Paul R. Ackerman graduated from Willamette University with B.A. in clinical psychology and a minor in music education. After working in psychology and music therapy programmes, he attended the University of Kansas where he was awarded an M.A. in clinical psychology. Columbia University awarded him a Ph.D. in Special Education and Child Psychology, after which he devoted the rest of his career to federal programmes of special education, international research and music therapy. He 'retired' in 2000 to an enhanced career of development consultation, music therapy and technology study.