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Professor emeritus of music therapy dies at 81

April 30, 2010

Charles Edward Braswell, professor emeritus of music therapy at Loyola University New Orleans, died on April 16, in Manitowoc, Wis. In 1957, Braswell founded the music therapy program at Loyola, which was one of the first music therapy degree programs in the South. He retired from Loyola in 1993 after 36 years of service.

Braswell wrote and published numerous articles on music therapy which helped form the foundation for the training of music therapists. He was among the second generation of music therapy educators who shaped the profession and the National Association for Music Therapy, where he served as vice president from 1969-71 and as president from 1971-73.

“Under Braswell, Loyola’s music therapy program rivaled programs many times its size in its research output,” said Anthony Decuir, Ph.D., associate dean for Loyola’s College of Music and Fine Arts. “Charles will be deeply missed by his many students and devoted friends.”

Braswell received a Bachelor of Music in piano performance from North Texas State University and Master of Music in piano performance from the American Conservatory of Music in Chicago, Ill. After serving in the U.S. Marines, Braswell attended the University of Kansas where he studied music therapy under E. Thayer Gaston and later completed an internship in music therapy at the Menninger Foundation Hospital in Topeka, Kan.

Born July 28, 1928, in Fordyce, Ark., Braswell was the only child of Etta Sarah Crone and Alvin Travis Braswell. His family moved to New Boston, Texas, shortly after his birth. Burial will take place in the family plot in Red Bayou Cemetery, New Boston, Texas.

In lieu of flowers, Braswell’s family requests donations to be made to Loyola’s Charles Edward Braswell Endowed Professorship in Music Therapy. For more information on how to donate, contact Anna Justice, senior development officer for the College of Music and Fine Arts, at ajustice@loyno.edu or call 504-861-5989.

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