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Medical Rounds with Music Therapists

Each month we interview a new medical music therapist. Same questions, different answers. Join live on Facebook or catch up on Youtube!

Make sure to stay up-to-date with upcoming episodes - including some special guest visitors!

What's Coming Up?

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Cassidy Besse, MME, MT-BC

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Special

Episode!

Benjamin Scheuer

April 1, 2021

1 PM, CT

The first thing people tell you about Benjamin Scheuer; singer, songwriter, garlanded playwright, children’s book author, is that he never goes anywhere without his guitar. For those assuming this defines a wandering minstrel, they would be some way wide of the mark. Scheuer is, indeed, imbued with that tradition of singer as social observer and commentator but there is no Dogma-esque belief in the purity of the acoustic expression. Scheuer’s music, currently being recorded for a debut album for Canvasback / Parlophone Records later in the year, may begin with the folk tradition as reimagined by the likes of Paul Simon and Bob Dylan, but transforms that starting point into a modernist statement, filtered through glitches and awash with synthesised effect and otherworldly melody.Benjamin Scheuer’s journey to this debut is also not your standard singer / songwriter story. Well known throughout the theatre world on both sides of the Atlantic for his one-man show THE LION (2014), (which delivered a clutch of awards including a Drama Desk Award for “Outstanding Solo Performance”, an off-West End Award for “Best New Musical”, and an ASCAP Cole Porter Award for Songwriting), Scheuer is also a published children’s author, with his wife Jemima Williams, of Hibernate With Me and Hundred Feet Tall for Simon & Schuster; and the author of Between Two Spaces, which documented his diagnosis with – and successful treatment for – stage IV Hodgkins Lymphoma.Scheuer is a teller of stories, his own and others. Those stories are about more than a simple narrative, finding magic in both in the everyday and the extraordinary. As with all notable writers, he is both a great listener and a talented orator, bringing his subjects to life and finding the common threads among their personal experiences.Debut single “I Am Samantha”, was inspired and guided by the story of his friend’s journey to transition as told to him in his favourite coffee shop in the West Village, NYC, his former home; Scheuer is now a resident of London. The song details a road occasionally bleak but ultimately inspiring, telling the story of a woman born a man, and her struggle to attain her true identity in the face of parental and societal rejection. 

Catch Up with MRMT!

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Lauren Fagan, MS, LCAT-LP, MT-BC

Mount Sinai Hospital - New York, NY

Lauren Fagan MS, LCAT-LP, MT-BC is a music therapist specializing in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) of the Mount Sinai Hospital and Mount Sinai West. Lauren received her Master's degree in music therapy from Molloy College and has earned her Bachelor's degree in both Music and Psychology from the Aaron Copland School of Music - CUNY Queens College. She has since worked in a variety of clinical areas including bereavement care, pediatrics, palliative care, children with cognitive and developmental delays, and outreach in local communities.

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Rebekah Martin, MME, MT-BC

CHOC Children's - Orange, CA

Rebekah Martin is a board -certified music therapist and NICU Music Therapist who has worked in the pediatric medical setting for four years. She currently practices in sunny Southern California, primarily on the Hematology/Oncology Unit at CHOC. She utilizes an eclectic music therapy approach to meet every child and family where they are. Rebekah interned at Advent Health & Advent Health for Children in Orlando, FL. She was exposed to a myriad of populations and music therapy interventions, changing the way she viewed music therapy forever. She views intern supervision as one of the greatest honors and duties of being a music therapist and is looking forward to continuing to supervise interns once COVID-19 restrictions are lifted.She began her professional journey with the Advent Health team, establishing billable music therapy services at a hospital affiliated outpatient pediatric rehabilitation clinic and infant-caregiver developmental music groups. Currently at CHOC, addition to her inpatient caseload, Rebekah has implemented (pre-COVID) music therapy groups for patients and siblings, an AYA Oncology Band, and staff engagement/wellness programming. She considers herself a life-long learner and has completed additional trainings in end of-life care, palliative care, and early childhood development. Rebekah is also currently pursuing her Master’s in Healthcare Administration, seeking the necessary knowledge and skills to promote music therapy and its efficacy within the pediatric medical environment. When she’s not at the hospital, she enjoys baking (and eating) gluten-free brownies, spending time at the beach, and learning Spanish on Duolingo!

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CASSIDY BESSE, MME, MT-BC

Nebraska - Omaha, NE

Cassidy Besse, MME, MT-BC is a new music therapist working on the Pediatric Unit, Pediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU), and Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) at Nebraska Medicine in Omaha, NE. Cassidy completed her music therapy internship at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in 2019 and received a Master of Music Education in Music Therapy from the University of Kansas in 2020. Prior to transitioning back into the pediatric medical world, Cassidy worked for Music Speaks, a music therapy company, gaining invaluable experience in a variety of settings (i.e., hospice, memory care, rehabilitation, intellectual/developmental disabilities, private clients, and telehealth). As a new music therapist, Cassidy brings a fresh set of eyes and enthusiastic energy to a well-established music therapy program. She is currently working to further develop this program through education and advocacy. In the future, Cassidy hopes to host music therapy practicum students and interns in order to provide more opportunities for students to gain experience in the medical setting and grow the presence of music therapy in Nebraska. Outside of the hospital, Cassidy is currently working on publishing an article in Music Therapy Perspectives, advocating for state licensure on the Nebraska Music Therapy Task Force, and planning a wedding!

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BRIAN SCHRECK, MA, MT-BC

Norton Cancer Institute - Louisville, KY

Brian Schreck, MA, MT-BC, is a board certified music therapist who has been professionally serving people with wide range of medical illnesses since 2004. Mr. Schreck received a Bachelor of Arts in Music Therapy from Berklee College of Music in Boston and a Master of Arts in Music Therapy from New York University. He pioneered music therapy services at St. Vincent’s Catholic Hospital Medical Center in Manhattan and Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center. Mr. Schreck has a passion for palliative care and for supporting patients and their families through the end-of-life and into bereavement. He uses the sounds of a patient's life to create innovative and individualized recordings and projects. Specific techniques include using stethoscopes and microphones to capture internal sounds to connect with the external world through ongoing clinical and therapeutic support. Mr. Schreck strives to improve the quality of life for every patient and family through the ongoing use of music therapy. Mr. Schreck currently serves people of all ages diagnosed with cancer and their families at the Norton Cancer Institute in Louisville, KY.

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NATHAN MENSAH, MA, MT-BC

Cincinnati Children's Hospital - Cincinnati, OH

Nathan is a music therapist at Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center. His primary units served include but are not limited to Cardiology, CICU, Surgery, and Pulmonary. Nate is involved with numerous projects and responsibilities at the hospital such as acting as the Artistic Director for the Cincinnati Children's Choral Collective, providing music for Services of Remembrance, and assisting with supervision of music therapy interns. In his spare time, Nate teaches at Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College as an adjunct instructor, composes for various projects, presents music genre-related topics at AMTA conferences, and gigs with various bands and musical ensembles. In his non-music related spare time, Nate is an avid consumer of anime, superhero TV shows and movies, Nintendo video games, and gummy candies.

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MARIAL BIARD, MM, MT-BC

Texas Children's Hospital - Houston, TX

Marial became a music therapist after completing her Masters in Music Therapy at Colorado State in Fort Collins, CO. She currently kicks butt at Texas Children's Hospital in Houston, TX. Possessing a passion for serving TBI/ABI and Rehab units, Marial is a Neurologic Music Therapy Fellow. She loves yoga, tea parties, and is always up for a phone call about triage and caseload prioritization.