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Marisol S. Norris, PhD, MT-BC

Contact Information

Marisol S. Norris

PhD, MT-BC

Assistant Clinical Professor; Director of Music Therapy and Counseling
Creative Arts Therapies Department

Marisol Norris, PhD, is an assistant clinical professor and the director of Music Therapy in the Creative Arts Therapies Department. Her music therapy practice and supervisory experience have spanned medical and community health settings and include music therapy with adolescents experiencing housing insecurity, adults with psychiatric and dual diagnoses, families within the city court system and medically fragile children. These experiences have profoundly contributed to her multicultural relational lens and her dedication to fostering culturally sustaining, liberatory frameworks in music therapy education and practice.

Norris's pedagogical approach centers the human need for wholeness and the function of artistic processes to deepen the capacity for relational experience. Her teaching is an extension of a broader commitment to healing justice and dismantling relational and structural violence through community-based advocacy, education, and action. Norris is a core organizing member of the Critical Pedagogies in Arts Therapies Alliance, a co-creator and facilitator of the Journal of Music Therapy Justice and Equity Research Mentorship Program, a co-founder of the BIPOC Student Fund and the founder of the Black Music Therapy Network, Inc. She has held regional office in the American Music Therapy Association (AMTA) and published in Music Therapy Perspectives and the Journal of Music Therapy. Norris has presented nationally and internationally on radical practice frameworks and critical topics in arts therapies education. Currently, she is a member of AMTA's Commission on the Education and Training of 21st Century Music Therapists and serves on the editorial team of Voices: A World Forum for Music Therapy. Her current research and scholarship include the discursive construction of race, gender and sexuality in music therapy theory and praxis; pedagogical approaches for culturally sustaining healthcare training; mono- and cross-cultural aesthetic processes; and radical healing frameworks within Black communities. Norris looks forward to the 2021 release of her first co-edited book, (Post)Colonialism & Music Therapy: Beginning Dialogues.

Academic Distinctions

  • 2019 Leadership Promise Award, Department of Creative Arts Therapies, Drexel University
  • 2018 President’s Award, Mid-Atlantic Region, American Music Therapy Association
  • 2009 Award for Clinical Excellence, Department of Creative Arts Therapies, Drexel University

Faculty Fellowships

Junior Faculty Fellowship, Lesley University

Professional Society

American Music Therapy Association
Black Music Therapy Network, Inc.
American Educational Research Association
Mixed Methods International Research Association
Association of Black Women in Higher Education

Selected Publications

  • Norris, M. (2020). Freedom dreams: What must die in music therapy to preserve human dignity? Voices: A World Forum for Music Therapy, 20(3), 4. https://doi.org/10.15845/voices.v20i3.3172
  • Norris, M. (2020). A call for radical imagining: Exploring anti-Blackness in the music therapy profession. Voices: A World Forum for Music Therapy, 20(3), 6. https://doi.org/10.15845/voices.v20i3.3167
  • Norris, M. & Hadley, S. (2019). Engaging race in music therapy supervision. In M. Forinash (Ed.), Music Therapy Supervision (2nd ed., pp. 101-126). Barcelona Publishers.
  • Bradt, J., Norris, M., Shim, M., Gracely, E. J., & Gerrity, P. (2016). Vocal music therapy for chronic pain management in inner-city African Americans: A mixed methods feasibility study. Journal of Music Therapy, 53(2), 178—206. https://doi.org/10.1093/jmt/thw004
  • Hadley, S., & Norris, M. (2016). Musical multicultural competency in music therapy: The first step. Music Therapy Perspectives, 34(2), 129—137.
  • View Google Scholar Profile of Marisol Norris

Grant participation:

  • Large Faculty Grant, Lesley University
  • Center for Teaching, Learning, & Scholarship Grant, Lesley University

Editorial review board membership:

2017 – present, Editorial Board Member, Voices: A World Forum for Music Therapy

Research Interests

  • The discursive construction of race, gender and sexuality in music therapy theory and praxis;
  • Pedagogical approaches for culturally sustaining healthcare training and practice;
  • Mono- and cross-cultural aesthetic processes; and
  • Radical healing frameworks within Black communities.

Specialization

Culturally sustaining music therapy; Black aesthetics; critical pedagogies in the arts therapies

Doctor of Philosophy in Creative Arts Therapies
Drexel University, Philadelphia, PA

Masters of Arts in Creative Arts Therapies, Specialization Music Therapy
Drexel University, Philadelphia, PA

Bachelor of Music in Vocal Performance & Pedagogy; Bachelor of Arts in Psychology; Bachelor of Arts in Music
Oakwood University, Huntsville, AL