Michael H Thaut received his masters and PhD in music from Michigan State University with a minor in movement science. He also has a degree in music from the Mozarteum Music University in Salzburg/Austria and holds a German Diplom in Psychology and Education. At Colorado State University he is a Professor of Music and a Professor of Neuroscience and served as Director of the School of the Arts from 2001 to 2010. He has been the Director of the Center for Biomedical Research in Music since 1994. He was a Visiting Professor of Music at the Mozarteum in 1985, and a Visiting Professor of Kinesiology at the University of Michigan/Ann Arbor in 1993. He has also been a Visiting Scientist in Neurology at Duesseldorf University Medical School 1995-2001, a Visiting Professor at Heidelberg University of Applied Sciences in 2002. He holds a Visiting Professorship of Music at Kurashiki Sakuyo University/Japan since 2005. From 2010 to 2012, he held the position of Chancelor of the SRH-University System Germany, an alliance of 6 private colleges, and also served as Interim President of the SRH University of Health Sciences in Gera.
Dr. Thaut is an international leader in the neuroscience of music. His internationally recognized research in brain function and music focuses on temporal information processing in the brain related to rhythmicity and biomedical applications of music to neurologic rehabilitation of cognitive and motor function. His discoveries how auditory rhythm entrains motor and cognitive functions have led to landmark changes how music has become recognized as a language of brain rehabilitation. He and his team are the originators of the clinical system of Neurologic Music Therapy which is the only evidence based form of music therapy, applied world- wide in neurorehabilitation, and endorsed by the World Federation of Neurorehabilitation. New research directions focus on furthering the role of music in cognitive rehabilitation and pathway and complexity studies into the effects of rhythm on basal ganglia and cerebellar function to extend our mechanism understanding of auditory neuroscience in brain rehabilitation.
Dr. Thaut received the National Research Award in 1993 and the National Service Award in 2001 from the American Music Therapy Association. He has over 140 scientific publications and has authored and coauthored 4 books. His works have appeared in German, Japanese, Korean, Italian, and Spanish language. Popular TV media and numerous print media have featured his research nationally and internationally. He is an elected member and former treasurer of the World Academy of Multidisciplinary Neurotraumatology, a member of the management council of the World Federation of Neurologic Rehabilitation, and serves as Vice President of the International Society for Music and Medicine. He was elected in 2007 as President of the International Society for Clinical Neuromusicology.
As a former professional violinist in the classic and folk genre he has recorded several LPs/CDs of chamber and folk music in the US and Germany and has toured in Europe extensively. He is also the author of a landmark anthology of European and North American folk fiddle music that has been in print since 1982. In 1995 his group ‘Folk Chamber Ensemble ‘ played 3 invited concerts at the Northwest German Summer Music Festival entitled ‘Folk Meets Classic’. He continues to perform in small chamber and folk ensembles as time permits.