Growing up, my goal in life was to become a professional singer. I spent my formative years performing on stage at school, community theater, and church. I wanted to pursue honing my craft as a singer, so after high school I enrolled at Rollins College as a vocal performance major.
But I quickly realized that although I enjoyed performing immensely, it just wasn’t enough. I wanted a career that would allow me to help others while still making use of my musical talents; so when I discovered music therapy while researching for a paper, I was captivated. I did more research and shadowed a music therapist so I could get a better idea of what it was all about.
Fast forward one year, when I graduated three semesters early so that I could begin my masters degree in music therapy at Illinois State University. I fell in love hard and fast (coincidentally, with both my studies and my now-husband, who I began dating just as I started graduate school).
Although I originally intended to work with older adults, my professors were convinced that working with children was my calling. After several practicum experiences, I started to agree with them. I finished my coursework and began an internship with a private practice in St. Louis.
Upon completion of my internship, I returned to my hometown of Springfield, Illinois where I had a job waiting for me at The Hope Institute for Children & Families. (Life works in mysterious ways: months earlier, the school had received a grant for a music therapist. Just as I started to worry about securing a job halfway through my internship, I received an email inviting me to interview for the position.)
My private practice, Music Therapy Connections, was started almost by accident — I kept receiving requests for music therapy services and accepted them as they came.
After four years at The Hope Institute, I left to run my business on a full-time basis. Then in the summer of 2013, my life got a whole lot more interesting when my husband Zach and I welcomed our son Parker. As my son grew, so did my business. In the summer of 2014, I joined forces with my now-business partner to expand Music Therapy Connections.
That was just the beginning of what has been a wild adventure. Less than a year into our partnership, we realized we had already outgrown our new space inside a local music store and decided to open our very own studio.
This happened just as my daughter Mia was born in late spring 2015. Needless to say, this has been a very exciting (and sleep-deprived!) year, and the fun has just begun.
I have big dreams not only for Music Therapy Connections, but also for Listen & Learn Music. I’m still learning how to be a great mom AND an effective clinician AND a business owner. I love having this space as an outlet to share my thoughts, experiences and reflections; I so appreciate you following along and supporting me in this journey.
Part 1 // Part 2 // Part 3 // Part 4