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Our Team 2018-04-07T12:45:40+00:00

MEET OUR TEAM

Bessie Barth, MT-BC, Neurologic Music Therapist
Bessie Barth, MT-BC, Neurologic Music TherapistPROPRIETOR, DIRECTOR, & MUSIC THERAPIST

Bessie received her Bachelor’s of Music in Music Therapy from Willamette University in 1996.  During her schooling she worked with a variety of clientele including children with hearing impairments, high school special day classes, skilled nursing, psychiatric facilities, and children’s units in hospitals.  She completed her internship at Welborn Hospital, Mulberry Center in Evansville, Indiana, a short-term psychiatric unit for children and adolescents.  After completing her internship, Bessie spent two and a half years as a Music Therapist at Southside Arts Center in Sacramento, California, an adult day program for adults with developmental disabilities.  She, then, spent time working at the Veterans Home in Yountville, California in the short-term acute hospital and skilled nursing units.

In May of 2000, Bessie began a private practice by becoming a vendor through ALTA California Regional Center.  As her work continued, she was able to develop contracts with school districts in the Sacramento area.  She spent two years working independently before expanding her practice to develop Music To Grow On and increase the number of therapists servicing children with special needs in the Sacramento region. As the business has expanded, the diversity of populations grew to cover all ages and capacities.

In April 2006, Bessie was approved to hold a National Roster Internship site at Music To Grow On through the American Music Therapy Association.  She is the Internship Director and supervises two interns.  She also provides in-services to various groups including Speech Therapists, preschool teachers, and parent support groups about the benefits of Music Therapy.

In 2007, she completed advanced training in Neurologic Music Therapy through the Robert F. Unkefer Academy for Neurologic Music Therapy, earning the title of Neurologic Music Therapist (NMT).

In 2010, she and Amy Murakami co-founded BRIGHT Children International, a non-profit to take services internationally to Bring Resources to Inspire Growth, Healing, and Transformation where she holds the title of President.

Casie Esposito, MT-BC
Casie Esposito, MT-BCMUSIC THERAPIST

Casie Esposito is a Music Therapist-Board Certified (MT-BC). She received her Bachelor’s Degree in Music Therapy from Marywood University of Scranton, Pennsylvania and completed her internship through Mount Sinai Beth Israel with the Louis Armstrong Center for Music and Medicine in New York City. Prior to joining MTGO in 2016, Casie worked in private clinical settings and in skilled nursing.

Her clinical experience ranges from pediatrics and neonatal intensive care to individuals diagnosed intellectual and developmental disabilities, as well as those functioning on the autism spectrum and children utilizing cochlear implants. Casie is also clinically experienced with adults diagnosed with Alzheimer’s and dementia, those affected by traumatic brain injury, and individuals affected by stroke. She is currently attending University of the Pacific for her Master’s of Arts in Music Therapy.

Casie joined Music to Grow On in 2016.

Danielle Keaton, MT-BC
Danielle Keaton, MT-BCMUSIC THERAPIST

Danielle is a Northern California native who graduated with honors from Utah State University in May 2016, double majoring in music therapy and psychology. While in high school, she discovered the profession of music therapy and was instantly intrigued as she believed it to be the perfect vocation which combined her passion for music and her love of helping individuals.

During her college experience, Danielle was a member of the student and state music therapy associations, and she enjoyed serving as a mentor in the Global Aggie Program, working with a young woman refugee; volunteering at an elementary school; participating in the ASL club’s Silent Weekend; and conducting and presenting her research study examining the impact of music education on Hispanic youths. Danielle especially enjoyed her music therapy practicum experiences working with a small group of young children at a preschool and an individual child diagnosed with autism.

Danielle joined Music To Grow On in 2017.

Amy Murakami, MT-BC
Amy Murakami, MT-BCMUSIC THERAPIST

Amy Murakami graduated from Eastern Michigan University with a Bachelor of Music Therapy in April of 2010, and a Special Education Teaching Credential from California State University-Sacramento in May of 2013. She completed her Music Therapy internship with Music To Grow On under the direction of Bessie Barth and the supervision of Kimberly Smith-Ensign.

Amy has experience working with individuals with various disabilities including autism, Down syndrome, cerebral palsy, genetic disorders, brain damage, and severe multiple impairments. Her clientele has ranged from toddler to the elderly, and mild to profound disabilities. She also has experience working with groups. Amy’s teaching credential is in mild/moderate disabilities with the authorization to teach English Language Learners and those with Autism Spectrum Disorders.

Currently, Amy is the Assessment Coordinator for Music To Grow On, completing all assessments requested by local school districts. She is also the Secretary for BRIGHT Children International.

Amy joined Music to Grow On in 2011.

Vienna Sa, MT-BC
Vienna Sa, MT-BCMUSIC THERAPIST
Vienna Sa is a Music Therapist- Board Certified (MT-BC). She studied Neurologic Music Therapy at the Frost School of Music and has a second degree in Psychology from the University of Miami.

She has over 7 years of clinical experience and specializes in working with a variety of ages ranging from children to adults with Autism Spectrum Disorder, individuals diagnosed intellectual and developmental disabilities, and with school-age children with emotional and behaviors disorders. Vienna is also clinically experienced with adults diagnosed with Alzheimer’s and dementia as well as acute psychiatric disorders. She is currently a Graduate Assistant for the Music Therapy program at the University of the Pacific and is a Master’s Candidate in both Music Therapy and Counseling Psychology.

Vienna is very passionate about the national and international music therapy community and was invited to the World Congress in Japan 2017 as the sole North American Student Delegate for the World Federation of Music Therapy. Along with receiving the STARS Undergraduate Award for academic success and exemplary service by being actively involved in the music therapy community, she also was the past Vice President of the American Music Therapy Association for Students and the past President of University of Miami’s Music Therapy Organization. She has presented at the Eastman School of Music on Special Education Law and Music Therapy, at the Nazareth College Music Therapy Mini-Conference and the World Congress in Japan on her work with adolescents with emotional and behavioral disorders using DJ techniques.

She has over a decade of extensive musical training in classical piano, cello, and contemporary guitar. She won an instrumental and vocal competition on cello and received the Ann-Kellogg Scholarship Performance Award. She is passionate about music performance and has performed in a side-by-side with the Cleveland Orchestra and with the Henry Mancini orchestra alongside jazz greats such as Dee Dee Bridgewater, Bobby McFerrin, and Chick Corea. Currently, she is the principal cellist in the University of the Pacific Symphony Orchestra.

Vienna joined Music To Grow On in 2018.

Gigi Siu, MT-BC
Gigi Siu, MT-BCMUSIC THERAPIST

Gigi Siu graduated with a Bachelor of Music in Music Therapy, Piano and Organ Performance from William Carey University in May of 2016. She completed her music therapy internship at Music To Grow On under the supervision and direction of Bessie Barth and then joined the company in September of 2016.

Gigi grew up in Hong Kong, and she is also certified with the Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music. Gigi plays piano, organ, hand bells and guitar. She has four years experience in teaching private piano lessons and providing piano accompaniment to various instrumentalists and vocalists.

She gained experience as she worked with individuals diagnosed with autism, intellectual disabilities, Down syndrome, cerebral palsy, developmental delays, dementia, brain damage, Angelman Syndrome and other various disabilities during her internship and study in college.

Gigi joined Music to Grow On in 2016.

Rebekah Steiner, MT-BC
Rebekah Steiner, MT-BCMUSIC THERAPIST

Rebekah Steiner graduated from University of the Pacific in Stockton, California with a Bachelor of Music in Music Therapy in May of 2017. She completed her music therapy internship at Music To Grow On under the direction and supervision of Bessie Barth.

Rebekah has experience working with children and adults in individual and group sessions with varying disabilities including autism spectrum disorder, Down syndrome, cerebral palsy, fetal alcohol spectrum disorder, intellectual disabilities, genetic disorders, vision and hearing impairments, severe multiple impairments, and dementia. Rebekah also has experience working with adult oncology patients in a hospital setting.

Rebekah joined Music To Grow On in March 2018.

Kristina Taylor, MM, MT-BC
Kristina Taylor, MM, MT-BCMUSIC THERAPIST

Kristina Taylor graduated from Carnegie Mellon University with a Master’s degree in Music Composition and went on to complete a certificate program in Music Therapy from Seton Hill University.  She completed her internship with Music To Grow On under the direction and supervision of Bessie Barth and has stayed on as an employee of the company.

Kris has experience working with both children and adults with cerebral palsy, post-traumatic stress disorder, developmental delays, autism, Down syndrome, dementia, traumatic brain injury, speech impairments and other various disabilities.​

With a background in composition, Kris also has experience with several instruments including piano, guitar, flute, voice, percussion instruments and most woodwind instruments.  She has several years of teaching experience with grade school through college level and enjoys teaching adaptive and beginner lessons.

Kristina joined Music to Grow On in 2014.

Nick Xiong, MT-BC
Nick Xiong, MT-BCMUSIC THERAPIST

Nick Xiong received his BA degree in music from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte in 2013, and his BM in Music Therapy from Queens University of Charlotte in 2014. He completed his internship at Music To Grow On and acquired his Music Therapist-Board Certified (MT-BC) credentials in 2015. Nick joined the staff at Music To Grow On immediately following internship, but left shortly afterwards to work as a Recreational Therapist in the Geri-psych unit at the St. Helena Hospital in Napa Valley.

Once he relocated back to Sacramento in order to pursue a MA in music therapy at the University of the Pacific, he rejoined the staff at Music to Grow On. With a background in working with children with varying disabilities and adults/older adults with psychiatric diagnoses, Nick’s experiences has shaped and prepared him to work with an array of populations.

Nick joined Music to Grow On in 2016.

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