Dr. Blythe LaGasse is coordinator and professor of Music Therapy at Colorado State University. For over fifteen years she has been a music therapist specializing in working with children on the autism spectrum.
Dr. LaGasse holds degrees from the University of Kansas (Ph.D. with Music Therapy and Communication Neuroscience emphasis), Colorado State University (M.M. in Music, Music Therapy), and University of Kansas (B.M. in Music Therapy). Additionally, she was a faculty trainer for the Neurologic Music Therapy (NMT) Academy for eight years. She holds a certificate of proficiency in DIR/Floortime from the Interdisciplinary Council on Development and Learning. With a strong background in communication neuroscience, her research interests include the use of music to improve communication and cognitive skills in children with developmental disabilities and autism spectrum disorder.
At CSU, Dr. LaGasse teaches undergraduate and graduate coursework in Music Therapy and Directs the Music Therapy Distance Learning Program.
Dr. LaGasse has publications in Frontiers in Integrative Neuroscience, the Journal of Music Therapy, Music Therapy Perspectives, and Music and Medicine. She has served as the American Music Therapy Association (AMTA) Council Coordinator for Professional Practices and the Midwestern Region AMTA President. She is lead Editor of the Journal of Music Therapy.
Dr. LaGasse was the 2016 recipient of the American Music Therapy Association Arthur Flagler Fultz Research grant award for a project entitled “Impact of Music Therapy Treatment on Auditory Processing in Children with Autism”. In 2016 she and co-investigator Dr. Erik Johnson were awarded the GRAMMY Foundation grant award for their project entitled “Musical Creativity in Autism: Exploring Growth through Collaborative Peer Interaction”.
Dr. LaGasse was the 2011-2012 recipient of the College of Liberal Arts Distinction in Outreach Award in recognition of her efforts to connect CSU students to the community through Service Learning and Community Outreach Clinics. She was the 2015 recipient of the American Music Therapy Association Research Award. She was the 2016-2017 recipient of the College of Liberal Arts Excellence in Teaching Award. She was the Fall 2017 recipient of the CSU Online Innovative Educator Award. She was the 2020-2021 recipient of the Colorado State University System Board of Governors Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching Award.