Dr. Tracy Richardson holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Music Therapy (St. Mary-of-the-Woods College), M.S. in Agency Counseling (Indiana State University), and Ph.D. in Counselor Education (ISU). Dr. Richardson is a Professor of Music Therapy and the Chairperson of the Music and Theatre Department at St. Mary-of-the-Woods College, and has taught at SMWC since 1995. Dr. Richardson was awarded the Sister Mary Joseph Pomeroy Award for Faculty Excellence in Service in 2005 and 2013. She designed and started the Master of Arts in Music Therapy program in 2000, as well as the unique Music Therapy Equivalency Distance program in 2012.
Dr. Tracy Richardson is a board certified music therapist and has worked with people with a variety of health issues, including mental health challenges, developmental disabilities, and cancer. She specializes in the use of clinical songwriting as a music therapy intervention and teaches songwriting skills to other music therapists. She works with groups (such as breast cancer survivors, military spouses, and those dealing with grief) in creating a personalized group “theme” song. Her private practice includes music therapy with clients at the Maple Center for Integrative Health and Union Hospital oncology unit. She regularly presents locally and nationally on topics such as Music and Wellness, Music Therapy in Medicine, and Tapping Your Creative Potential; she serves on the American Music Therapy Association (AMTA) Board of Directors, is a Past President of the Great Lakes Region of the AMTA, and won the Conference Songwriting Award awarded by AMTA in 2009.
Tracy is a singer, songwriter, and keyboard player. In the 1980s she was in a band that opened for Randy Travis, George Strait, Keith Whitley, and John Conlee. She has released two CDs containing original songs, and continues to perform in local venues around the Wabash Valley as a solo performer and in bands.
Photo credit: Amanda L. Perry
Tracy grew up on a farm in rural Indiana listening to the music of the Carpenters, the Eagles, Helen Reddy, the Bee Gees, Carole King, the Beatles, James Taylor...and a lot more. Most of all she loved music by singer-songwriters, music with great harmonies, and of course, music with prominent keyboard parts! She began piano lessons at age 9, began writing songs at age 10, and was playing keyboards and singing in a band at age 15. The first album she owned was "I Am Woman" by Helen Reddy (perhaps foreshadowing her attending and teaching at a women's college, and developing a passion for women's issues).
In the 80's she was the female vocalist and keyboard player in several bands and had the opportunity to perform from Chicago to Nashville, and across the midwest. She also was fortunate to be in bands that opened for such greats as George Strait, Randy Travis, John Conlee, and Keith Whitley. As a solo performer she opened for Earl Thomas Conley and Little Anthony.
Although she's sung country, rock, pop and other styles, these days she is most passionate about singing and playing her own compositions, which tend to be a blend of blues, folk, pop, country, and whatever else feels right in the moment. She currently listens to a variety of music, but especially appreciates bold women artists like Bonnie Raitt, Diana Krall, Sara Bareillis, Brandi Carlile, and Patti Griffin, among others.