Barbara Hesser

Associate Professor of Music Therapy with a joint appointment in Applied Psychology: Director of Music Therapy and the Nordoff-Robbins Center for Music Therapy at NYU

Barbara Hesser

Phone: (212) 998-5452

Barbara Hesser is Director of the Music Therapy program at New York University. In this capacity she coordinates the Master's and Doctoral Degree programs, is the Program Director of the Nordoff-Robbins Music Therapy Center, and is the program liaison for Guided Imagery and Music (GIM) Training. In addition to her teaching responsibilities at NYU, she has given courses, workshops and lectures in many countries throughout the world.

Professionally, Professor Hesser served the American Association for Music Therapy (AAMT) as President, Vice President, Co-Chairman of the Education and Training Committee, Editor of the first AAMT journal Music Therapy and as a member of the Editorial Board of that journal for 15 years. She was also a member of the Commission on Education and Training for the American Music Therapy Association (AMTA). She has served as a founding member and Publicity Chairman of the World Federation of Music Therapy. Among her publications, she has co-authored the “Essential Competencies for the Practice of Music Therapy” which has been used by AAMT, CAMT and now the AMTA as a document for standards of education and training in the profession.Professor Hesser maintains a music therapy private practice, and is a Fellow in Guided Imagery and Music (GIM). She is a Board Member and Vice President of Creative Arts as a Global Resource, Inc. In this capacity she is one of the directors of the "Music as a Global Resource Initiative", an initiative in collaboration with the International Council for Caring Communities (ICCC), UN Habitat and other UN partners and Co-Editor of Music as a Global Resource Compendium: Solutions for Social and Economic Issues, 3rd Edition recently released in January 2011. 

Selected Publications: 

Hesser, B. (2014). Music therapy group: Self-experience in a university setting. In K. Bruscia (Ed.), Self-experiences in music therapy education, training and supervision (pp.171-182). Gilsum, NH: Barcelona Publishers.

Hesser, B. & Heinemann, H. (Eds.). 2011. Music as a Global Resource: Solutions for Social and Economic Issues, Third Edition. United Nations Headquarters, NYC.  Document available at: http://www.unpan.org/Regions/Global/Directories/Resources/tabid/456/ItemID/1836/language/en-US/Default.aspx

Hesser, B. (2002).  Supervision of music therapy students in a music therapy graduate program. In J. Eschen (Ed.), Analytic music therapy (pp.157-168). Philadelphia: Jessica Kingsley Publishers.

Hesser, B. (2001). The transformative power of music in our lives: A personal perspective. Music Therapy Perspectives, 19 (1), 53-59.

Bruscia, K., Hesser, B., & Boxill, E. H. (1981). Essential competencies for the practice of music therapy. Music Therapy, 1, 43-49.


Editorial Boards

Research Interests

  • Music Therapy with all Clinical Populations
  • Music Psychotherapy, Group and Individual
  • Nordoff-Robbins Music Therapy
  • Guided Imagery and Music