Updated: Jul 15, 2020
How did you get into the music therapy field?
I grew up in suburban Seattle, WA, USA. I've played music semi-professionally since high school.
I didn't know music therapy was a legitimate field until 2015, but once I discovered it and did a great deal of research and soul searching, I knew I had to become a Music Therapist. I researched universities all over the world, but I ultimately chose the University of Barcelona's Master in Music Therapy program. I graduated in late 2017 and I passed the CBMT examination shortly thereafter.
What are your main passions and areas of interest within music therapy?
I enjoy working with adults of all types to promote mental health and wellness.
I especially enjoy working with adults near the end-of-life in palliative and hospice care because it is an incredibly profound stage of life where music therapists can do incredible healing work addressing our patients' existential and spiritual issues.
(I've found songwriting to be especially powerful, which can then become a musical legacy gift for the patient's loved ones.) Also, I deeply connect with music from the 1950s and 1960s, even though it's not of my generation (sometimes I think I was born 20 years too late).
As a life-long traveler, I love working with people from other cultures. Music is a fantastic way to connect through language barriers (people around the world love English language songs regardless of their ability to understand the language). As a native English speaker living in Spain/Catalonia, along with learning the Spanish language I've become exposed to Spanish and Catalan songs and musical styles.
Where do you currently practice music therapy and with which populations do you work?
In Barcelona, I currently practice with adults at two locations: Centre Fòrum Hospital in palliative care, and Centre Moxka. Especially if patients indicate a fondness for English-language music, I am probably involved.
While I grow my in-person practice in Spain, I intend to pursue music therapy sessions via Telehealth in the USA.
What are your professional goals and aspirations?
My goal is to be a location independent Music Therapist. I want to grow my music therapy practice in Spain and present/lecture around the world (in English and Spanish) while doing sessions via Telehealth in the USA.
I want to be an advocate for the power and efficacy of music therapy so we all have more (and well-paid) opportunities across the globe and ultimately heal more people through this amazing medium we work with.
I am currently developing video courses for CMTE credits.
I am currently writing a book about my many musical/travel adventures (I've lived in 5 different countries and traveled to dozens more), which will include some anecdotes from my music therapy work and the powerful results I've witnessed.
I want to continue to play gigs as a percussionist/drummer/guitarist/singer and play live with great players whenever I can (and if you ever come to Barcelona, I'll tell you where you can see me). It's a great way to keep one's musical chops sharp, increase one's repertoire, and of course have a great time.
Do you have a favourite music therapy book or quote?
My current favorite book is "A Transpersonal Model of Music Therapy: Deepening Practice" by Barbara J. Crowe.
"Music is probably the one real magic I have encountered in my life. There's not some trick involved with it. It's pure and it's real. It moves, it heals, it communicates and does all these incredible things." - Tom Petty