We’re very excited to have a passionate and dedicated group on the MTSA executive team this year. Please check out the bios below to learn a little bit about us and the positions we will be holding over the next year!
These biographies will also be posted under “>About MTSA; >Meet the Executive Team” for future reference.
President: Sophia Christopher
Sophia Christopher is a fourth year music therapy student. Her main instrument is guitar; however, she also enjoys playing piano and experimenting with other instruments. Music has always been an important element in her life. She began playing acoustic guitar when she was twelve years old and began classical guitar in her final year of high school. She discovered music therapy while in high school when she interviewed music therapist Liz Mitchell for a project regarding a specific career path. Since learning Mitchell’s perspective on music therapy, how music can affect and help people, and the joy it can bring to their lives, she was instantly hooked on the field. Her interest in music therapy and helping people was confirmed when she began working at a camp for children with special needs and volunteering in special needs classrooms at an elementary level.
Sophia has been involved with MTSA for the last three years, but this is her first year on the executive team. She is excited to share her knowledge and passion with incoming MTSA members and the Laurier community, as well as to provide knowledge to the public about music therapy and MTSA initiatives. Sophia is especially interested in combining neurologic music therapy techniques and aesthetic music therapy techniques, and wishes to continue this interest of study as her Master’s thesis. She aspires to work with clients suffering from traumatic or acquired brain injuries in the future.
Sophia hopes that as MTSA’s president, she and the rest of the MTSA members will make a lasting impact on the field of Music Therapy.
Vice-President: Kristen DiMarco
Kristen DiMarco is excited to be the Vice President of MTSA for the 2014/2015 school year! This is her third year in MTSA and her fourth year at Laurier, where she is enrolled in the BMTh program and studies voice. Kristen first heard about Music therapy when she was in high school and was immediately drawn to it. She decided to come to Laurier to pursue the interest and has been extremely happy with her classes and the music therapy placements she has been involved with so far!
For this school year, Kristen looks forward to meeting new students and welcoming them to the little family that is the music therapy department. If you have any questions about MTSA or the MT program or just want to chat, don’t hesitate to stop her in the halls or send her a quick message! You can contact her at email@example.com.
Finance Executive: Karen Blumenstock
Karen is a 4th year piano major. She is interested in exploring family-centred music therapy as well as the use of music to promote and facilitate activities of daily life. This year she is involved in a directed study with Dr. Colin Lee on the topic of Music Therapy Advocacy.
Karen has been involved with MTSA for three years and this is her second year on the executive team. Bookwork and finances provide the stability and predictability she needs to keep her sanity so she can fully enjoy the spontaneity and creativity of music therapy practice!
Event Support/Advertising Coordinator: David Pile
David is a 2nd year guitar major. His musical life started when his Dad signed him up for guitar lessons at the age of eight. As well as being a guitar player, David is also on the varsity squash team at Laurier and considers himself an amateur parkourist! He enjoys movies and a good breakfast.
Social/Fundraising Coordinator: Yusra Battikh
Yusra has been studying music therapy for 3 years and am currently in her 4th year. Music has been a big part of her life and culture since she was very young. She was introduced to both western classical growing up here in Canada and eastern classical music from her Arab descent. She has been playing the flute for 9 years.
Music therapy has been a big part of her cultural and religious tradition for centuries where music has been used to uplift the soul and heal the mind. Her love for music and working with people has brought her to an interest in music therapy. Music has the ability to touch every one. It is a powerful tool which can be used to motivate and heal individuals in a variety of ways. Yusra joined the exec team to really invest herself in the field. She believes that if you are truly passionate about something you should be a leader in it to really make a difference.
CAMT/MTAO Liaison: Emily Stegweit
Emily is your CAMT/MTAO Liaison for the 2014-15 year. She is a third year voice student in the BMTh Program and this is her first year on the MTSA exec team! She is looking forward to helping everyone stay connected to our professional associations and promoting networking opportunities throughout the year.
Emily comes from a musical family and has been studying voice for seven years. She first discovered music therapy in her grade ten careers class (apparently people do find careers in that class) and has been hooked on the idea ever since! She’s especially interested in community music therapy and in working with premature infants in the NICU. In addition to music, Emily also loves yoga, passion fruit, and babies. 🙂
Secretary: Danielle Turvey
Danielle is a third year music therapy student. Her main instrument is voice, but she also plays piano and guitar. She has been singing since she was 10 years old. She first heard about music therapy when she was talking to her massage therapist, who suggested that is might be something to look into. After doing some research, she knew it was the right choice for her! Danielle is not sure where exactly she fits into the music therapy world, but is excited to learn about the many possibilities and opportunities available. Additional hobbies besides music include volunteering, biking, crocheting and hanging out with friends.
4th Year Representative: Olivia Drew-Brook
Olivia is in 4th year. A main reason Olivia chose Laurier was because of the music therapy program the school offers. She enjoyed placement so much last year and is looking forward to that again this year. Outside of music, Olivia loves to play soccer, dance, travel and sing of course! Voice is her major but she is also looking forward to gaining guitar technique this year.
Heather is currently a third year piano major. Music has always been a part of her life and her mother and brother play piano as well. Besides piano, Heather also plays violin and guitar, sings in choirs, and has taken percussion lessons. She enjoyed competitive dancing for 15 years, and here at Laurier she participates in recreational dance classes.
Heather has always enjoyed working with people. In her grade nine French class, her teacher assigned a careers project where she had to do research and create a presentation about a potential career choice. Like many other students, Heather had no idea what she wanted to do. Her teacher told her about music therapy as she knew Heather was interested in people and music. Ever since then Music Therapy has been Heather’s career goal! When she graduates, Heather hopes to either work with children who have a disability or work with paediatric patients in a hospital.
2nd Year Representative: Shannon Bryant
Shannon Bryant is the 2014/15 2nd year representative for MTSA. Her job is to let all the second years know about what MTSA is doing and how they can get involved.