for dialysis patients at Sacred Heart Hospital, becoming employed while working with persons with addictions at the Fahrman treatment center, working on a grant for the woman at the jail to pool resources for their re-entry into society, meeting with the MT professor at the University in Melbourne, AU, and participating in a class combining functional percussion techniques within the clinical setting. I also learned many valuable skills volunteering that I was able to carry into my clinical experiences during my classwork and beyond into the workplace. Not only did I benefit from the program and all the extra teaching and mentoring that I received from Miss Rasar, I saw many other lives touched and changed by music therapy.

During my first semester as a MT student in the MT 101 class, I completed a project involving collecting resources on the use of MT with coma patients and it was posted to the website. Not long after it was posted, Miss Rasar was contacted by someone overseas looking for more information about her use of MT with coma patients. To this day, I am able to pass on this valuable information to others who have family or loved ones in a coma.

While volunteering at the jail with the women inmates in anger management, during my clinical placement at the Affinity house (half-way house for women), and during my job at the Fahrman center I was able to see first hand how effective music analysis, improvisation, and songwriting were in identifing and releasing emotions including anger, building self-esteem, and encouraging them to analyze their current mindsets, coping strategies, outside influences, and self-concepts. At the same time, introducing a new way of coping and expressing themselves through music.

My internship and my first three places of employment were in the care center or nursing home setting. During this time and also when I volunteered on the rehabilitation floor at Sacred Heart Hospital in Eau Claire, I witnessed the tremendous effect music had on engaging people with Alzheimer's disease, stroke, and TBIs in relearning speech and other ADLs and tapping into long term memory.

Even though I am not currently employed, I am using my skills and resources provided by Miss Rasar to implement MT with my children and also creating a proposal for infant stimulation within a church nursery setting.

All of the training, teaching, and mentoring that I recieved while studying in the MT program combinded with all the experience I gained throughout the years volunteering made it easy to obtain employment after graduation.

It seems to me that the MT program is really quite cost effective with only one professor and the capacity to treat over 1000 people in a week. The scope of influence of MT on those in the community is expansive and diversified considering all the varied populations it serves. It should not be stopped.

Thank you for your consideration. You may contact me with any questions or concerns you have about the information I have provided.

Molly Mendenhall (Bjorngjeld)

To Whom It May Concern:

I have just been informed that you are once again recommending that the Music Therapy program be cut at UW-Eau Claire. I find this to be very disturbing since I, myself, am an alumnus of the Music Therapy program and know how wonderful this program is.

I am employed through the Mayo Health System at Luther Midelfort Chippewa Valley in Bloomer, WI , and work with Transitional Care Patients, hospital in-patients, as well as the local nursing home. I know for a fact the impact that Music Therapy has on every one of these populations. I have seen the difference between a rehab patient who has gone through emotional, physical and spiritual life changes due to stroke, Parkinson's, surgeries and accidents which works with music and without. I have seen the difference in Alzheimer's, dementia, and the elderly that have lost all their independence with the use of music and without.

Currently, we have a patient that is considered "non-responsive" due to an episode in which she coded during surgery. After our music therapy sessions with her, the patient was able to nod in response to a question regarding the music and answer "yes" or "no" to questions asked. If there ever is a miracle in the health care business, music therapy has to be right up there.

I am a Board Certified Music Therapist and a Neurologic Music Therapist and during my schooling for the NMT certification was impressed and proud at the Professors and other Music Therapists who knew of and respected Lee Ann Rasar and her program. I feel that the music therapy program here at Luther Midelfort Chippewa Valley can offer a lot of experience for students, and have. Lee Anna Rasar works closely with me sending students to our facility for a semester or for their 6 month internship. The growth in these students and the patients/residents is wonderful to see.

I would find it a horrible injustice to close this program, since I believe it is one of the best in the country and this is a growing employment field. I implore you to please think long and hard before dropping this program. There are many people, not to mention the soldiers that are coming home, with whom will be greatly impacted by Music Therapy and need the wonderful students that leave this program.

Please do not make any hasty, wrong decisions. Thank you for your time.


Roxanne Raykovich, BC-MT, NMT, ADC
Director-Activity Therapy/Music Therapy
LMCV Mayo Health System
1501 Thompson St.
Bloomer, WI 54724

Oct 5, 2007

To Whom It Concerns:

Ref: Support of Music Therapy

First let me introduce myself. My name is Terry Anger. I am a Graduate of the University of Wisconsin, Baccalaureate in Sociology and Anthropology. Also, 23 years as an adult student on Campus in non-traditional education. I have grown to love the University of Wisconsin, Eau Claire and the meaning of their title for "Excellence."

I would like to share some personal perspectives and express my sadness and disappointment in hearing of any attempt to remove what I consider a valuable asset to the community and State. I will break this down into three specific areas: Coma, Addiction, and PTSD.

As part of my own personal therapy, (which I will explain later), I had the pleasure of taking Music Therapy. When it came to the part in the class where we were discussing Music with Coma patients, I was very much a skeptic. Up to this point I thought I had good reason to doubt the use of music with those that were in a state of mind and condition that could not respond to such therapy. This was my thinking at the time.

In November of 1997, my mother suffered a heart attack and was placed in Sacred Heart Hospital. She was placed on a life support system as she had extreme difficulty breathing due to emphysema, My mother was a small, frail woman, that smoked much of her life. While recovering, Leanna Rasar had visited her and shared music which pleased my mother very much and made her stay in the hospital room more comforting. To this point I didn't know my mother had her favorites in music and this allowed me to see another side of my mother that I would have never had the opportunity to witness.

In October of 1997, in Music Therapy we had discussed the use of Music Therapy with coma patients. Just prior to Thanksgiving, my mother slipped into a coma from an accidental removal of her oxygen mask while being bathed. The lack of oxygen caused a seizure, which induced the coma. The family was notified by the hospital physician and chaplain that my mother had a very bad prognosis of surviving this and if she did, it would be that she would never be the same. Meaning that she would need extensive therapy to regain possible memory and speech abilities. I was making daily trips to the hospital and monitoring my mothers' vitals and had talked to my father about the possibility of using Music Therapy with her while she was in this condition. Again, I put emphasis on the fact that I was a skeptic and non-believer about any alternative treatments, at this time. My father agreed with me that there was nothing to lose by this venture and we asked the Hospital to allow this process to happen with some resistance on the Hospital Staffs part, which we overcame. Within two weeks, I saw a miraculous change in my mother, while monitoring her vitals. Her oxygen levels improved as studies and tests stated they would from class lectures. Eventually, she did revive from her coma and again another miraculous thing occurred. My mother did not suffer the loss anticipated by the Hospital Staff that had basically given up on her. She recovered within another week and was released to go home. For two years she lived a joyous life with her husband until another heart attack proved fatal. My experience in witnessing this personally made a believer out of me about Music Therapy with coma patients and changed my views about alternative therapies and treatments for hospitalized patients.

I had mentioned that I entered this class for my own personal therapeutic purpose. I will now elaborate on this a bit more. I am also a recovering addict. I chose to use drugs and alcohol for most of my life to deal with personal problems in my life, to the point where I came physically and emotionally dependent on them. I have found that much of my affliction was caused by self imposed stress, anxiety, and fear. I was a loner and had no self-worth or self-esteem. Music Therapy opened up avenues of stress reduction, anxiety desensitization and expression that allowed me to recover and gain control over my life again.

My final point of consideration is a major concern to me, and those like me. I am a Viet Nam Disabled Vet that suffers from PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder). For years this mental condition allowed me to use alcohol and drugs as an alternative treatment to life. Music Therapy on the other hand, gave me hope. I can now relax, meditate, and find comfort in music and use it daily to aid me in expressing my feelings and thoughts. Whether I put them to lyrics or identify with others that have already wrote the words, it gives me a sense of belonging. Music Therapy has had a major impact on those that could not express the inner fears, desires, nightmares, and thoughts that were a constant drain on one's life forces. It has awakened a new hope and a new way to be able to feel like a productive, accepted and wanted member of the community again. I will never be able to give enough credit to this new-found awareness that the Music Therapy Department has opened up to me.

This is my concern, speaking as a Military Vet. With the increase of our young men being exposed to traumatic conditions in the current wars that they are fighting, more and more are being diagnosed with PTSD. Who is going to be there for them? If you take away their hope of a professional trained staff of therapist, are you really doing them a service? I think not. Are you doing Wisconsin and the Educational System of "Excellence" any justice by placing it in the hands of another State or political agenda?

The cost of recovery is expensive, both monetary and physically, to those that suffer. Are you willing to sacrifice a speedier recovery for them by denying a program that has already proven to work and is effective for the mere pittance of bureaucratic tape and finances? Can you be progressive enough to meet the demands of those that need this program and want this program or bow to the skeptics that have no knowledge or awareness of the benefits that Music Therapy has given to thousands?

As a past student of the Music Therapy Course, under the direction of Leanna Razar, I testify that I gave precious hours of service to the community in a way I never thought possible. I was instrumental in helping to develop a web site that was instrumental in giving out information on PTSD. This site has been a source to many that had no clue or resource to aid them in learning about PTSD. This was a part of the class criteria. I have had the pleasure to be a guest speaker to the class of Music Therapy on the topics of Coma, Addiction, and PTSD and my experiences in how they have effected my life and recovery. I have recently spoken again as of October 4, 2007. Each time I speak, I find that some part of me is still healing from my past and it allows me to grow and experience a more mature, more secure, and more productive member of the community. This program is still giving to me more than I can give in return.

It is my desire hope, dream and wish that you as a body don't dismember it out of haste and a desire for a easy out. We Veterans have fought hard to secure the freedom of speech, expression, and the pursuit of education. My personal feeling is that by allowing the general population to believe falsely that Music Therapy is of no value is the same as abandoning our rights to heal from the wounds that were cast upon us to aid your freedom to choice. I hope you choose to keep this program and allow those in the future a chance to benefit from it as I did.

I cannot give enough praise and thanks for what the Music Therapy Department, staff, and classes have given me in return for such little that I could offer them. It has in essence given me back my life.

Respectfully, Terry J. Anger

Former UWEC Student, Viet Nam Disabled Vet, Recovering Addict.

To Whom It May Concern:

I am writing to you today to state my strong confidence in the Music Therapy program at the University of Wisconsin - Eau Claire and my belief that it should not be eliminated! As a graduate of this program I believe through personal experience that Lee Anna Rasar has shaped and molded this program to be one of the outstanding programs in the country. She is passionate about music therapy, her students, and her clients.

As a current Internship Director and previous Internship Supervisor, I have worked with students from all over the country. Many of these students have been strong in some areas, but some have stated they did not feel confident in their skills (musical and/or therapist) entering their internship. As a student myself starting my internship in 2002, not only did I feel comfortable in the basics of my music skills but also in the core principals of being a therapist. Since my graduation, I know Lee Anna has revamped and only approved upon the music therapy curriculum at UW-EC since I was a student. Now in the music therapy field, I have seen recent grads from the UW-EC program entering the work force with strong skills and confidence in their training. Lee Anna has done a superb job creating high standards for these new professionals.

Lee Anna was a huge inspiration to me as a student at UW-EC, but also now as a professional. Her passion for the field and seeing her work with clients motivated me to become a music therapist. Lee Anna is always willing to take the time for a student or alumni to help with music therapy issues - her support and passion has been seen through out the national association in many ways. The loss of the music therapy program at UW-EC would be a huge deficit to the music therapy community, potential clients, and to the university itself. Lee Anna has proven herself as a competent, passionate, caring, and supportive leader in the music therapy field and her high standards has produced outstanding music therapists in the work force.

As an Internship Director and working for a company with strong emphasis on education, I rely on Lee Anna and other university's students to come to our facility for our internship program. Without these strong students from UW-EC, music therapists in the field will not receive the recognition for music therapy to continue to grow as a profession. Her students have continued to receive national recognition for their advancement in the field. I believe it is crucial the music therapy program at UW-EC continues to strive, not only for the advancement of the music therapy field, but also as a way to continue to produce strong professionals through the education received from the standard of excellence of the University of Wisconsin Eau Claire.

Thank you for your time and consideration!

Thea Vorass, MT-BC, WMTR
Director of Creative Resources and Internship Director
Trinity Village
7300 W. Dean Rd.
Milwaukee, WI 53223

To Whom It May Concern,

I am an alumni of UWEC. I have been a financial supporter of this university for many years. My daughter is in her junior year in the music therapy program. I am writing to encourage you to retain this program. In your strategic planning goals (2.1) you emphasize the need for a stronger regional presence. This program is unique in its offering and is an enrichment to the overall music department. Our family has a high regard for the importance of music for one's overall wellbeing. However, a program that seeks only to entertain and removes the department that is using music for direct healing and public service is misguided. This program gets students and their expertise into the community where they are among the citizens (another of your stregic planning goals). The impact on the elderly, the local jail population and the marginalized can not always be measured - but it is significant.

This program has been under review every year since 2005, when our daughter began. This is a program to be valued with the entire support of the university. The truth of the financial status, the impact of the students and their professor on the community and the way the heads of the department portray music therapy need to be evaluated. I would like to continue to support a university with integrity. I recommend that you fully support and continue the music therapy program.

Vann Rossmiller (alumni from 1965-69, business department)

To Whom it May Concern,

I am pleased to write in support of the music therapy program at UWEC. It is difficult to understand how a small program that makes a big impact on the Eau Claire community and the University could be considered for cutback.

I graduated from the music therapy program in 1997 and was immediately employed as a Music Therapist in an eldercare facility, and a juvenile treatment facility. The thorough programming at UWEC prepared me for these opportunities, and I am grateful for the wealth of experience I gained in the community and in the classroom.

As I'm sure you are aware, the music therapy program at UWEC is heavily involved in the Eau Claire community. It's a blessing for the community, and I believe it should be weighed heavily when considering continuing the program. I spent many hours myself providing volunteer music therapy services to hospitals, nursing homes, schools, and the Eau Claire County Jail. These provided great experiences for me and served the community in a very meaningful and direct way.

You also happen to have a most excellent steward of the program in LeeAnna Rasar. I can't imagine or recall a more dedicated and effective faculty member existing in any department at UWEC. The program is so entirely positive for the Eau Claire community and UWEC. Due to her constant effort over the years to bring real-world experience to her students and to bring support to community organizations in need of human health services, she and the program are irreplaceable. Thank you for your time.

John McCarty
12912 W. Graham St.
New Berlin, WI 53151

October 9, 2007

To Whom It May Concern,

As a University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire alumnus, taxpayer and parent I fully endorse the UWEC music therapy program. I want to share with you the relevance of this program.

A liberal arts education is a great value and I treasure my UWEC education in the expressive arts. As an alumnus, I can't think of a greater value or a more satisfying use of a liberal arts education than music therapists using the expressive art of music to bring about concrete improvements in the lives of people who are disadvantaged mentally, intellectually or physically.

I once thought that the chances of me or a member of my family being disadvantaged in such a way was impossible. When our daughter was diagnosed with a cognitive disability my husband and I found that circumstances and needs can change in an instant.

My husband and I feel that music therapy was the defining approach in helping our daughter improve motor and communication skills, develop a positive self image and deal with personal issues; all this while nurturing her love of music and developing her musical skills. Let me tell you about some of the help our daughter has received through the UWEC Music Therapy Program. She always had a passion for singing so she pursued being in the high school choir, using music therapy to help her keep up with the workload. Being a member of the choir wasn't only about singing. It was also about learning to read music; developing personal relationships; acting appropriately in a regular education setting and a concert setting; following directions; doing choreography; practicing time management skills; accepting praise for a job well done and constructive criticism when improvements were warranted. The list goes on.

Special education is designed to prepare the student for life after high school. Our daughter's special education teacher wanted to eliminate music from her education. "What will she do with music?" he asked. After high school she sang the National Anthem to open a game at the World Series of the Continental Amateur Baseball Association. "It would be nice if her teacher could see her now," said my husband after hearing her sing at that event. She went on to work at a job for eight years where she interacted with customers and co-workers and rode the public bus to and from work. Currently she lives in her own apartment; volunteers at a nursing home; attends church regularly; works out at the YMCA; competes in Special Olympics; sings in the Very Special Arts Choir; plays her keyboard for her own personal enjoyment as well as in concert settings; plays an electronc drum system, listens to CD's and buys her own CD's and music books.

Our daughter deserves a lot of credit for evolving into the woman she is today. The UWEC Music Therapy Program deserves a lot of credit for having helped her develop the skills she used and continues using to be the woman she is.

The UW System has a topnotch Music Therapy Program. Over the past eighteen years Lee Anna Rasar has demonstrated her ability to propel the UWEC Music Therapy Program forward. The program has attracted national and international acclaim, while at the same time being cost effective with only one person, Professor Lee Anna Rasar, running it. She and her students improve the lives of people in the community by providing services to 1000 people weekly, not to mention the thousands of people who have been and will be helped by music therapy graduates.

As an alumnus and a taxpayer I understand the need to make budget cuts. It makes no sense to me to cut a program in which each graduate has a job waiting; the lives of people by the hundreds and even thousands are so clearly improved; it is held in high esteem by practicing music therapists, professional music therapy organizations and potential employers; the students have passion for what they are learning and what they are doing; the strategic plan for the university is supported and demonstrated; and the prestige of UWEC rises as the word spreads about the consummate music therapy major it offers.

Let us all recognize the treasure we have in the Music Therapy Program. Please do not bury this treasure. Buried treasure helps no one! Bring it out in the open and share it.


Joyce Crowell
UWEC Alumnus

My name is Jessica (Lichty '99) Cabeen and as a former UWEC alumni, and music therapist I am writing in regards to the possible cut of the Music Therapy Program at UW-EC.

The Music Therapy Program at UWEC is a catalyst for programs of music therapy in the nation, and globally. By combining research, teaching, and community service in the delivery of course, the curriculum and methodology it is widely recognized and successful. In addition the clinical courses which are taught in community settings such as hospitals, nursing homes, forensic settings, public schools, and private homes, students go into nursing homes, hospitals, and forensic settings one day weekly for academic courses when being graded on their music and clinical skills provided a great level of practice and development of civic responsibility in our own communities. As a former student I felt the community involvement of our music therapy faculty and students makes a deep impact on the Chippewa Valley and its connection to the university. As a former practicum supervisor of students in music therapy programs in the Midwest I can speak from experience when I state that HANDS DOWN UWEC grads are far more prepared, involved and skilled than other university students. The content, curriculum, methodology, and civic responsibilities I learned while a Music Therapy major at UWEC have prepared me in many ways to become the professional I am now, and for that I am forever grateful to Lee Anna and UWEC. Please feel free to contact me for any further clarification,


Jessica M. Cabeen
Secondary Special Education Coordinator
Austin Public Schools
301 3rd St NW
Austin MN 55912

To Whom it May Concern:

I'm the year of '00 graduate of the Music Therapy program and gained full time employment in my field immediately after my internship at Wheaton Franciscan Healthcare, All Saints in Racine, WI. I'm currently still employed there and work on an acute Mental Health and Addiction adult unit. I have seen how beneficial it has been for me to be on the unit. I have patients that return and look forward to my music sessions. I once had a patient that was in extreme crisis and she saw me in the hallway and remembered a song I had played months ago in a session and related how beneficial it was to her. Everyday I'm still amazed at how music can effect people in recovery. When I was being interviewed for my job my supervisor asked me if there were Music Therapists graduating in the field as she had been looking for a Music Therapist for a long time. The unit I'm currently at had gone almost 15 years without a Music Therapist. I've had calls from people in the area wondering if I can do Music Therapy for their disabled son or daughter and I have to decline due to my full time employment and raising my two children. I also have recently been asked to do Music Therapy in our Chronic Pain Clinic and now do sessions for patients there one time a month in addition to my other duties on the 54 bed inpatient adult unit.

I love my job and feel blessed that I'm able to use my gift and talents and most importantly my higher education in my job every day. I feel Music Therapy is just taking off and it needs to grow. I'm hoping in the future that I can get my masters degree and do research and teach future Music Therapy students as there definitely seems to be a need.

Please consider keeping the Music Therapy program at UW-EC.

God be with you in your decision.


Kim Bartlett, MT
Racine, WI

Dear Chancellor,

I have been recently informed the Music Therapy program is about to cut. I can not imagine how this could be possible due to all the wonderful people who would not have been helped without music therapy or the hope which would have been lost due to lack of music therapy. I could not imagine what my life would have been like, especially in the last year, without my music therapy training. Here is how music therapy has helped me.

My journey with music therapy began when I was in eighth grade when I read a pamphet on music therapy as a profession. I had never heard music could be useful in a therapy situation. I am a practical person which always causes me to think, "How is this useful?" I read about autistic children who were reached through music and other children who had learning issues who were helped through music therapy. I myself have two brothers who had learning difficulties and who also loved music so this seemed like an exciting profession.

In September of 1990, I had the privilege to attend UW-Eau Claire to study music therapy under Dr. Dale Talyor and Lee Anna Rasar. I had the opportunity to work at the Syverson Nursing Home under a music therapist as a music therapy assistant. I saw patients who were in the last stages of alzheimers disease who were in a fetal position respond to the music and in some I saw improvement. Other patients were stroke survivors who could not speak or who had lost some memory due to their injury but they would repond to music activities and made improvement. It was very encouraging to see the effectiveness of music therapy on these patients. I completed my training in December of 1995.

In October of 1997, I gave birth to my first child which I think I have put more use of my training raising my kids. Because of my training I made a music tape to help me through the labor. It was a great help to me. My friends thought it was a great idea and I had the privilege to guide them in creating their own tapes. One great concept I learned from my time at Eau Claire was the idea you could retrain a child's brain before age three. Both sets of grandparents had difficulty with dyslexia, I was concerned our children would have the same problems as well. I exposed my children from a young age to the alphabet in the hope I could train their brains to see the letters correctly. I also exposed them to music teaching these concepts. Two of our children had no problems in this area and knew their alphabet at a young age. I will never know for sure if they would have had a problem with dyslexia but I felt my music therapy training was pivitol in giving me the tools to work on preventing these problems.

My greatest challenge in my life happened in the beginning of this year when my 40 year old husband Keith had a bi-lateral stroke after heart surgery. He was in a coma for about 5 days. On the last day of his coma, I called the most knowledgeable person I know about the brain, Lee Anna Rasar. I told her about the things he was doing while he was still not awake and asked what she thought. She said he was showing good signs and sure enough that was the day my husband woke up. My husband was paralyzed on the left side which meant the right side of the brain was where the larger stroke had happened. When my husband got to the rehabilitation hospital, he requested we bring in the B-52's because it was cheerful and it helped him remember what movement felt like. He was his own music therapist! By the time he left the rehabilitation hospital he was walking well and moving his left arm. At home, we worked on his finger by using a rubberband to move his finger up and down on the keyboard and his arm by strumming the guitar on the wrong side. My husband can now open and close his hand and he is working to regain the use of individual movement in the fingers.

I write about my husband even though at this point it is still quite difficult for me to express. Without my music therapy training from UW- Eau Claire, I would have been at a total loss on how to make some very clinical decisions about my husbands care and dealing with a very sick husband at home with three beautiful children at a very critical time in my life.

Music therapy has been a vital part of my life for sixteen years and it has helped me and my family in many ways. I hope you will continue to allow others like myself the privilege to attend music therapy at UW-Eau Claire so they can be helped and so they can help others to give the gift of music therapy.

Mrs. Sara Fuller

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