Education & Experience
Angela is a board-certified neurologic music therapist, songwriter and co-owner of The Music Therapy Center of California. She received her master’s degree in neurologic music therapy from Colorado State University and received her bachelor’s degree in Music Education/Music Therapy from Wartburg College, graduating Summa Cum Laude.
In 2015 she was awarded the Profiles in Music Education Award by the San Diego Youth Symphony and Conservatory. This award is given out annually to recognize music educators who have made a significant and positive difference in the lives of students across San Diego. Also in 2015, she was awarded the California Legislature Assembly Resolution by the Honorable Marie Waldron, 75th Assembly District, Members Resolution No. 2184. She has been featured as an author in Provider magazine, for a research article on the benefits of music with older adults in a yearlong research study funded by Yamaha. She also has been a consultant for Yamaha Corporation of America with the “Passport to Music” course on Crystal Cruises. As an instructor this course, she traveled to Italy, Croatia and France in 2006, to England, Scotland and Ireland in the summer of 2008 and most recently to the Mediterranean in 2011.
She has been working as a music therapist since 2000 in the San Diego area with children, teenagers and adults with autism. She has published several products including the In Harmony program, an educational product targeting speech and social skills through music. She is the music director of Kibbles Rockin’ Clubhouse and stars as Miss Angela. She currently serves as the Phase 3 Early Intervention Director for the Autism Tree Project Foundation in which she trains preschool teachers on inclusive music strategies; she also serves as the entertainment director for the San Diego Walk for Autism Speaks.
She has also been a guest on the CW Channel 6 “San Diego Living Show”, KUSI “Good Morning San Diego” and NBC Healthfair. She has presented locally and nationally for organizations such as San Jose State University, Wayne County Speech and Language Association, Santa Clara County Speech and Hearing Association, La Sierra University, Headstart, the Autism Tree Project Foundation, Kids Included Together, the Autism Education Network, and the American Music Therapy Association.
In addition to the above recordings, she has also released several albums including Flood Kids Band CD (2009), “To Be Holy” I’ve Been There, SOS Ministry Recordings (2001), and Out on a Limb, Child Heart Records (1998). She also serves as a worship leader through local churches including Flood Church and Fletcher Hills Presbyterian Church.
As a sibling of a brother with special needs, Angela has seen the power of music in making changes in her brother Luke’s life, and is dedicated to bringing that passion to the clients and families that she serves.
“Even though I officially began my music therapy career when I started college, the journey actually began much before that for me. Growing up as the oldest of three kids in the Midwest, I began to take on responsibility early on. Part of this was due to the fact that I was the oldest and the other was that my younger brother, Luke, was diagnosed as mentally and physically handicapped at the age of a year and a half. It wasn’t until he turned 21 that he was officially diagnosed as having Angelman Syndrome. Although I never made a conscious decision to go into music therapy because of him, I do believe his presence in my life cultivated a compassion and understanding for those with special needs. I saw firsthand many of the struggles families go through with a child with special needs. Despite his limited abilities, I have learned so much about life through Luke. Luke has very little to offer by the world’s standards and yet is very rich in wisdom. His wisdom comes from a simple heart that demands very little but loves much. Luke has always loved music as evidenced by his drastic change in motivation, attention and facial expressions when music is involved.
“Music has always been a part of my life, from writing songs as a little girl at the piano to participating in choir, band and several jazz groups in college. I released several original independent recordings and did concerts at local coffee shops and retreats while in college. Music has been my way of expressing what I see going on in the world around me. Seeing the impact of music on my brother’s life and experiencing it firsthand in my life, made me realize that music therapy was the career choice for me. I shadowed several music therapists in a high school science class and the rest is history. I consider it a privilege to work with older adults, families and children with special needs. I am honored and humbled to work with them in music therapy, bringing changes to their lives one note at time.”