Abbey Dvorak

Music Therapy
Associate Professor
Music Therapy Area Head

Abbey Dvorak, PhD, MT-BC, is an associate professor of music therapy at the University of Iowa. Dvorak received her PhD and MA from the University of Iowa and BA from Briar Cliff University. Previously, she served as assistant/associate professor of music education and music therapy at the University of Kansas (2013-2020) and assistant professor of music therapy at Shenandoah University (2011-2013). 

Dvorak’s research interests include the use of music in mindfulness practices, and research skill development in music therapy education and training. She was awarded the American Music Therapy Association (AMTA) Midwestern Region 2018 Research Award for her work and has published articles in Psychology of MusicJournal of Music TherapyMusic Therapy PerspectivesNordic Journal of Music TherapyCanadian Journal of Music Therapy, and Imagine. Dvorak has received research grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, American Music Therapy Association Arthur Flagler Fultz Research Award, The Commons at KU, KU Center for Teaching Excellence, KU Center for Undergraduate Research, KU General Research Fund, and the University of Iowa Department of Rehabilitation Therapies Research Award. She regularly presents her research at international, national, regional, and university conferences.

Dvorak worked as a music therapist in the Department of Rehabilitation Therapies at the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics from 2004-2011. Her primary clinical work included music therapy in mental health with children, adolescents, adults, and older adults in both inpatient and outpatient settings. In addition, she provided services to adult oncology patients and families during hospitalization, outpatient cancer treatments, and cancer support groups. Dvorak also facilitated individual and group music therapy sessions for West Music Company serving a variety of clientele, including children and adults with disabilities and adults in hospice care. 

Dvorak is on the editorial boards for the Journal of Music Therapy and Music Therapy Perspectives, and has served as a guest reviewer for several peer-reviewed journals including: Higher EducationPsychology of MusicFrontiers in PsychologyArts in PsychotherapyBMC PsychiatryCommunity Mental Health Journal, and Research Studies in Music Education. Dvorak serves as an Assembly Delegate for the American Music Therapy Association, was secretary for the AMTA Midwestern Region Board of Directors, and was a member of the AMTA Judicial Review Board. Dvorak also served on the Certification Board for Music Therapy (CBMT) Self-assessment Exam Committee and CBMT Practice Analysis Committee.

Dvorak is a research mentor for the journal Music Therapy Perspectives and also mentors individual, small-group, and course-based research teams of graduate and undergraduate students. The individuals and teams publish and present their work at university, regional, and national conferences. She has worked closely with the KU Center for Undergraduate Research, served on its Faculty Advisory Board, and mentored students in the Emerging Scholars Program.

Research areas
  • Music therapy
Portrait of Abbey Dvorak

University of Iowa
4468 Voxman Music Building (VOX)
93 East Burlington Street
Iowa City, IA 52240
United States