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Music therapy student receives national recognition

Carly Flaagan, a UND music therapy student, recently received the E. Thayer Gaston Research Writing Award from the American Music Therapy Association for her research paper on music therapy and speech pathology collaboration.

Carly Flaagan, a UND music therapy student, recently received the E. Thayer Gaston Research Writing Award from the American Music Therapy Association for her research paper on music therapy and speech pathology collaboration.

"It's the most prestigious student award given by the association for a research paper," said Andrew Knight, assistant professor of music at UND.

Flaagan, the first UND student to win the award, accepted it at the AMTA meeting in November in Florida.

"The old way of treating patients was (based on) the part of the body," Knight said. "You fix that one part."

The movement toward interdisciplinary care -- where health care professionals work together to provide patient care -- relies on collaboration.

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Flaagan's research paper explores aspects of good collaboration between music therapists and speech language pathologists, Knight said. "How much do our scopes of practice overlap? They do overlap quite a bit."

Published research, while limited, has shown that collaboration between these professionals "has been hugely successful," Flaagan said.

At the AMTA conference, a fellow UND music therapy student Anna Andersson gave a presentation on the similarities and differences between Swedish and American music therapy based on her semester of study in Sweden.

To be a student presenter at a national conference is "a huge accomplishment," Flaagan said.

Such recognition in professional circles is "good for the (UND music therapy) program" Knight said. "When I first started going to conferences, people would say, 'Oh you're from UND. I didn't know you had a program there.'"

That has all changed, he said. He and his colleagues are working toward offering a graduate program in music therapy at UND.

Related Topics: HEALTH
Pamela Knudson is a features and arts/entertainment writer for the Grand Forks Herald.

She has worked for the Herald since 2011 and has covered a wide variety of topics, including the latest performances in the region and health topics.

Pamela can be reached at pknudson@gfherald.com or (701) 780-1107.
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