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.

Molly Coleman, MT-BC

Molly Coleman, MT-BC found out about music therapy in high school after she observed music’s impact on memory, movement, and social behaviors of older adults with Alzheimer’s disease. She earned a Bachelor of Arts in Music Therapy at Seattle Pacific University. During her practicum experiences, she worked with at-risk youth, veterans with depression, mothers experiencing homelessness, seniors with Parkinson’s disease, and students with autism, cerebral palsy, and orthopedic impairments. The highlight of her education was studying abroad at the University of Limerick in the Republic of Ireland, where she studied Irish perspectives on music therapy, traditional music, biological psychology, motor learning, Spanish language, and entrepreneurship.

Molly completed her internship at The Music Therapy Center of California, a private music therapy practice in San Diego, California. She had the privilege of leading individual sessions with students on the autism spectrum, older adult groups in assisted living and memory care facilities, and groups of adults with developmental disabilities in residential, skilled nursing, and day program settings. Molly also had the opportunity to teach adapted piano, guitar, and voice lessons, as well as help adults with developmental disabilities practice social skills through Banding Together’s jam sessions program.

Molly also holds certifications in Music Together, Zumba Fitness, and working with terminally ill patients. Her primary research interests are the effect of auditory stimulation on hospice patients in a nonresponsive state, as well as the effect of practice schedule on motor skill development in a music therapy setting.

Molly joined Music to Grow On in January 2020.

Juliana Hsu, MT-BC

Juliana Hsu, MT-BC is a Midwest native and completed her Bachelor of Music in Music Therapy and minor in Anthropology from the University of Kansas. She went onto finishing her internship at The Music Therapy Center of California located in San Diego, CA, in January 2020.

She had the opportunity to work with a variety of populations and settings during internship and practicum experiences, including children with autism and other neurodevelopmental disorders, adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities, older adults with age related illnesses, preschoolers with speech-language disorders, and children in a pediatric hospital and outpatient unit.

Her primary instrument is clarinet, and she performed in a variety of ensembles during college, including the KU wind ensemble, symphonic band, steel band ensemble and West African drumming ensemble. Juliana was also a member of the music therapy student association, the KU men’s basketball band, and tested out her sousaphone skills in the Marching Jayhawks.

Juliana is grateful to be able to combine her two passions of music and working in a helping profession, and states, “no matter your age, race, gender, medical condition, culture, or any other factor, you are able to experience music. Throughout all of my music therapy observations and experiences, it is always evident how important and impactful music can be on clients’ lives.”

Juliana will be joining the Music to Grow On team in March 2020.

Danielle Keaton, MT-BC

Danielle Keaton, MT-BC 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.

Erika Lowenthal, MT-BC

Erika is a Michigan native, board certified music therapist who graduated from the Frost School of Music at the University of Miami. During her time at the University, she worked with a variety of populations, including developmental disabilities, geriatrics, rehabilitation, pediatrics, and mental health.

Music has a powerful impact on individuals and is a unique outlet to achieve goals and improve an individuals quality of life. She enjoys making music with and facilitating others as they strive to reach their highest potential. Erika is excited to come out  to the West Coast and join the team at Music To Grow On.

While completing her college career, she was involved in the music therapy student organization as well as served as the President of the Southeastern Region of the American Music Therapy Association for Students. Through her practicum experiences and internship Erika gained experience working with a wide range of disabilities, including individuals diagnosed with autism, down syndrome, developmental delays, intellectual disabilities, traumatic brain injuries, and dementia. Erika furthered her education by studying at the University of Sussex in Brighton, England. During her time in England, she studied psychology and origin of British music. Following this experience, Erika participated in a two week music therapy internship in Ghana, Africa. In Ghana, Erika experienced and learned about how music therapy was practiced within local schools and hospital systems. Erika completed her internship at Fulton County Schools in Atlanta Georgia where she worked with individuals in pre-k through high school.

Erika joined Music to Grow On in 2020.

Kaitlyn McEowen, MT-BC

Kaitlyn McEowen, MT-BC is a December 2017 graduate from the University of Iowa in Music Therapy with an emphasis in Voice. She spent the last 4 years involved with her university’s women’s acapella group, The Hawkapellas, and spent the last 2 years as music director. Kaitlyn completed her music therapy internship with Music To Grow On in September 2018.

Having had the chance to explore a diverse range of populations and settings, she has found great passion working with students in schools of a variety of backgrounds and needs. She spent last summer caring for a 4 year old with Autism, giving her new insight to individuals with varying needs, interests and strengths. As a California native, she is excited to be back after spending the last 4 1/2 years in the Midwest.

Keeping music in her life, but finding a way to benefit her community through therapy has already been one of the most rewarding decisions she has made, and is excited to see what the future holds at MTGO.

Kaitlyn joined the MTGO staff in October 2018.

Amy Murakami, MT-BC

Amy Murakami, MT-BC 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.

Marcia Schumacher, MT-BC

Marcia Schumacher, MT-BC graduated from the University of the Pacific in Stockton, California with a Bachelor of Music in Music Therapy in December 1979. She completed her music therapy internship at Camarillo State Hospital and Developmental Center, and continued to work there for several years while obtaining multiple subject and two special education credentials between 1984-1988 through CSU Northridge, Ca. From 2003-2017, she worked with the Elk Grove Unified School District teaching students with multiple disabilities, using music therapy in her classroom on a daily basis.

As both an educator and music therapist, Marcia has experience working with children and adults with a range of disabilities including autism spectrum disorder, intellectual disabilities, Down syndrome, cerebral palsy, genetic disorders, vision and hearing impairments, orthopedic impairments, traumatic brain injury, Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s, and dementia. She plays several instruments including violin, guitar, piano, ukulele, and autoharp. She has also
completed training in Neurologic Music Therapy through the Robert F. Unkefer Academy for Neurologic Music Therapy.

Since retiring from full time teaching in 2017, Marcia has joined Music To Grow On as a part time music therapist substitute to assist in providing continuous coverage for MTGO clients.

Gigi Siu, MT-BC

Gigi Siu, MT-BC 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.

Kristina Taylor, MM, MT-BC

Kristina Taylor, MM, MT-BC 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.




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