Dr. Alan Turry, DA, LCAT, MT-BC, Nordoff-Robbins Music Therapist, is Director of the Nordoff-Robbins Center for Music Therapy at New York University. The first music therapist formally certified to run a Nordoff-Robbins training course, he is responsible for the overall administration, research, clinical services and the training program at the Center. Turry also teaches clinical improvisation in the New York University Master’s program. He has lectured internationally on his work with a wide range of client populations including self-referred adults, psychiatric patients and those with neuro-diverse learning styles. Dr. Turry is recognized for his innovative contributions to the Nordoff-Robbins approach. These include his success in incorporating contemporary music styles into the resources for Creative Music Therapy, his use of improvisation and improvised songs in group music therapy, as well as pioneering work with self-referred adults integrating music psychotherapy and community music therapy practice.
He is also recognized for his pioneering research efforts studying the improvisation process. He engaged in a detailed qualitative analysis of the connection between words and music in a series of improvisations in a long term course of therapy with an adult client. Turry’s study is particularly notable because of its attempt to link elements of music with the specific verbal-lyrical content of the improvised songs comprising the data of his study. He is the author of several chapters describing contemporary developments in Nordoff-Robbins music therapy including “Transference and Countertransference in Nordoff-Robbins Music Therapy” and “Supervision in the Nordoff-Robbins Music Therapy Training Program.”
Dr. Turry is the Principal Investigator on key research projects being conducted at Nordoff-Robbins. In 2012 he was the recipient of the Arthur Flagler Fultz Research Award, given by the American Music Therapy Association to support the collaboration being undertaken by the Center with Rusk Rehabilitation Institute at NYU Medical Center to develop and research an integrated music therapy/occupational therapy stroke rehabilitation program. This grant augments support originally provided by the Steinhardt Office of Research Faculty challenge grants awarded to Dr. Turry in 2011. Dr. Turry is overseeing the development of a research instrument, The Music Engagement Scale, designed to measure client gains in music therapy. His research perspective - that measuring functional gains and improvement in quality of life is more appropriate rather than symptom reduction when researching the effectiveness of music therapy interventions with autistic children – was recently published in two leading music therapy journals.
Dr. Turry is recognized nationally and internationally as a leader in music therapy clinical technique. He has taught and presented his work throughout Asia and Europe. He was a visiting lecturer at the Nordoff-Robbins Centre in London, and a visiting professor at Lesley University in Boston, Saint-Mary-of-the-Woods College in Indiana, the University of Lisbon in Portugal and Senzoku College, Japan. He led the development of Nordoff-Robbins supervision programs in Japan, the Nordoff-Robbins clinical program in Korea, and has led workshops on clinical improvisation in Denmark, Greece, Poland, Ireland and Italy. He was also a keynote speaker at the 8th World Congress of Music Therapy in Hamburg in 1996, and the 13th World Congress in Seoul, Korea in 2011. He provides supervision to music therapists throughout the world including Greece, Hong-Kong, Singapore, and Beijing.
Dr. Turry is on the editorial board of several leading music therapy journals including Music and Medicine, published by the International Association for Music & Medicine (IAMM), and Music Therapy Perspectives, published by the American Music Therapy association. He is a reviewer for Voices, A World Forum of Music Therapy.
Dr. Turry earned his Bachelor's, Master's, and Doctoral degrees in Music Therapy from New York University. Since 1987 he has been teaching clinical improvisation in the NYU Graduate Music Therapy Program. In addition he currently teaches Piano Foundations and Adult Methods in the same program.
“Alan Turry is a wonderful balance of being an extraordinary musician and therapist"
E Jones, client