Betsey King


Betsey King began her music career as a violinist, studying with Dorothy DeLay at the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music. She has been a board-certified music therapist since 1984, working in a wide range of clinical areas including special education, physical rehabilitation, medical, forensic and gerontology settings. Prior to coming to Nazareth, she served as assistant professor and head of the Music Therapy Department at Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas. She received a Ph.D. from the University of Kansas.

As the co-founder of Prelude Music Therapy, Dr. King has created and authored songbooks, therapy materials, and instructional texts, many of which are used in university and internship programs throughout the U.S. With Kathleen Coleman, she is the author of the SEMTAP: Special Education Music Therapy Assessment Process, an evaluation tool now in use across the country. Her 2015 book, Music Heard So Deeply: A Music Therapy Memoir, shares clinical stories from her 30 years of music therapy practice, including powerful effects on a gentleman with Alzheimer’s disease, inmates in a county jail, and stroke survivors.

Dr. King is a frequent lecturer, workshop leader, and journal author. Past research topics have included assessment and the cognitive, emotional and physical effects of harmonic progressions and events. Her current research focuses on the recovery of speech and language in adults who have survived brain trauma.

School of Music Responsibilities
Music Therapy


  • University of Kansas, Ph.D.
  • Southern Methodist University, M.M.T.
  • University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music, B.M.

Interview with Dr. King

    Host: Bree Beynon '08, music therapist & managing partner of a Florida music therapy institute

    Video: About 25 minutes into the hour-long program, Dr. King talks about the clinics at Nazareth and research opportunities.