A board certified music therapist with over 20 years of clinical experience in Elder Care, End of Life Care, Treatment of Parkinson's Disease and Music Psychotherapy. She has been a music therapy educator for ten years. Dr. Merrill comes to Eastern Michigan University from Marylhurst University near Portland, Oregon where she was the clinical director for six years. While there, she was awarded several grants for her Creative Arts Day Camp for Children with Special Needs- an interdisciplinary and inter-arts endeavor, serving the greater Portland area families of children with special needs.
She received her Master of Music Therapy degree from BC Open University under the supervision of Carolyn Bereznak Kenny. She received the PhD in Music Education/ Therapy at Michigan State University under the direction of Fredrick (Ted) Tims. She is an advanced practitioner of the Bonny Method of Guided Imagery and Music (GIM), a Fellow of the Association for Music and Imagery (FAMI) and has worked in The Bonny Method of GIM with victims of trauma, abuse and traumatic brain injury.
She is active in the international music therapy research community and participated in the International Symposium for Qualitative Research in Music Therapy in Berlin, Germany. Her research interests include inquiries into best practices in music therapy education and supervision, feminist and cultural issues in music therapy, and ethics. Her workshops on clinical supervision have been supported and adopted by the Canadian Association for Music Therapy, Canadian Therapeutic Recreation Association, Marylhurst University and Utah State University Her published works can be found in theCanadian Journal of Music Therapy, the Nordic Journal of Music Therapy, and Music Therapy- Feminist Perspectives.
Dr. Merrill is a member of the American Music Therapy Association, the Oregon Association of Music Therapy and The Association for Music and Imagery. She is a former Editor in Chief of the Canadian Journal of Music Therapy and former Chair of Ethics for the Association for Music and Imagery.