First View – Article (published on 8 May 2017)
Erwin Henry Schneider: Teacher, writer, and leader
Kyle Wilhelm & Lindsey Wilhelm
The National Association of Music Therapy (NAMT) was formed by individuals whose contributions to the Association remain largely unknown. Dr Erwin H. Schneider (17 February 1920 to 28 September 1985) was one of those individuals. The purpose of this study was to trace the career of Dr Schneider as a music educator and music therapist, and explore his impact on NAMT and the profession of music therapy as committee member, editor of Bulletin of the National Association for Music Therapy and Music Therapy: Book of Proceedings of the National Association for Music Therapy and as president of NAMT from 1963-65. Biographical information was drawn from primary and secondary sources as well as interviews with individuals who knew Schneider. Data were assessed for credibility and accuracy, and organised both chronologically and topically. Finally, themes and major accomplishments of his life were identified. Findings show the impact that Schneider had on the fields of both music therapy and music education. As president, he steered NAMT away from potential bankruptcy and towards the creation of the Journal of Music Therapy. As a teacher, he educated hundreds of music therapists and music educators, many of whom would become educators themselves. By studying past pioneers of NAMT such as Schneider, music therapists can gain clarity as to how the Association and the field of music therapy became what it is today.
history, music therapy, music education
Kyle Wilhelm, MA, MT-BC has been a board-certified music therapist for 18 years working with a variety of populations. He earned his master’s degree in 2002 and is currently an Adjunct Professor of Music Therapy at Colorado State University.
Lindsey Wilhelm, PhD, MT-BC has been a music therapist since 2007. She earned her master’s degree in 2010 and her doctorate in 2016. She is currently an Assistant Professor of Music Therapy at Colorado State University.