Financial, educational, and cultural barriers have historically contributed to the underrepresentation of BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and People of Color) music therapists in the field, negatively impacting equitable access to music therapy services for some of our most vulnerable and marginalized communities. Join this panel of BIPOC music therapy leaders to learn about their professional experiences and how we can address these inequities, effect meaningful change, and improve the human experience for all in the music therapy community.
5. BIPOC Representation in Music Therapy Careers
Ming Yuan Low, Ph.D., MT-BC, is a Nordoff-Robbins music therapist and assistant professor of music therapy at Berklee College Music. His clinical work and research center on community-informed music therapy practices and supports for folks who locate in marginalized identities. His scholarship focuses on critical explorations in music therapy theory and practice, as well as participatory action research with autistic and BIPOC communities.
Low received his B.S. and M.A. in music therapy from Texas Woman's University, and his Ph.D. in creative arts therapies from Drexel University. He has worked as a research fellow at Drexel University in two different research labs, one examining chronic pain in patients with advanced cancer and opioid use in cancer survivors with chronic pain, and the other exploring care-coordination factors affecting health care transition from pediatric services to adult services for minimally verbal autistic youth. Low has presented his research and clinical work at national and international conferences, and has authored and coauthored peer-reviewed journal articles. He has also served in various elected and appointed positions in the American Music Therapy Association, World Federation for Music Therapy, and Malaysian Music Therapy Association. He is on the editorial board of Music Therapy Perspectives and is an article editor for Voices.
Jasmine Edwards, MA, LCAT, MT-BC (she/her/hers) is a creative arts therapy coordinator at Mount Sinai Kravis Children's Hospital within the Child Life and Creative Arts Therapy Department. Jasmine holds a BM and MA in music therapy from Florida State University and New York University, respectively. She has experience working in private practice, outpatient, school-based, and medical settings, and is trained in NICU-MT, First Sounds: RBL, and Austin Vocal Psychotherapy. Jasmine has a vested interest in bringing discussions of power, privilege, and oppression into music therapy training and pedagogy. She also serves as an adjunct faculty member at Howard University, New York University, and Montclair State University. Jasmine identifies as a Black woman.
Jenny Hoi Yan Fu, MA, LCAT, MT-BC, is a certified Nordoff-Robbins Music Therapist and works as a clinical staff member and supervisor at the Nordoff-Robbins Center for Music Therapy at NYU Steinhardt. She is also an Austin Vocal Psychotherapist and is training under Dr. Diane Austin as a trainer in the Vocal Psychotherapy method. Ms. Fu is adjunct faculty in the Music Therapy program at NYU Steinhardt and State University of New York at Fredonia. She is a senior music therapist at the Auditory Oral School of New York where she developed the early intervention and preschool music therapy program for deaf and hard-of-hearing children.
Ms. Fu co-founded Passages, an annual free conference organized for and by music therapy students and new professionals, in the Mid-Atlantic Region (MAR) of the American Music Therapy Association (AMTA). She currently serves as the MAR regional representative of the AMTA Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee and the co-chair of the MAR-AMTA Cultural Humility, Accessibility, Diversity, and Inclusion Committee.
Joy Allen, Ph.D., MT-BC, is an accomplished clinician, researcher, and educator with extensive experience in psychological health, pain management, and trauma-informed education and supervision. She has presented on her work at several peer-reviewed conferences, including regional, national and international music therapy and music- and health-related conferences. She is the editor of Guidelines for Music Therapy: Adult Medical Care, and author of chapters on adult oncology, pain management, and medical music therapy. Allen regular consults with community and higher education leaders on music therapy programs and curriculum development. She continues to serve in numerous capacities for the American Music Therapy Association, including as the executive board chair for the New England region, as well as serving on the Research Committee, Assembly of Delegates, and the Judicial Review Board. Lastly, she has served as a reviewer for the following journals: Nordic Journal of Music Therapy; Voices: A World Forum for Music Therapy; and Music and Medicine: An Interdisciplinary Journal.
Allen routinely collaborates with educational, health care, and community leaders on the design and implementation of music and health-centered programs that incorporate music experiences to make an impact on the overall quality of life. This includes identifying health-related outcomes being addressed within these programs, as well as identifying the resources to ensure sustainability outside of structured individual and group experiences, whether this would be done through the process of trained community musicians, music therapists, and advocates, or through technological advances. In addition to chair responsibilities, Allen is the founding and acting director of the Music and Health Institute.