I am Board Certified Music Therapist, serving the Central Maryland area in my private practice, Annapolis Music Therapy Services. I’m also a classically trained pianist in the Liszt lineage. My career goal is to be an effective ally of the Neurodiversity/Autistic Rights Movement, even more important to me than my career as a music therapist. I do not believe neurotypical people can claim allyship, but rather this is a title/honor that is given by those whom a person aims to align with. I started out in music education, both in public/private schools and running my own piano studio. I got my music degree from CSU-Pueblo in 2003. After moving back to my native Maryland, I commuted over 2 hours (!!) from Baltimore to Shenandoah University, to continue my journey toward becoming a credentialed Music Therapist (MT-BC). (That was my only option at the time, since there are currently no music therapy graduate programs in MD.) By May 2013 I had finished my internship at Kennedy Krieger Institute (a long story for another day), passed the Board Examination, and started a private practice. The following year I co-authored the article “Sensory Friendly Concerts: A community music therapy initiative to promote Neurodiversity” in the Int’l Journal of Community Music’s special issue on Community Music Therapy.
The Musical Autist 501c3 nonprofit organization is located between Baltimore and Annapolis, MD. We are a short hop from DC. We have awesome culture here! It is our vision to promote Autistic Culture by creating ACCESS TO THE ARTS in live concert settings, by creating venues that are both respectful and accommodating, and by training performing artists to be understanding of their audience members. (Think about it, just because a person can’t sit still and be quiet, doesn’t mean they’re enjoying the music any less!) When I first started this work back in 2011, my goal was to define, establish and trademark “Sensory Friendly Concerts®,” so that these events would fall within the practice of Community Music Therapy and only be facilitated by credentialed music therapists. **Side note – yes we actually got the federal trademark, I still can’t believe it – but do I care about upholding this rule and telling people and venues they can’t use the name? No way, I’ve got way more important things to do with my time and essentially, when I see people using the name I think “Mission accomplished! These ideas are catching on and society is becoming more accommodating to autistic people!”
This is me (a long time ago) playing some Liszt.
Liszt’s, ‘Valise Oubliee’ no.1 in F# (The Forgotten Waltz)
at the Stanley Hotel, Estes Park, Colorado, Dec.03