Susan Gardstrom

Professor; Coordinator of Music Therapy Program
Full-Time Faculty
College of Arts and Sciences: Music

  • Location: CPC 444
  • Phone: 937-229-3908

Direct Email

sgardstrom1@udayton.edu

Profile

Susan C. Gardstrom is a board certified music therapist, having earned a Bachelor of Music degree in music therapy from Michigan State University (MSU). She received a Master of Arts degree in community agency counseling from Western Michigan University (WMU), where she also completed their graduate specialty program in alcohol and drug abuse. In 2003, Gardstrom earned a doctorate in music education with a cognate in music therapy from MSU.

Gardstrom has worked as a music therapist in diverse clinical settings, including public schools, skilled nursing care facilities, and residential treatment programs. She has extensive clinical experience with male and female juvenile offenders and has pioneered intergenerational programs with this clientele and older adults. She has also served clients with severe physical and mental impairments and autism, as well as adults with addictions.

Gardstrom has taught at MSU, WMU, and Eastern Michigan University (EMU). She supervised music therapy practica and served as clinic coordinator at both MSU and WMU. She has held numerous elected and appointed positions at the state, regional, and national levels, is a frequent presenter at professional conferences, and currently serves on the editorial board of Journal of Music Therapy.

Faculty Perspective

I have been a music therapist for more than thirty years. Yet, I am still passionate about what I do, and I strive to bring my exuberance to both the classroom and the clinic every day.

My scholarship orbits predominantly around two domains. The first is music psychotherapy with adolescent and adults. One established music psychotherapy method, clinical music improvisation, continues to be a principal interest and focus of my research and presentations. The second and more recently “discovered” branch of my scholarship relates to undergraduate students’ preparation for the personal and interpersonal demands of a career in music therapy.

I feel privileged to work with such talented and dedicated students, staff, and faculty in the Department of Music at UD.

Degrees

  • Ph.D., Music Education, Michigan State University

Selected Publications

Gardstrom, S. & Diestelkamp, W. (2013). Women With addictions report reduced anxiety after group music therapy: A quasi-experimental study. Voices: A World Forum for Music Therapy, 13(2), https://voices.no/index.php/voices/article/view/681/602.

McHugh, L., Gardstrom, S., Hiller, J., Brewer, M., & Diestelkamp, W. (2012). The effect of pre-meal, vocal re-creative music therapy on nutritional intake of residents with Alzheimer’s and related dementias: A pilot study. Music Therapy Perspectives, 30(1), 32-42.

Jackson, N. & Gardstrom, S. (2012).  Undergraduate music therapy students’ experiences as clients in short-term group music therapy. Music Therapy Perspectives, 30(1), 65-82.

Gardstrom, S. (2011). (Editor-in-Chief) Qualitative Inquiries in Music Therapy: A Monograph Series, Volume Six. Gilsum, NH: Barcelona Publishers (www.barcelonapublishers.com).

Gardstrom, S. & Jackson, N. (2011).  Personal therapy for undergraduate music therapy students: A survey of AMTA program coordinators. Journal of Music Therapy, 48(2), 226-255.

Gardstrom, S. & Hiller, J. (2010).  Song discussion as music psychotherapy. Music Therapy Perspectives, 28(2), 147-156.

Gardstrom, S. (2008). Music therapy as noninvasive treatment: Who says? Nordic Journal of Music Therapy, 17(2), 142-154.

Gardstrom, S. (2007). Music therapy improvisation for groups: Essential leadership competencies. Gilsum, NH: Barcelona Publishers (www.barcelonapublishers.com).

Scovel, M. & Gardstrom, S. (2005). Music therapy within the context of psychotherapeutic models. In R. Unkefer & M. Thaut, (Eds.), Music Therapy in the Treatment of Adults With Mental Disorders: Theoretical Bases and Clinical Applications, 2nd ed. (pp. 117-132). St. Louis, MO: MMB.

Gardstrom, S. (2004). An investigation of meaning in clinical music improvisation with troubled adolescents. In B. Abrams (Ed.), Qualitative Inquiries in Music Therapy: A Monograph Series, Volume One (pp. 77-160). Gilsum, NH: Barcelona Publishers (www.barcelonapublishers.com).