Olivia Swedberg Yinger

Director of Music Therapy
Music Therapy

PhD, Florida State University
MME, Florida State University
BM, Florida State University

NICU Music Therapist
Neurologic Music Therapist

At UK since: 2012

Before joining the faculty of the University of Kentucky, Dr. Olivia Yinger served as a Teaching Assistant at the Florida State University College of Music, where she taught courses for undergraduate and graduate equivalency music therapy majors. She previously coordinated the Tallahassee Memorial HealthCare/Florida State University Music Therapy and Arts in Medicine Program, as well as the National Institute for Infant and Child Medical Music Therapy. Dr. Yinger directed the North Florida Parkinson’s Awareness Choir from 2007 to 2011 and completed the National Parkinson Foundation’s Allied Team Training for Parkinson’s in 2009. She gained clinical experience with a variety of populations through her work with Healing Hearts Music Therapy, a private practice in Tallahassee, Florida, where she provided contract services for two school districts, several assisted living and skilled nursing facilities, a rehabilitation facility, and a psychiatric treatment center.

From 2007 to 2012, Dr. Yinger served as the Chair of the Florida State Task Force for Government Relations, a joint effort of the American Music Therapy Association and the Certification Board for Music Therapists. Since 2012, she has served on the Kentucky State Task Force for Government Relations. She also serves on the editorial board of the Journal of Music Therapy and is a delegate-elect to the American Music Therapy Association Assembly of Delegates, representing the southeastern region. She has also served on the Certification Board for Music Therapists practice analysis and self-assessment examination committees. From 2013 to 2015, she was the conference program chair for the Southeastern Region of the American Music Therapy Association.

Dr. Yinger currently serves as a fellow of the National Institute for Infant and Child Medical Music Therapy and presents and publishes at the regional, national, and international level. In 2010, she co-authored a grant to expand and replicate the highly acclaimed Tallahassee Memorial HealthCare procedural support music therapy program through a project called Caring with the Assistance of Live Music (CALM), which received funding from the Johnson & Johnson/Society for the Arts in HealthCare Partnership for Arts in Healing. In 2013, she co-founded the mUsiKcare program at the University of Kentucky with colleagues Vicki McVay and Lori Gooding. Dr. Yinger’s primary research interests are procedural support music therapy, neonatal and pediatric music therapy, music in gerontology, and music therapy for individuals with neurological disorders.