Alison Balbag, PhD, DMA

Instructional Assistant Professor


PhD Harp Performance, University of Southern California
PhD Gerontology, University of Southern California


Alison Balbag is a musician, gerontologist, educator, and academic entrepreneur. A double doctor in gerontology and harp performance, she investigates music’s influence on health and development across the lifespan. A strong advocate for the connection between the arts and health, her media coverage includes National Geographic, Psychology Today, Psychiatry Advisor, and The Californian. Balbag’s music background grants her a unique insight into the arts-health connection, and she has presented her research at conferences and invited lectures in the U.S. and Europe. A harpist, she’s soloed with orchestras, won first place in several solo competitions, performed on-screen (Modern Family, Glee, PBS Great Performances), and played with artists including Stevie Wonder, Yo-Yo Ma, Pink Martini, Burt Bacharach, Natalie Cole, Nancy Wilson, Josh Groban, Itzhak Perlman, and LeVar Burton.

Mailing Address: University of Southern California
Davis School of Gerontology
3715 McClintock Avenue
Los Angeles, CA 90089-0191