Surgery with Music Series: Post #11 Spotlight on Music Therapy Researcher, Deforia Lane


One of the first music therapists that I ever met was a lady named Deforia Lane. Deforia had just taken her PhD dissertation defense and she was feeling very relieved.  This was mid-1990 and I had just met my soon-to-be mentor, Arthur Harvey, DMA.  Arthur was presenting a workshop in Cleveland and invited me to go with him to see how he presents.  Deforia joined us at the very end of the workshop and I could tell that she was extremely passionate about music therapy and about music therapy research.  Her PhD dissertation had to do with testing salivary iGA (immuno-globulin, in patients that had just had a music therapy session.  I believe that her research showed that the music therapy session did increase the amount of salivary iGA, which means it does boost the immune system.

This was almost 30 years ago and since then, Dr Deforia Lane has conducted many ground-breaking studies on different aspects of music therapy.  One of her most recent stories has to do with music therapy before surgery with women diagnosed with breast cancer.  Listen to her talk about how this study played out: (video starts with one of Dr Lane’s colleagues singing the patients favorite song, before she is taken into surgery.)

I have met with Deforia Lane many times as of 2020, and have found her to be a dynamic speaker, an approachable researcher, and a compassionate clinician.  One of my favorite videos of her working with children  here

In addition to her research and clinical work, Dr Lane is a much-in-demand speaker who has done numerous Ted Talks around the country.   I’ll leave you with one final video of one of my heroes, Deforia Lane:

I hope you’ve enjoyed this blog post and will leave me some comments and questions!