Full Biography

(PDF version here)

Martha Summa-Chadwick, DMA, has achieved a national reputation as a performer of chamber and solo works for piano and also as an advocate of the use of music in therapy. She holds a Bachelor of Music degree from the Hartt School of Music, a Master of Music degree from the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, and a Doctor of Musical Arts degree from the University of Kansas.  She has also completed both basic and advanced level training in certification for Neurologic Music Therapy from Colorado State University’s Center for Biomedical Research in Music.   She has studied piano under the direction of Luiz de Moura Castro, Yakov Kasman, and Jack Winerock.

As a concert pianist, Dr. Summa-Chadwick has performed in roles of both piano and harpsichord soloist with orchestras in New York, Pennsylvania, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Maine, and Alabama, and has also specialized in performing 20th century chamber and solo works. She served twenty-six years on the faculty of the Cadek Conservatory in Chattanooga, TN, where she taught neurotypical students and also persons with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

Her varied career talents include not only that of concert pianist but also teacher and information technologist. Her TED talk, “Dance of the Neural Tango” (presented at TEDxChattanooga, February 2016) can be viewed on YouTube at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wCM4JPmPJcI.  She is a frequent speaker at international, national and state conferences for organizations including the World Piano Pedagogy Conference (WPPC), Music Teacher’s National Association (MTNA), American Music Therapy Association (AMTA), Society for Music Perception and Cognition (SMPC), Southeast Autism Center, Computing Sciences in Colleges, National Association for Music Education (NAfME), Society for Education, Music, and Psychology (SEMPRE) and the Tennessee Arts Commission (TAC).  

Dr. Summa-Chadwick has combined her passion of music and technology in her current role as founder and Executive Director of the 501c3 non-profit Music Therapy Gateway In Communications, Inc. (MTGIC.)  The MTGIC organization is committed to advocate for the cause of music in therapy by 1) one-on-one sessions utilizing biomedical music techniques with those who have cognition, motor, or speech challenges; 2) dissemination of information regarding biomedical music techniques via lectures and concert/lectures or concert/workshops; and 3) creation of high-level software specifications designed to automate biomedical music techniques into software. 

In 2012, she and MTGIC created the Chamber Music for Body and Soul project in order to advocate for the cause of music in therapy in both the concert hall and the lecture hall.  The concert series features both solo and chamber programs that highlight the works of composers who had neural difficulties.  In addition, forms of the dance are highlighted on these programs to lead the audience into the feel of moving to the music.