Music Therapy

image description

Music therapy addresses the physical, emotional, social and cognitive well being of children and adults with a wide variety of special needs. Using the inherent qualities of music, board certified therapists design individualized programs to provide opportunities for social interaction, allow for emotional expression, increase attention, promote growth in motor skills, increase communication skills and alleviate pain and stress. Music therapy can make a profound difference in the lives of those who participate, encouraging healing, growth and change.

About Our Program

For 25 years, the Music Therapy Institute has been the largest provider of professional music therapy services in the greater Westchester region, working individually and in small groups with over 2,000 children and adults each year. The Institute provides services onsite at the Music Conservatory of Westchester as well as throughout the county through the Institute’s Outreach program.

All of the music therapy faculty are Board Certified, hold masters or doctoral degrees in music therapy and are professional members of the American Music Therapy Association.

Dr. Tina Brescia, MT-BC, LCAT, Director of Onsite Services
(914) 761-3900 ext. 134,

Lisa Sandagata, MT-BC, Director of Outreach Services
(914) 761-3900 ext. 138,

Onsite Program

Individual and group music therapy sessions are offered by knowledgeable, warm and caring music therapists for people of all ages at the Conservatory’s fully accessible facility. The session rooms are equipped with one-way mirrors that allow family members and care givers to observe sessions in progress. The director of Onsite Services will arrange an initial interview and evaluation at no cost. Need-based tuition assistance is available upon request.

For more information, contact Dr. Tina Brescia, MT-BC, LCAT, Director of Onsite Services, at (914) 761-3900, ext. 134; e-mail

Individual Music Therapy

Individualized programs are designed to engage the creative aspects of each participant in an interactive process as they play, sing and move to improvised and familiar music. Skilled therapists use piano, guitar, percussion and voice to facilitate meaningful musical experiences. Sessions of 30 or 45 minutes are available Monday through Saturday as scheduled by the Director of Onsite Services.

Fee: $1,264 (30-minute session) or $1,585 (45-minute session) for 16-week semester - $50 registration fee per year

Adapted Instruction

When appropriate, adapted instruction is offered in voice, piano, guitar, and percussion. Music therapists design individualized skill-based programs of instruction for students with special learning needs. Students must have the ability to attend to a task for a minimum of 10 minutes, have developing fine motor skills and an initial desire to learn the instrument.

Fee: $1,264 (30-minute session) or $1,585 (45-minute session) for 16-week semester

Group Classes/Programs

All participants must meet with the director of Onsite Services for an evaluation before registering for a group program.

Group Music Therapy

With an emphasis on socialization and expression, children will be engaged in singing, playing instruments and moving to music in groups of up to four of their peers. Parents may be asked to participate as well.

Day and time to be arranged
Fee: $590 for 16-week semester - $25 registration fee per year

Outreach Program

The Institute’s outreach program provides group and individual music therapy for children and adults in special education programs, schools, hospitals, nursing homes, senior centers, community mental health facilities, residential treatment facilities, rehabilitation centers, group homes and social service programs. In addition, consultation and professional development are provided to school district music educators working with students with special needs. The Institute’s outreach director works closely with each collaborating partner to create a custom-designed program.

The Music Therapy Institute has partnerships with the following agencies: Julia Dyckman Andrus Memorial Inc., Bedford CSD, BOCES of Southern Westchester, Cardinal McCloskey Services, Cerebral Palsy of Westchester, Community Based Services, Department of Community Mental Health, Family Services of Westchester, Ferncliff Manor, Greenburgh Central No. 7, Hudson Valley DDSO, Irvington UFSD, St. Mary’s Hospital for Children, Stepping Stones at the Lois Bronz Children’s Center, The Sunshine Children’s Home, Westchester ARC, Westchester Community Opportunity Program Inc., White Plains Public Schools, Yorktown CSD, Jewish Home Lifecare Sarah Neuman Center, Eastchester UFSD, Pleasantville UFSD.

For more information, contact Lisa Sandagata, MA, MT-BC, Director of Outreach Services, at (914) 761-3900, ext. 138; e-mail

Healing Our Heroes

Our new program – Healing Our Heroes – will help military veterans in the Tri-state area (NY, CT, NJ) who are returning home with a variety of psychological and physical injuries sustained while on active duty. This program will provide music therapy and music instruction to restore, support and improve the physical, emotional, psychological, and neurologic functioning of our veterans, while also improving the quality of life for them and their families. We are working with local Veterans centers and VA hospitals to identify veterans for this program.

Special thanks to Joel Breitkopf, board member and founding sponsor, who provided initial support for this program through The Breitkopf Family Veterans Scholarship Fund.