Hello! I'm Rachel, a board-certified music therapist and singer/songwriter. I live in central Illinois, where I work full time at a school for children with multiple disabilities. I also own a private practice, Music Therapy Connections, which enables me to work one-on-one and in small groups with children of all ages and abilities in my home studio.
Growing up, my goal in life was to become a professional singer. In fact, I had never even heard of music therapy when I began my undergraduate studies at Rollins College as a vocal performance major. But I quickly realized that although I enjoyed performing immensely, it 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.
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). My professors were convinced that working with children was my calling, and I wholeheartedly agreed. 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 was started almost by accident, as I kept receiving requests for music therapy services and accepted them as they came.
It was my students (both at school and in my private practice) who inspired me to start my blog, Listen & Learn Music. My collection of original songs had grown rapidly, and I wanted to put them out there for other music therapists, parents, and teachers who might find them useful. The blog grew out of passion for what I was doing, as well as the incredible response I received.
And here I am, almost two years later, filling my days with music therapy, songwriting, and blogging, and loving every single minute. I've had incredible opportunities as a result of my work, including the chance to create this album, Time to Sing Hello. Thank you so much for joining me on this journey.