Olivia Swedberg Yinger

Olivia Yinger headshot


School of Music

Associate Professor
Lucille Caudill Little Associate Professor and Chair of Music Therapy
Music Therapy
Office Location
319 Rose Lane, Office 203
Office Phone

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

NICU Music Therapist at UK since 2012

Before joining the faculty of the University of Kentucky, Dr. Olivia Yinger taught at the Florida State College of Music as a doctoral teaching assistant. 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. 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. Dr. Yinger serves as Associate Editor for the Journal of Music Therapy and is a delegate to the American Music Therapy Association Assembly of Delegates, representing the southeastern region. She is a member of the Kentucky State Task Force for Government Relations and a fellow of the National Institute for Infant and Child Medical Music Therapy, through which she provides advanced training for music therapists seeking to become Neonatal Intensive Care Music Therapists (NICU-MT). Dr. Yinger has authored or co-authored several books, including Music therapy: Research and evidence-based practice and Procedural support music therapy: A guide to evidence-based practice and program development. She has published research in the Journal of Music Therapy, Music Therapy Perspectives, Psychology of Music, The Arts in Psychotherapy, Update: Applications of Research in Music Education, and the International Journal of Music Education. In 2013, Dr. Yinger co-founded the mUsiKcare program, which provides group piano lessons for adults over 50 to promote wellness, at the University of Kentucky. In 2015, she helped establish a music group in Lexington called Sentimental Journey for people with Parkinson’s disease and their carepartners. In 2019, she received a grant through the UK Human Development Institute to help establish an inclusive summer music camp for elementary school students with and without disabilities at the University of Kentucky. Dr. Yinger’s primary research interests include procedural support music therapy, neonatal and pediatric music therapy, music in gerontology, music therapy for individuals with neurological disorders, creating inclusive music experiences for children with disabilities, Orff-based music therapy, and trauma-informed music therapy practice.

Created 07/20/2021
Last Updated 10/19/2021