Health Issues Playing the Marimba - Repetitive Motion, Posture, and More -- Music and Medicine on MondayClick Here

About Us | Music and Hearing Loss Team

last modified on: Wed, 05/29/2024 - 12:08

*Contributors to the Music and Hearing Loss Website


Kate Gfeller, Ph.D. Kate Gfeller

Dr. Kate Gfeller holds appointments in the School of Music and Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders at the University of Iowa. She is the Russell B. and Florence D. Day Chair of Liberal Arts and Sciences. In 1990, Dr. Gfeller initiated a line of research on music perception and enjoyment of cochlear implant recipients as part of the Iowa Cochlear Implant Team in the Department of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery. This research has evolved to include the development and evaluation of clinical protocols for aural rehabilitation of children and adults who are deaf or hard of hearing.  Her scholarship has been funded by the National Institutes of Health, the Office of Special Education and Rehabilitation, the Administration on Aging, and the University of Iowa Office of Outreach and Engagement. She has received an Iowa Board of Regent Faculty Excellence Award for extraordinary excellence in teaching, research, and service, an award for excellence in research and publication by the National Association for Music Therapy (NAMT), a Burlington Northern Faculty Excellence award for outstanding teaching and scholarship, and an Obermann Humanities Symposium Award for interdisciplinary scholarship. She is a Fellow of the CIC Academic Leadership Program and was appointed as Visiting Research Faculty for the Humanities at the University of Queensland, Australia. She has presented throughout the U.S., as well as in Canada, England, Ireland, Australia, Austria, France, Spain, Brazil, Singapore, Switzerland, Argentina, Korea, Taiwan, Japan, India, Germany, Russia, Ukraine, Armenia, Malaysia, Sweden, Greece, Denmark, Belgium, and the Netherlands.

Kate enjoys travel, ice dancing, ballroom and Latin dancing, including Argentine tango, as well as attending theatre and dance productions.   


Cochlear implant recipients and hearing aid users from around the world!

Many of the quotes and practical tips on this website come directly from cochlear implant recipients and hearing aid users who have shared their experiences---the good, the bad, and the ugly. They have shared their wisdom through formal research inquiries (both in the lab and through on-line questionnaires) as well as through spontaneous e-mails, phone calls, and chats at seminars and conferences. Of particular note is the input gathered, analyzed, and published in two research articles (Gfeller, Driscoll, & Schwalje,  2019Gfeller, Mallalieu et al., 2019) that focus expressly on the real-life experiences of adults who use cochlear implants and their experiences in listening to and making music. One of these publications was co-authored by six musicians who use cochlear implants. They describe strategies and attitudes for optimizing music, despite the technical limitations of hearing devices for musical sounds. Those co-authors are: Ruth MacMullen Mallalieu, Aleksander Mansouri, Gaelen McCormick, Renee Blue O'Connell, Jake Spinowitz, and Bettina Gellinek Turner. 


Hae Sun Kim, Ph.D., MT-BC Hae Sun Kim

Dr. Hae Sun Kim, MT-BC is an assistant professor of music therapy at the University of Iowa. Originally from Seoul, South Korea, Dr. Kim graduated from the University of Iowa with a Ph. D in music education/music therapy. She also has a Master's of Music in music therapy from Colorado State University with an emphasis on neurologic music therapy and a Bachelor of Music in music therapy from the University of Iowa. She began playing the violin at the age of six and was part of several ensembles throughout her younger years, playing the recorder, keyboard, violin, and guitar, as well as singing. As a music therapy clinician, Dr. Kim worked with a wide variety of ages and populations, including children and adolescents with intellectual and developmental disabilities, adults with neurological disorders, and patients and their family members in end-of-life care in the US and South Korea. She provided individual and group music therapy sessions and also adaptive piano, violin, and guitar lessons for children and young adults with autism spectrum disorders. She also taught music classes for elementary through high school students at an international school in Seoul Korea. From 2019-2022, Dr. Kim served as a head research assistant for Dr. Gfeller's music perception laboratory in the Cochlear Implant Clinical Research Center at the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics.

Other than music, Hae Sun enjoys drinking coffee or tea, reading books, playing tennis, and traveling the world.


Laura Kuper, B.A. Laura Kuper

Laura Kuper, from Wheeling, Illinois, is a Music Therapy Master’s/Equivalency at the University of Iowa. She graduated from Miami University in May 2022 with bachelor's degrees in psychology and vocal performance and a minor in Spanish. Laura worked as a research assistant at the University of Iowa under Dr. Kate Gfeller from August 2022 until May 2024. She is currently completing her internship at Greater Chicago Music Therapy, Inc., where she pursues her love for working with older adults. In her free time, Laura enjoys playing with her dog, spending time with friends and family, and traveling!


Adam T. Schwalje, M.D., DMAAdam Schwalje

Dr. Adam Schwalje joined the Music and Hearing Loss project while a resident physician and National Institutes of Health (NIH) T32 research fellow in the Department of Otolaryngology at the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics. He is now in private practice. In addition to his work as a physician, he holds the DMA in bassoon performance from the University of Cincinnati College - Conservatory of Music. Adam has played in professional orchestras including full time in the Macau Symphony. He has also been a band teacher and music educator and is currently the medical liaison for the International Double Reed Society. He is hard of hearing, uses hearing aids in both ears, and is an active member of the Association of Adult Musicians with Hearing Loss and the Association of Medical Professionals with Hearing Loss.

Adam enjoys bassoon, cooking, and time with family.


Danielle Kelsay, M.A., CCC-A Danielle Kelsay

Danielle Kelsay received her B.S. in Biology and her M.A. in Audiology from The University of Iowa.  Currently, Danielle is the Director of Clinical Programs in Audiology and a Clinical Associate Professor in the Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders at the University of Iowa, where she has worked for the past 18 years.  Danielle’s previous position as an Audiologist in the Department of Otolaryngology at The University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics provided her with 15 years of clinical and research experience working in general diagnostics, hearing aids and cochlear implants.  Danielle’s current responsibilities include clinical instruction of graduate students in Audiology related to hearing loss prevention, diagnostics, and aural rehabilitation.  Danielle first became interested in hearing loss prevention while working on a capstone project with an Au.D. student in 2008 addressing hearing conservation for musicians.  She established and led UISAFE (University of Iowa Sound Awareness for Everyone), a group of faculty and students whose mission is to promote healthy hearing, for 10 years. Danielle is a certified Dangerous Decibels educator.  She presented on hearing loss prevention at the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association, the National Hearing Conservation Association, and the Iowa Speech-Language-Hearing Association conventions.

Danielle enjoys playing piano and clarinet, and being outdoors gardening, hiking, kayaking or biking.


Kellsie Busho, Au.D., CCC-A Kellsie Busho, Au.D., CCC-A

Kellsie Busho received her B.A. in Communication Science and Speech Disorders and Spanish from the University of South Dakota and her Au.D from the University of Minnesota. She is originally from Albert Lea, MN. Currently, Kellsie is a clinical instructor in the Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders at the University of Iowa, which she started in May of 2019. Previously, Kellsie worked in a large private practice clinic in South Dakota providing diagnostic, aural rehabilitation, and educational audiological services for the greater northeastern region of the state. Kellsie’s current responsibilities include clinical instruction of graduate students in Audiology in the areas of prevention and identification of hearing loss, diagnostic audiology, and aural rehabilitation. 

Kellsie enjoys traveling, watching sporting events, and spending time with family. 



Anne Wallace, M.A., CCC-SLPAnne Wallace

Anne Wallace is an emerita clinical faculty member at the University of Iowa in the Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders. She has more than 35 years of experience as a clinical educator teaching graduate students in speech/language pathology and audiology with a specialty in assessing and treating communication challenges associated with hearing loss in both children and adults.  Anne developed outpatient as well as intensive preschool and school-aged programs for these populations over an extended career.  Music therapy and exposure to varied aspects of music were central to all intensive programs developed by Anne and her colleagues and complemented other specific communication enhancing programs designed to develop listening and spoken language skills. 

Outside of her professional interests, Anne enjoys time with her family in travel, hiking in any mountain range, reading (mostly fiction), and playing classical music on her piano. Her newest adventure is being a first-time grandmother.



Meet Our External Advisors

We are pleased to have guidance and feedback on our webpages from our external advisors, who offer extraordinary professional and personal insights on music and hearing loss.  


Gaelen McCormickGaelen McCormick

Gaelen McCormick is the Program Manager of the Eastman Performing Arts Medicine (EPAM) program, a part of the University of Rochester. Before joining EPAM in 2018, she was a musician with the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra from 1995-2017. Since losing her hearing in 2017, Gaelen has forged a new career path as a composer, arranger, and arts administrator. She was implanted with an Advanced Bionics Q90 Naida cochlear implant on her left ear in 2018, and wears a Widex Beyond 440 hearing aid on her right ear.

Teaching students of all ages has been a significant part of Gaelen’s life. She is the Instructor of Double Bass at the Eastman Community Music School, and teaches career skills at the collegiate level in the Arts Leadership Program at the Eastman School of Music. Her double bass bow pedagogy series, Mastering the Bow, and her first book of compositions, Double Trouble, are published by Carl Fischer. She is a the president-elect of the International Society of Bassists, and is the pedagogy editor of their Bass World magazine.

Gaelen holds degrees in performance from the Eastman School where she studied with James VanDemark and Carnegie Mellon University where she studied with Jeffrey Turner. She is an alumna of the League of American Orchestra’s Essentials of Orchestral Management training program.

Gaelen recently became a certified mindful outdoor guide through the Kripalu School of Mindful Outdoor Leadership, and she enjoys crocheting and kayaking in her free time.


Ruth Mallalieu Ruth Mallalieu

Ruth Mallalieu is a librarian, copyright expert, and open research practitioner at the Bodleian Libraries, University of Oxford. Born profoundly deaf, Ruth is an enthusiastic amateur musician of some 30 years and plays the clarinet and the alto sax. She uses cochlear implants in both ears and is a keen advocate for musicians with hearing loss. She is a volunteer for the MED-EL HearPeers UK program and a member of the Association of Adult Musicians with Hearing Loss.

She earned her BA from the University of York, her MA from Northumbria University, and is currently studying for an LLM at the University of Edinburgh. Outside of work she enjoys circuit training, reading, cooking, and taking her deaf dog, Larry, for long walks.




Meet Our Past Contributors


Laura Beth Reznicek, M.A., MT-BCLaura Beth Reznicek

Laura Beth Reznicek is from Dixon, Missouri. She has a Bachelor of Music (BM) degree in percussion performance from the University of Missouri, where she graduated Cum laude. Laura Beth also earned a Multicultural Certificate through the College of Arts and Science. During her undergraduate studies, Laura Beth had a well-rounded performing experience, including the study of world music such as West African drum and dance, mbira (music from Zimbabwe), and Caribbean steel pan. She completed her MA student in Music Therapy at the University of Iowa where she has worked with adults with chronic mental illnesses, older adults who have dementia, and young adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities. For two years, Laura Beth worked as a Direct Support Professional (DSP) at the Arc of Southeast Iowa, providing services for people in the community with disabilities. She severed on the Music Perception Team within the Otolaryngology department from 2019-2022.

Some of her hobbies include playing music (e.g. percussion, piano, and guitar), painting, and biking. She also loves aquariums and enjoys taking care of her betta and cory catfish!


Erika Petersen Cowhey,  MA, MT-BCErika Petersen

Erika is from Glenview, Illinois. She has a bachelor's degree in Music Theory and Psychology, with a minor in Honors Humanities from Azusa Pacific University, where she graduated summa cum laude. Erika had the honor of participating in many choirs during her time at APU and traveled to multiple competitions including the International Chamber Choir Competition in Marktoberdorf, Germany, and the European Grand Prix Florilège Vocal de Tours in Tours, France. She has sung under the direction of John Williams with the Los Angeles Children’s Chorus and performed various times at Disneyland. Erika completed her MA in music therapy at the University of Iowa where she worked with preschoolers, young adults with intellectual disabilities, and older adults with dementia. Her research on hearing preservation for music students is on-going within the School of Music and Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders. 

She enjoys practicing guitar and piano,  sailing, windsurfing, playing Settlers of Catan, and camping with friends.


Will Hardy, B.A. Will Hardy

Will Hardy is from Northfield, Minnesota. He holds a BA in music with an emphasis in composition from St. Olaf College, where he graduated cum laude. During his undergraduate studies, he performed in many ensembles including as an oboe/English horn player in the St. Olaf band, shawm player in the St. Olaf Collegium, and tenor in the St. Olaf Cantorei. He is currently pursuing an MA in Music Therapy from the University of Iowa.

When he is not studying, practicing, or working with the Music Perception Team, Will enjoys writing and recording his own songs and going on long walks with his wife Liz and his dog Tango.


Miranda K Aldrich, M.A., MT-BCMiranda K Aldrich

Miranda Aldrich completed her Master's in music therapy at the University of Iowa. Originally from Aurora, IL, she has been involved with music since she was a child and played percussion instruments in community drum circles organized by her father. Miranda has played the oboe for twelve years and earned a music performance degree from Carthage College in 2018 where she was a member of the orchestra, band, and women’s choir. At the University of Iowa, she was a member of the chamber orchestra and oboe studio. As a music therapy student, Miranda worked with older adults with dementia, preschoolers, young adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities, and adults with mental illness. Starting September 2020, Miranda started her music therapy internship at Advocate Children’s Hospital in Park Ridge, IL. Miranda contributed to the content of the website during her graduate studies from June 2019 until September, 2020. 

During her free time, Miranda enjoys cooking, going on nature walks, and gardening.


Valerie Wilk, M.A., MT-BC Valerie Wilk

Valerie is originally from Racine, WI and earned her bachelor's degree from St. Olaf College in 2017. There, she studied music and psychology; she also played violin with and served as President of the St. Olaf Orchestra. She received her Master’s in music therapy from the University of Iowa, and presented her Master’s Capstone project, “Music and Identity Development in Adolescents with Intellectual Disabilities,” at the National AMTAS conference in November 2019. While at the University of Iowa, Valerie helped with initial research and foundational work on the Iowa Head and Neck Protocols website during the summer of 2018. Valerie currently works as a Hospice Music Therapist with Presbyterian Homes and Services in the Minneapolis/St. Paul area.

Outside of music therapy, she enjoys cooking many types of food, reading, yoga, drinking coffee, and watching New Girl on Netflix!


Erik Jorgen Jorgensen, Au.D., CCC-A Erik Jorgen Jorgensen, AuD, CCC-A

Erik Jorgensen is an Iowa native but has spent time living on both coasts. He earned his BA in philosophy from Columbia University and his Doctor of Audiology from the University of Iowa. He completed his clinical externship at the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics as part of the Iowa Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental and Related Disabilities program. He is currently a PhD student working with Yu-Hsiang Wu as part of the Hearing and Aging Research Laboratory. His primary research interests are in psychoacoustics, auditory ecology, real-world outcomes of audiologic intervention, and hearing loss and music perception. He greatly enjoys teaching and has been a teaching assistant and has co-taught a number of audiology courses at Iowa. He is a passionate advocate for people with disabilities.

When not in the lab, Erik enjoys making music, playing scrabble, and exploring the local trails with his dog, Simone.


Virginia Driscoll, Ph.D. MT-BC Virginia Driscoll

Virginia Driscoll was a Research Associate with the Music Perception Team from 2004 - June 2019, while completing her MA and Ph.D. in music therapy at The University of Iowa. During that time, Dr. Driscoll had primary oversight for patient testing and she was an integral contributor to all aspects of the research agenda in the Music Perception Lab of the Iowa Cochlear Implant Clinical Research Team. Virginia collaborated in many research initiatives that form the foundation of the content of this website, including a published article that focuses on the experiences of adult cochlear implant users in everyday music experiences (Gfeller,  Driscoll, & Schwalje, 2019). In August 2019, Dr. Driscoll joined the faculty at East Carolina University, where she is now an Assistant Professor of Music Therapy. 

She is a mother of two daughters, and her hobbies include cooking, crafting, and dancing. 


Livia Shih Umeda, B.M., MT-BC Livia Umeda

Livia S. Umeda is a Board-Certified Music Therapist and Neurologic Music Therapist. She contributed to the Music and Hearing Loss web pages in 2021-22. She was raised in San Jose, California and began her journey toward becoming a music therapist in her junior year of high school. She has a background in classical voice as a mezzo-soprano; however, has come to love playing classical guitar even more.  Livia has served in the music therapy community in a variety of student and professional leadership positions at the university, state, regional, national, and international levels and looks forward to all current and future opportunities to give back to the music therapy community. Livia's research interests include music therapy educational practices and medical music therapy.

Outside time is spent watching medical dramas such as Grey's Anatomy and cooking shows such as Masterchef, in addition to cooking and baking with her dad when visiting home.