Bill Matney

Assistant Professor: Division of Music Education and Music Therapy
Primary office:
Murphy Hall
Room 448B


Ph.D. University of Kansas, M.A. Texas Woman’s University, B.S. Texas Woman’s University 

William Matney, assistant professor, joined the KU faculty in the fall of 2016. His previous experience includes Nazareth College, where he was assistant professor and clinic manager, and Texas Woman’s University, where he was an adjunct lecturer.

As a clinician, William has worked primarily in special education settings, where he developed programs with unique populations including children who have severe emotional and behavioral disorders and early childhood bilingual co-teach classes.  He has also worked as a private practice clinician with a range of populations. 

William’s current research interests include (a) percussion pedagogy and interventions in music therapy, (b) the role of philosophy and theory in research, and (c) uses of continental philosophy to inform integrative music therapy theory and practice.  He currently serves on the editorial board for Music Therapy Perspectives, and has been a guest article reviewer for the Nordic Journal of Music Therapy. 

William has published research in the Journal of Music Therapy, the Nordic Journal of Music Therapy, and Music Therapy Perspectives.  He also authored the book Tataku: The Use of Percussion in Music Therapy, and co-authored Roots and Branches: Songs of Tradition and Culture. He has provided percussion training to clinicians and students nationally, primarily in relation to the Music Therapy Drumming consortium.  He also presents consistently at regional and national conferences of the American Music Therapy Association. 

Teaching Interests

  • Music therapy
  • Music
  • Guitar
  • Percussion
  • Introduction
  • Theory
  • Philosophy

Research Interests

  • Percussion
  • Pedagogy
  • Theory
  • Philosophy
  • Historiography

Selected Publications

Matney, B. & Niemuth, B. (2019). Chord Progression Handbook. 34.

Matney, B. & Niemuth, B. (2019). Strumming, Fingerpicking, and Hybrid Accompaniment Patterns on the Guitar: A Systematic Introduction to Technique and Styles for Music Therapy and Music Education. 56. Open Education: Funded by KU Scholarworks.

Matney, B. (2018). A Knowledge Framework for the Philosophical Underpinnings of Research: Implications for Music Therapy. Journal of Music Therapy, currently electronic publication. DOI:10.1093/jmt/thy018

Matney, B. (2018). Literature review types: Implications for music therapy. Nordic Journal of Music Therapy, 27(2), 97-125. DOI:10.1080/08098131.2017.1366543

Matney, W. Boyle, S. R., Camilli, T. C., & Meyer, P. (2018). Musicianship in Music Therapy. In W. Matney (Ed.), Music Therapy: An Introduction to the Profession.

Matney, B. & Das, K. (2018). The Rhythmic Acuity Measurement Scale: Implications for Music Therapy Education and Practice. Music Therapy Perspectives, 37(1), 65-73. DOI:10.1093/mtp/miy022

Matney, B. (2017). The effect of instrumentation on anxiety reduction on university students: A feasibility study. Arts in Psychotherapy, 54, 47-55. DOI:10.1016/j.aip.2017.02.006

Scheffel, S. & Matney, B. (2014). Use of and training in percussion: A survey of music therapy clinicians. Journal of Music Therapy, 51(1), 39-63.

Matney, B. & Stock, C. (2010). Roots and Branches: Songs of Tradition and Culture - Volume 1, Sarsen Publishing.

Matney, B. (2007). Tataku: The Use of Percussion in Music Therapy, Denton, TX: Sarsen Publishing.

» Show All Publications

Selected Presentations

Matney, B. . (11/17/2018). Knowledge frameworks: Implications for music therapy. American Music Therapy Association: National Conference. Dallas, Texas

Matney, B. . (11/18/2017 - 11/18/2017). Understanding Literature Reviews: Implications for Music Therapy. American Music Therapy Association National Conference. St. Louis, Missouri

Matney, W. . (11/12/2016). Multiplicity and Design Thinking: Implications for Music Therapy Theory. American Music Therapy Assocation National Conference. Sandusky, Ohio

Matney, B. . (03/29/2009). West African Drumming: A Primer to Technique and Clinical Practice. Presentation, SWAMTA Regional Session. Austin, TX

Matney, B. & Bata, J. . (10/13/2012). West African Drum and Dance: Tradition and Clinical Application. Presentation, AMTA National Concurrent Session, Pheasant Run Resort. St. Charles, IL

Matney, B. . (11/19/2011). Drumming of the African Diaspora (Cuba, Colombia). Presentation, AMTA National Concurrent Session. Atlanta, GA

Music students present hundreds of public concerts every year
Students perform in KU choirs, concert bands, pep bands, ensembles, symphony orchestra, and jazz combos
The school owns one of the greatest jazz record collections in the world
KU Wind Ensemble performed the world premiere of the symphony "In the Shadow of No Towers" at Carnegie Hall
One of 34 U.S. public institutions in the prestigious Association of American Universities
44 nationally ranked graduate programs.
—U.S. News & World Report
Top 50 nationwide for size of library collection.

KU School of Music