Research Areas

Music; Music Therapy; Jewish Ritual; Spirituality


Ed.D., Columbia University

M.Mus., The Florida State University

B.Mus., The Florida State University


Sound Treatment: Making Berklee a hub for musical healing

Music Therapy: Creating Harmony in Life

Fusion Magazine

Berklee College of Music

Music Therapy Department at Berklee College

Suzanne B. Hanser

Suzanne B. Hanser

Suzanne B. Hanser

Suzanne B. Hanser, Ed.D., MT-BC is the founding chair of the Music Therapy Department at Berklee College of Music.  She is past President of both the World Federation of Music Therapy and the National Association for Music Therapy. Dr. Hanser is music therapist at the Leonard P. Zakim Center for Integrated Therapies and research associate at the Phyllis F. Cantor Center for Research at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute.  She received a National Research Service Award from the National Institute on Aging  and was a Senior Postdoctoral Fellow in Psychiatry at Stanford University School of Medicine. She has served as Program Director of the Alzheimer’s Association, San Francisco Bay Area Chapter, and Chair of the Music Therapy Department at University of the Pacific. Dr. Hanser is the author of The New Music Therapist’s Handbook, and she has published numerous articles in diverse journals. Recently, she was named by the Boston Globe as one of eleven Bostonians Changing the World. She volunteers at Mayyim Hayyim as a madrichah or guide.

Current Projects

As a mikveh guide and trainer, I create rituals for women who are celebrating life cycle events as well as  less-commonly observed transitions, such as menopause and the empty nest. As a music therapist, I help people express their spirituality through musical means. The proposed project will enable me to chronicle some of the spiritual experiences of women as they proceed through life’s passages at the mikveh.

Representative Publications

Hanser, S.B. & Mandel, S.E. Manage Your Stress & Pain through Music. Boston: Berklee Press, 2010. 

Hanser, S.B. (2016). Integrative Health through Music Therapy. London: Palgrave Macmillan.