About MTA

Established in 1990, Lehigh Valley based Music Therapy Associates, LLC is the premier provider of music therapy services in the greater Lehigh Valley area (including Philadelphia, Kutztown, Reading, Poconos, and Western New Jersey). With 28 board certified music therapists, MTA is committed to finding the perfect client/therapist pairing in order ensure client comfort, time and location flexibility, as well as the best therapeutic outcome possible. 

MTA places great emphasis on collaborative efforts with other healthcare professionals including speech therapists, physical therapists, and occupational therapists. In addition to standard music therapy services, MTA also offers rehabilitation services to clients suffering from neurologic disorders including stroke, Parkinson's, dementia, and brain injuries, as well as performance/interactive music for birthday parties, family reunions, and special events.

MEET OUR THERAPISTS

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Katherine M. Purcell, MT-BC

Director

is a Board Certified Music Therapist and Pennsylvania State Certified Music Teacher. She graduated, Cum Laude, from Shenandoah Conservatory in 1989 with degrees in both Music Therapy and Music Education with a minor in Psychology. For four years, she worked as a secondary school music teacher at a private school in Allentown, Pennsylvania, instructing severely emotionally disturbed children from around the country. Mrs. Purcell currently provides services as a contract Music Therapist for various agencies and individuals at the agency's facility, at the clients home or in her own studio. She provides individual and group music therapy sessions for individuals with Attention Deficit Disorder, Speech Delay, Attention Deficit with Hyperactivity Disorder, Pervasive Developmental Disorder, Brain Injury, Developmental Delay, Autism, Psychiatric Disorders, Cerebral Palsy, Cancer, Physical Handicaps, Dysfunctional Families, and At-Risk Children. Together with her husband, who is also a musician, Mrs. Purcell provides highly entertaining and interactive musical activity programs for children's birthday parties and special events. She resides in Whitehall, Pennsylvania with her husband and son.

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Julianna Altonjy, MT-BC

Music Therapist

graduated Cum Laude with a Bachelor of Music degree in music therapy from Marywood University in Scranton, Pennsylvania. She completed an internship in Southbury, Connecticut at the Southbury Training School, and with Connecticut Music Therapy Services in Watertown, CT.  She has experience working with individuals who have intellectual and developmental disabilities, children in integrated preschool programs, adolescents with behavioral problems, hospice care patients, and individuals diagnosed with dementia or mental illnesses.  Julianna also provides piano and voice lessons to elementary aged students.  She resides in Warren County, New Jersey.

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Lindsy Burns, MT-BC

Music Therapist

received her Bachelor's degree in Music Therapy from Temple University, and completed her internship at Samaritan Healthcare and Hospice providing music and support to people and families facing terminal illness. During her internship, Lindsy worked with a variety of different medical diagnoses including various cancers, muscular sclerosis, dementia, Alzheimer’s, heart failure, and COPD as well as addressing various needs for her clients experiencing depression, anxiety, PTSD, and other existential fears about the end of life. Within this setting, Lindsy learned the importance of working with the whole human being as a unique individual, adapting to meet them where they are and support them throughout their decline. Lindsy also discovered her personal value of working with the families of her clients and being a member of a team to provide well-rounded care. Perhaps the biggest lesson Lindsy learned however, was the joy and beauty that comes from this unique time of life, from aging, and just how powerful music can be during these times.

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Jacqueline Carroll, MT-BC

Music Therapist

graduated with her Bachelor of Music in Music Therapy from Elizabethtown College, and completed her internship at Levine School of Music, a community music school in Washington, D. C. She has experience working with individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities, children with individualized education plans, and older adults with Parkinson's Disease, Alzheimer's Disease and dementia. Jackie uses music to allow clients to grow and learn about themselves and to achieve both musical and nonmusical goals.

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Stephanie Falcone, MT-BC

Music Therapist

graduated, Cum Laude, from Elizabethown College with a Bachelor of Music Therapy degree. She completed her clinical internship at Bethany Children's Home in Womelsdorf, PA. Stephanie has experience working individually and with groups of at-risk adolescents, children on the autism spectrum, children with physical disabilities, pervasive developmental disorder, and ADHD, hospitalized children in a hematology/oncology unit, and older adults with varying levels of dementia. Stephanie utilizes a variety of instruments in therapeutic interventions, including piano/keyboard, guitar, ukulele, clarinet, voice, and percussion, and has an avid interest in music technology in the clinic, utilizing music recording and adaptive notation in meeting client goals.

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Carolyn M. Kantor, MA, MT-BC, CDP

Music Therapist

is a board-certified music therapist. She received her undergraduate degree in music with a minor in biology from the University of Pennsylvania, and a master’s degree in creative arts therapies with a concentration in music therapy from Drexel University. Carolyn is also an experienced Jin Shin Jyutsu practitioner with a private practice in the Philadelphia area. She has additional training in neurologic music therapy, dialectical behavior therapy, and guided imagery in music, and works with individuals of all ages with a variety of challenges, including autism spectrum disorders, traumatic brain injuries, developmental disabilities, psychiatric disorders, cancer, Parkinson’s Disease and dementia, including Alzheimer’s Disease. She is also a Certified Dementia Practitioner, and recently joined the clinical team at a hospice in Kennett Square, PA and another in Ridley Park, PA to provide comfort and connection through music therapy to patients at end of life and their families and caregivers.

In inpatient, outpatient, and public/private residential settings in Philadelphia and surrounding counties, Carolyn has helped individuals to identify their strengths and experience joy through music-based interventions at every stage of life. Through individual and group music therapy sessions, goals such as increased socialization, motor function, cognitive stimulation, relaxation, physical/emotional well-being and improved quality of life are addressed. Carolyn has also provided clinical supervision to undergraduate and graduate music therapy students from Immaculata University. She lives in Philadelphia with her husband, Greg.

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Mary Lang, MA, MT-BC

Music Therapist

graduated from Moravian College in 2010 with a BA in Music, with a concentration in viola. Knowing that she wanted to be a music therapist, she went straight to the graduate program at Immaculata University, where she received her MA in Music Therapy in 2014. Mary completed her music therapy internship at the Pilot School in Wilmington, DE, a private charter school for K-8 students with special needs and learning disabilities. Since then, Mary has accumulated experience working with clients that have visual disabilities, autism spectrum disorders, and various developmental disorders. She also spent three years working with groups of teens in a mental health setting.

Mary has always been musical, and began singing and playing the viola early on in grade school. She also plays several other instruments including guitar, piano, Celtic fiddle, percussion, and electric bass. Aside from her work with MTA, Mary teaches guitar and voice lessons, and volunteers with the Lehigh Valley Girls Rock every summer, teaching guitar, bass, and songwriting to middle and high school aged children, in addition to singing with the LEOPOCO Peace Singers several times a year. Mary is also working on her licensure as an LPC (Licensed Professional Counselor).

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Bruce MacKnight, MT-BC

Music Therapist

received his Bachelor of Art in History and Music from Saint Joseph’s University in 2017. Bruce is currently completing his Master of Art in Music Therapy at Immaculata University. He became a Board Certified Music Therapist in September 2020. Bruce completed his music therapy internship at Royer Greaves School for the Blind working clinically with children, adolescents, and adults. During his internship Bruce facilitated both in-person and digital Community Music Therapy projects. In addition to clinical music therapy positions, Bruce has experience teaching at the undergraduate and graduate level. He currently holds the position of adjunct professor of Music Technology at Immaculata University. Bruce believes that audio recording, beat-making, and digital music-making is an in-road for individuals to work on a multiplicity of goals related to self-expression, self-image, community, culture, and beyond. Outside of music and music therapy, Bruce enjoys spending time with his rescue dog, going on hikes, and collecting vinyl records. Bruce resides in Springfield, Pennsylvania. 

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Juliet Mitton, MTT, MT-BC

Music Therapist

graduated from Millersville University with a BA in Music with a concentration in piano performance, and went on to obtain her master's equivalency in music therapy from Temple University. Juliet completed her internship at an adult wheelchair community, working with adults ranging in ages from 18-88. She has extensive experience providing end of life care to patients of all ages, and various diagnoses including Alzheimer's/dementia, cancer, Parkinson's, ALS, CHF and COPD. In addition to her work with MTA, Juliet works at a local hospice agency in Lancaster County as a music therapist. When not working, she enjoys spending time with her family, running and fitness, and is the music director/pianist at her church.

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Kacey Olver, MT-BC

Music Therapist

graduated with a Bachelor of Music degree in music therapy from Marywood University in Scranton, Pennsylvania, and completed her internship at Saint Joseph’s Center and Trinity Childcare Medical Daycare. She has experience working with individuals who have intellectual and developmental disabilities, individuals diagnosed with dementia or Alzheimer’s, children with medical needs and individuals with multiple physical and developmental disabilities. Kacey has been playing the guitar since she was 10 years old. She also plays the clarinet and performs with the Marywood University Wind Symphony. Kacey enjoys reading and watching her favorite TV shows. She resides in Clarks Summit, Pennsylvania.

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Ken Purcell

Music Therapist 

has been employed in the MH-MR field since 1976 as a Recreation Therapist serving institutionalized individuals. He has involved clients in social development and creative self expression through the use of music and the performing arts as a primary treatment modality. Ken has also performed at many retirement communities, schools, festivals and private events both as a solo entertainer and as a member of several different musical ensembles. He has also collaborated on several musical recordings. 

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Emily Smith, MT-BC

Music Therapist

received her Bachelor's Degree in Music Education from West Chester University in 2012. She has experience teaching music in elementary and special education settings, as well as private lessons. Emily became a Board Certified Music Therapist in 2020 and is currently completing her Master's Degree in Music Therapy at Immaculata University.  She completed her internship at Nemurs/Alfred I. duPont Hospital for Children. Emily has experience in pediatric, elder/dementia care, and neurodiverse music therapy. She incorporates a variety of interventions from a person-centered approach, encouraging the individual's choice and empowerment. In addition to making music, Emily love to go camping, hike with her dog, and read.

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Lucy Watts, MT-BC

Music Therapist

is a Board Certified Music Therapist and Pennsylvania State received her Bachelors of Arts in Music degree from Westminster Choir College in 2018, Summa Cum Laude. She is currently attending Immaculata University for her Master of the Arts in Music Therapy Degree to be awarded in 2021 and became a board certified music therapist in June 2020. Lucy’s clinical internship was at Magee Rehabilitation Hospital in Philadelphia and she enjoys working with clients of all ages. Outside of music therapy, Lucy enjoys arts and crafts, the outdoors, fantasy novels and physical fitness. She believes that making music with others is an experience like no other. Lucy is primarily a vocalist but aside from guitar and piano she also learned to play tuba, trombone and clarinet.

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Corey Purcell

Assistant Director

earned degrees in both Business Marketing and Business Management from DeSales University. He functions on the business side of MTA, and handles most of our marketing efforts and technical work. Corey is also a full-time musician, performing primarily up and down the East Coast with his traditional Irish band 'Poor Man's Gambit', and tours occasionally with the stage production 'Ireland the Show'.

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Alyssa Almeida, MT-BC

Music Therapist

graduated with her Bachelor of Music in Music Therapy from Temple University, and completed her internship at Young Children's Center for the Arts, a creative arts preschool in South Philadelphia. Alyssa has experience working with young children, dementia patients, children and adults with developmental disabilities, and with special education students. Outside of music therapy, she is a cellist and multi-instrumentalist and plays with several Philly area bands. 

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Scott Berdux, RN, MA, MT-BC

Music Therapist

received his Masters in Music Therapy degree from Immaculata University and served his internship at Sacred Heart Hospital in Allentown, PA. Drawing on his 11 plus years of nursing experience, Scott has applied a fully holistic approach to his practice of music for the whole person. In addition to working as a nurse and music therapist, Scott also gives woodwind and keyboard lessons and performs in several musical ensembles.

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Mary Cate Beach, MT-BC

Music Therapist

is a board certified music therapist who received her bachelor's degree in music therapy from Temple University in Philadelphia, PA.  She completed her clinical internship at Rebecca School in New York City, NY working with children and young adults diagnosed with ASD and other neurological disorders. Mary Cate has experience working individually and with groups of children and adults on the autism spectrum, children with various neurological disorders, hospitalized children in rehabilitation unit, and older adults in various stages of dementia and Alzheimer's disease. 

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Suzie Dalessandro, MT-BC

Music Therapist

graduated, Cum Laude, from Slippery Rock University with a Bachelor of Music Therapy degree, majoring in Voice. She then moved to El Paso Texas for over three years to complete her clinical internship and begin a private practice offering holistic health services including music therapy, meditation, reiki, and more. She is most inspired by others who want to engage in personal growth and use their life experience to create the life they really want. She has experience working with children living with ADHD, teens and adults with cerebral palsy, older adults experiencing anxiety and loneliness, and teens and adults in the LGBTQIA+ community with goals of greater self-love. She loves incorporating movement and meditation techniques along with an emphasis on song writing. Suzie also has experience teaching adults beginner guitar lessons. She is pursuing her masters degree at Slippery Rock University and aspires to be a multi-cultural music therapist with an anti-oppressive approach.

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Erin Hand, MT-BC

Music Therapist

is a 2012 Music Therapy graduate from Elizabethtown College of Pennsylvania. She is a Bachelor of Music and a Board Certified Music Therapist. Erin is a cellist and pianist who enjoys playing for church services, weddings, and other occasions. Erin was a member of the York College Community Orchestra for four years and section leader for the Elizabethtown Community Orchestra. Erin is passionate about working with all populations and completed her internship at Bethany Children's Home for Youth in Residential Placement. She is experienced in working with individuals and groups in rehabilitation for substance abuse as well as developing music therapy programming for older adults living with Alzheimer's disease and dementia. Erin currently resides in York, Pennsylvania with her family.

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Amanda Keegan,

MT

Music Therapist

graduated from Immaculata University with a Bachelor of Music in Music Therapy. She completed her internship at 'YCCA' in Philadelphia, PA where she provided music therapy for preschoolers age 1-5yrs. She has experience working with kids and older geriatrics. Amanda loves to explore creativity and stretch imaginations with music! She is passionate about music, animals, and ASL. 

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Kim Lyday, MA, MT-BC

Music Therapist

began her music therapy journey in upstate NY, earning her Bachelor's Degree in both Creative Arts Therapy (concentration in music) and Psychology. There, she spent a semester offering creative music experiences at a local nursing home and children's home, followed by another semester assisting with and leading Music Together classes for small children and parents. Upon graduation, Kim went on to complete her Master's degree in Music Therapy at Immaculata University and chose to obtain her board-certification after graduation. While working a full time job as a direct care staff for adolescents with Autism, Downs Syndrome, and other developmental disabilities, she completed her clinical internship at Inglis House in Philadelphia. Inglis House is a unique residential facility for wheelchair-bound adults with a wide variety of physical and neurological disabilities, including Multiple Sclerosis, Cerebral Palsy, Traumatic Brain Injuries, Spina Bifida, Parkinson's Disease, Spinal Cord Injuries, Stoke, gun shot wounds, and several other physical disabilities. Upon completion of her internship, she became hired as part of the therapeutic recreation team, working full time. Throughout her time at Inglis, Kim led the vocal choir, and created a variety of groups and 1:1 intervention programs, incorporating gross and fine motor functioning, socialization skills, adapted piano and guitar lessons, communication, memory recall, breath and trunk support, voice projection, and several other goal areas. Now, as a contract music therapist, Kim enjoys offering music therapy sessions to groups and individuals around the Philadelphia area. In her spare time, she enjoys playing with her new daughter, listening to audio books, and spending time in nature. She continues to have a strong thirst for knowledge and self-development, and travels a few times each year to various conferences to constantly enhance mindset, confidence, empowerment, business acumen, and of course, musical skills. Kim resides in Downingtown, PA. 

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Liz McLaughlin, MA, MT-BC

Music Therapist

received a Bachelor of Music in Music Therapy from Radford University and a Master of Art in Mental Health Counseling from Caldwell University. Liz specializes in working in mental health settings. Liz addresses the needs of all ages. Liz resides in Sparta, New Jersey.  

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Kristin Neel, MT-BC

Music Therapist

is a Board Certified Music Therapist who received her Bachelor's degree in Voice Performance from West Chester University of Pennsylvania and spent time auditioning, performing, and exploring before finding her way into the music therapy field. Upon discovering that she could combine her interests in human development and psychology with her passion for making and sharing music, she pursued a Master of Music Therapy degree at Appalachian State University in Boone, NC. During her time in NC, she gained experience in a wide variety of populations and settings, and had the opportunity to gain a certificate in Expressive Arts Therapy through the ASU Human Development and Psychological Counseling Department. 

Kristin completed her internship at Elizabeth Seton Pediatric Center in Yonkers, NY, which is a pediatric palliative care facility that specializes in high quality care for children with long-term and pervasive medical diagnoses. She is currently working towards advanced and specialized music therapy trainings including NICU-MT, the Bonny Method of Guided Imagery and Music, and behavioral and emotional disorders. She most highly enjoys utilizing music improvisation and authentic drumming to explore and grow with her clients. 

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Sara Palatnik, MT-BC

Music Therapist

Sara graduated form Elizabethtown College with a Bachelor of Music in Music Therapy. She completed her internship at Children's Healthcare of Atlanta where she provided music therapy services on intensive care units, hematology/oncology units, and a comprehensive inpatient rehabilitation unit. Sara has experience collaborating and co-treating with an interdisciplinary team including physical therapists, occupational therapists, speech therapists, and child life specialists. Sara values creating a therapeutic relationship with her clients and their families through music to create a safe and enjoyable environment to assist in enhancing their quality of life. 

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Amanda Rougeau, MT-BC

Music Therapist

received her bachelors degree in music from West Chester University in 2018. During her time at West Chester, she completed the Music Therapy Equivalency program through Immaculata University and became a board certified music therapist in January 2019. Amanda spent her internship at Belmont Behavioral Health Hospital in Philadelphia and enjoys working with clients of all ages with mental health needs. She is currently attending Immaculata University to pursue a masters degree in Music Therapy and Clinical Mental Health Counseling and is expected to graduate in December 2021. Outside of music therapy, Amanda enjoys teaching her piano students and teaching the front ensemble of a local high school marching band. She believes that music provides a safe space for all to experience growth, knowledge, and self exploration.

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Robert Smith, MT-BC

Music Therapist

graduated from Immaculata University with a Bachelor of Music in Music Therapy degree in 2017. During his time at Immaculata, Rob was fortunate enough to be granted a variety of hands on learning experiences with a wide range of client populations. His clinical internship was completed at Camilla Hall, the convent home and health care center for the Sisters, Servants of the Immaculate Heart of Mary. Rob utilizes a variety of instruments for therapeutic interventions including guitar, piano/keyboard, percussion, and voice. In addition to music therapy, Rob has other passions including song-writing, audio recording, and music technology. He hopes to share his skill and comfort in these areas with other clients and music therapists. 

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Todd Patnaude

Music Instructor

is a professional guitarist, and has been teaching the instrument for over 20 years.  With experience in many styles including rock, classical, jazz, pop, reggae, blues, and folk, Todd is a versatile player, and uses his experience to help students achieve their own musical goals. His teaching method focuses on the fundamentals of music, and helping students learn the songs they know and love.  Improvisational skills are also integrated into lessons, which helps students learn to create their own musical ideas. Todd also teaches bass guitar and ukulele and has taught both children and adults.

 

In addition to traditional lessons, Todd offers adapted lessons to individuals with disabilities. With over ten years of experience working with disabled adults, he has valuable insight into the struggles some individuals face, and the best way to help them reach their goals. Todd also has experience working with students diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder, and offers a customized approach to learning that enables these students to excel at their strengths, while improving on their weaknesses.