Our Team 2018-01-12T12:34:53+00:00


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 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 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 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 is a board-certified music therapist. She is also a Master’s Candidate in Music Therapy and Counseling Psychology. She received dual Bachelor’s degrees in Music Therapy and Psychology.

Vienna joined Music To Grow On in 2018.

Gigi Siu, MT-BC

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.

Emily Stewart, MT-BC

Emily Stewart graduated from Colorado State University with a Bachelor’s degree in Music Therapy. She additionally earned a Cello Pedagogy Certificate by completing pedagogical studies with the CSU cello professor Barbara Thiem. She enjoyed playing in a variety of musical ensembles through college, including duets, jazz quintets, opera pits, string quartets, and the CSU symphony.

Emily completed her Music Therapy internship at the Milwaukee Center for Independence serving adults with developmental disabilities under the supervision of Andrew Neary and three other music therapists. At MCFI, she completed a case study investigating the use of a speech cueing method with an adult with Autism Spectrum Disorder.

Emily has experience working with infants, children, and adults with various disabilities, including Down syndrome, autism spectrum disorders, cerebral palsy, traumatic brain injury, Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease, dementia, and developmental delays. Emily plays several musical instruments including cello, guitar, piano, Autoharp, ukulele, and Native American flute. She enjoys reading and writing research articles and learning new guitar techniques, and hopes to pursue a Master’s Degree in the future.

Emily joined Music to Grow On in 2017.

Kristina Taylor, MM, MT-BC

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 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.


We want to help you reach your potential.
Get in touch today to get started with a free consult.