Dr. Jim Pierce, PhD MT-BC

Clinical Music Therapist

Jim Pierce, PhD, MT-BC, a native of Morgantown, WV, is a clinical music therapist, supervisor, and teacher. Dr. Pierce has an extensive eighteen-year clinical career as a board-certified music therapist with a history of providing meaningful, goal-directed services to individuals and groups in various settings, including acute/long-term adult mental health facilities, facilities for individuals diagnosed with developmental disabilities (including autism), juvenile detention centers, acute/long-term forensic mental health facilities and dual diagnosis facilities, nursing homes, and assisted living facilities. Using music therapy interventions, he successfully gained rapport and engaged clients to achieve individualized goals on their journey to wellness.

Dr. Pierce received his BA in Psychology from West Virginia University, his Masters of Music in Music Therapy from Florida State University, and received his PhD in Music Education from the University of Southern Mississippi. He is currently on faculty at the Rudi E. Scheidt School of Music at the University of Memphis. Dr. Pierce is an actively engaged member of the American Music Therapy Association where he serves as a member of the Tennessee State Taskforce and is President of the Tennessee Association for Music Therapy (TAMT).

As a prolific grant writer and community organizer, Dr. Pierce has been awarded many state and local grants. Of his over $120,000 of awarded grants, each successful endeavor has promoted music therapy services with a positive cascading impact for his university students and community. His most recent grant in the spring of 2020 was provided by the Mississippi Council of Developmental Disabilities. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Dr. Pierce found that virtual music therapy interventions were effective for meeting participant goals. Music therapy interventions provide opportunities for individuals to harness the power of music to cope, grow, and recover.

Dr. Pierce has worked with a diverse range of populations including schizophrenia disorder, bipolar disorder, substance use disorder, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), oppositional defiance disorder (ODD), and Alzheimer's disease. He specializes in providing a cognitive-behavioral approach to mental health and music therapy, including individual and group sessions for children, adolescents, and adults.