Research Institute for Aging
Research Institute for Aging


Home 9 News 9 Laurier, RIA Announce Plans for New Schlegel Research Chair in Music Therapy and Aging

Laurier, RIA Announce Plans for New Schlegel Research Chair in Music Therapy and Aging

Jun 22, 2023 | RIA Announcements

The Schlegel-UW Research Institute for Aging (RIA) and Wilfrid Laurier University are pleased to announce the creation of the Schlegel Research Chair in Music Therapy and Aging made possible by the generosity of the RBJ Schlegel Family Foundation. This first collaboration between the RIA, Laurier and the Schlegel Foundation is a testament to the shared vision of the role of music in promoting healthier, more fulfilling aging.

“The potential impact of this new chair for the aging population, the academic community, and society at large promises to be significant and transformative to the lives of older adults and those who care for them,” said Tina Mah, executive director of the RIA.

Music is increasingly recognized within the health sciences as providing multifaceted benefits that bolster emotional, cognitive, and social well-being. The Schlegel Research Chair in Music Therapy and Aging will pioneer research in this relatively untapped area of study and engage with the community to share findings and develop innovative, music-focused interventions for and with older adults.

“We’ve always felt it in our minds and bodies and now we’re seeing it in the research: music brings people together; music inspires us and helps us grow; music brings us joy and wellness,” says Cynthia Johnston Turner, Dean of Laurier’s Faculty of Music. “The Laurier Faculty of Music continuously seeks opportunities to grow our teaching and research into areas that directly impact our communities.”

The RIA supports a world-class research team, including ten Schlegel Research Chairs and two specialists. The creation of this next Research Chair will contribute to the interdisciplinary approach to research that will offer comprehensive solutions to the challenges and opportunities that come with an aging population.

“We believe research can drive solutions for the needs of older adults and change the culture of aging. We are pleased to support two leading institutions in Waterloo to bring this vision to reality,” said Ronald P. Schlegel, founder, Schlegel Foundation.


The Schlegel-UW Research Institute for Aging (RIA) is a charitable, non-profit organization dedicated to enhancing the quality of life and care of older adults. The RIA tackles some of the biggest issues facing an aging population by driving research and innovation to improve education and practice. The RIA develops and shares solutions that make a difference to benefit older adults everywhere.


The RBJ Schlegel Family Foundation is a charitable granting foundation with a focus on health research in aging, research in mental health and addictions, and global poverty reduction.  The Schlegel Foundation also grants a limited number of community grants in the Waterloo-Wellington area. The founders, Ronald and Barbara Schlegel and their sons, Rob, Brad and Jamie are successful entrepreneurs who have made it a priority to build healthy communities. Their strong commitment to philanthropy is rooted in values instilled from the legacy of previous generations fostering their desire to make a substantial and positive difference.


Wilfrid Laurier University is committed to academic excellence. Laurier’s holistic approach to learning integrates innovative programming with hands-on experience outside the classroom to ensure Laurier graduates are not only ready for the future but are inspired to leave their mark on the world. Community is at the heart of all we do. Laurier inspires students to engage in campus life and the broader community, leading to high levels of student satisfaction and engaged alumni who carry the Laurier legacy throughout the world. As a community of researchers, leaders and educators, Laurier builds knowledge that serves society and creates connections that have a lasting impact. Learn more about Laurier’s more than 20,000 students in nine faculties in Waterloo, Brantford, and Kitchener at


Noel Gruber
Director of Communications and Public Relations
Schlegel-UW Research Institute for Aging
(519) 590-6635

Jason Coolman
VP: Advancement & External Relations
Wilfrid Laurier University

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