Sharon Katz, MM/MT, is a visiting Associate Professor in the Expressive Arts Therapy Program. She received her BA in English, African Government and Law from the University of Cape Town, South Africa; her Teacher's Licentiate in Music from Trinity College of London; and her Master's in Music/Music Therapy from Temple University in Philadelphia. She has practiced as a music therapist, educator, social activist, performer and conflict resolution consultant since 1983 working in prisons, schools, universities, mental health facilities, drug & alcohol rehabilitation centers, youth empowerment projects, HIV/AIDS orphanages, and community development programs.
In support of Nelson Mandela's vision for ending apartheid and peacefully transitioning to a non-racial democracy, Sharon founded The Peace Train in South Africa in 1992 to pilot her African model of music therapy in conflict resolution and community development. Its success led to her training government leaders, community workers, educators and musicians from throughout Africa at the Ford Foundation's International Center for African Music and Dance at the University of Ghana, under the leadership of world-renown ethnomusicologist, Professor J. Kwabena Nketia. Sharon has also taught her music therapy model at universities and colleges across the world including Berklee College of Music, State University of New York and Michigan State in the United States; Acadia University in Canada; Lesley University in Israel; the City of Knowledge in Panama; and the World Congress of Music Therapy.
Sharon is also an accomplished guitarist, vocalist, producer and director specializing in South African music. She formed South Africa's first 500-voice mixed race choir and band; performed for Nelson Mandela's victory party and when he won the Peace Award; and led South Africa's first integrated performing group to tour the United States following liberation. She was also commissioned to orchestrate African music to be played by the then all-white Natal Philharmonic Orchestra. Sharon has toured worldwide with her band and recorded numerous albums including the Grammy-nominated Imbizo. She is the subject of a film currently being made about The Peace Train, entitled When Voices Meet, which documents how she used her music therapy model in the midst of a civil war.