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UGA to host international music and medicine conference

Athens, Ga. – The University of Georgia Hugh Hodgson School of Music will host the 2013 conference of the Interdisciplinary Society for Quantitative Research in Music and Medicine, an organization of researchers dedicated to better understanding the effects of music upon human physiology and psychology.

The event, which draws presenters from around the world, will take place July 26-28 and is open to the public.

The ISQRMM conference will feature more than 20 presentations, lectures and workshops detailing the influence of music on the human body and mind. In addition to the academic sessions, the event will showcase performances by the Athens Master Chorale, Brazilian musicians Joana Christina Brito de Azevedo and Carlos H. Costa and the bluegrass group Spirit Grass, which assimilates world music into its unique performance.

“Any layperson who appreciates music will find value in the conference’s presentations and performances,” said Roy Kennedy, head of the department of music therapy in the Hodgson School and one of seven presenters from UGA. “There’s also much to learn for professionals, even if they aren’t musicians. Doctors, social workers, teachers-practically anyone who works in healthcare or education will look at their vocation in a different light.”

Music has been used in healing for centuries, with recent studies suggesting a direct link between music and the treatment of a variety of disorders including heart disease, schizophrenia, Alzheimer’s, amnesia, dyslexia, aphasia and epilepsy.

UGA offers both a bachelor’s degree in music therapy as well as a music therapy equivalency program, offering students ample opportunities for community outreach.

“Music therapy is still not a household term, and many people think that our primary focus is sing-alongs at retirement communities,” Kennedy said. “In reality, all music therapy interventions are grounded in measurable, empirical research, even when dealing with more abstract issues such as quality of life.”

For more information on the Interdisciplinary Society for Quantitative Research in Music and Medicine conference, see For more information about the music therapy program at UGA, see