Date of Award

Winter 12-2023

Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



Committee Chair

Ashley Allen

Committee Chair School


Committee Member 2

Ian Cicco

Committee Member 2 School


Committee Member 3

Ed Hafer

Committee Member 3 School


Committee Member 4

Mark Malone

Committee Member 4 School


Committee Member 5

Don Sacco

Committee Member 5 School



The purpose of the present study was to investigate the teaching experience of higher education music therapy faculty during the COVID-19 pandemic. All facets of education had to adapt to safety protocols outlined by local, state, and national agencies. The mixed method sequential explanatory design included a two-phase study. Phase I was a Qualtrics survey of full-time music therapy faculty. Phase I findings served as a guide for question development for phase II, semi-structured interviews. The primary research questions were as follows: (1) describe experiences of faculty teaching during the pandemic, (2) what specific stressors were identified by faculty and (3) compare teaching experiences among interviewed faculty. The literature finds higher education faculty experienced higher levels of stress and mental health concerns due to the pandemic increasing the risk of burnout. In addition, experience with the use of learning management systems (LMS) and telehealth prior to the onset of the pandemic yielded better adaptation outcomes for course migration. Phase I found that overall lecture and clinical courses were rated negatively due to the impact of the pandemic with most challenging aspect of following safety protocols being the inability to access university facilities. Three participants were selected from phase I for phase II. The phase II participants shared themes included: utilization of technology, difficulty with clinical practicum adaptations, educational delivery strategies, feeling unsupported as an employee and lifestyle changes. Music therapy faculty found that after teaching during the pandemic their feelings towards using technology were positive. The possibility of incorporating more online technology post pandemic teaching in music therapy higher education are discussed.

Available for download on Monday, December 07, 2026