Prof. Dr. Douglas Keith has started his term as a guest professor for music therapy, funded by DAAD/BMBF. In this interview he tells about his path and his goals at SRH University Heidelberg.
What do you particularly like about the SRH University Heidelberg?
I first came to SRH in 1990 as a DAAD student in music therapy, and since that time I have valued the focus on health care and rehabilitation at SRH. Music therapy education is at the heart of the history of SRH Heidelberg University, and I appreciate the continued support for the School of Therapeutic Sciences here within the university. I also value the emphasis on teaching and learning, as well as internationalization. Of course, most of all I like the students, because that’s why any of us is here. I like being able to work directly with students in small groups, because in my experience, that promotes true engagement in the subject and leads to learning!
What kind of expertise do you have as a guest lecturer?
I bring over 15 years of experience in academia, teaching bachelor and master’s students in the creative arts therapies. Additionally I bring years of clinical experience as a music therapist in both Germany and the U.S., having worked with psychiatric patients, children with developmental disabilities, senior adults with dementia, premature infants, and adults with HIV/AIDS. Currently I am teaching in the research modules of the BA and MA, and I draw on my experience conducting both qualitative and quantitative research studies in music therapy. Taken all together, I think that my clinical, teaching, and research expertise help me to understand the learning needs of a wide variety of students and help them meet their goals.
What goals have you set yourself personally as a guest lecturer?
It is very important to be able to function in a variety of systems and cultures. I come from the Southeastern region of the U.S., which has its own specific cultures and ways of doing things, and I come from the U.S. educational system with its many colleges and universities, each with its own way of functioning—and yet the essential goals of universities are very similar: to educate people. And so one of my personal goals at SRH is to understand how the university functions, with its very specific module system, to educate people. For me, the more important goal is to support the School of Therapeutic Sciences in its process of internationalization, which means concretely that I will be continuing to develop competencies in marketing and communicating with external stakeholders.