Julie graduated Magna Cum Laude with a Bachelor’s of Music Degree in flute performance from Central Washington University and a Master’s in Music Therapy from Western Michigan University. She has received training from the Center for Biomedical Training as a neurologic music therapy fellow from Colorado State University. She has been providing music therapy services to youth with special needs and retirees to the San Diego area since 2001. In 2004 Julie co-founded The Music Therapy Center of California (MTCCA), where she is currently vice-president and Internship Director. Her research investigating the effects of music intervention on reducing agitation in hospice patients with dementia has been published in Voices: A World Forum for Music Therapy.
In her work with children with special needs, Julie co-authored the “In Harmony: Integrated Learning Program with Speech and Music Therapy.” She has help to found, NoteAbilities which produces “Kibbles Rockin’ Clubhouse” (a DVD series to teach social and communication skills to children with autism) and is co-host of “The Autism Toolkit Podcast” a resources for parents, teachers and therapists. Julie is a founding board member of Banding Together, a San Diego non-profit whose mission is to provide music experiences, mentorships and instruments to youth with special needs. She has also been a guest on the KPBS Radio program “These Days”, KUSI “Good Morning San Diego” and Fox 5 News. She has presented locally and nationally for organizations such as Wayne County Speech and Language Association, Brandman University, La Sierra University, University of California San Diego, Western Michigan University, the Autism Tree Project Foundation, Kids Included Together, the Autism Education Network, and the American Music Therapy Association.
Julie knew at the age of 16 she wanted to pursue a career in music but it was several years later when she discovered music therapy…
“Like most high school students I had to complete a career unit. The class took personality and inventory tests to determine what careers we were most suited for. I wanted a career in which I could combine my two passions in life; working with people and sharing music with others. I was leaning towards becoming a musician, teacher, or psychologist. However, one day I was flipping through file folders of different career descriptions and I read a short one-paragraph description on music therapy. I knew at that moment that I was going to be a music therapist. I tried to find a music therapist in the Seattle area to observe but there were not many that the career counselor knew of. Fortunately, my flute professor at Central Washington University was familiar with music therapy and helped guide and encourage me. Once I began my practicum experience, I was intrigued and mesmerized by the powerful effects that music therapy could have on a person. I feel fortunate that I found my passion in life and am able to share it with others on a daily basis. Helping a child with a disability achieve one small task or hearing a patient with Alzheimer’s sing a song when they can no longer talk is profoundly rewarding. As a music therapist I am challenged and motivated daily by my clients.”
One of Julie’s client’s comments on her experiences working with Julie:
“Julie has such a gentle, sweet manner in working with elderly people like me. Though more than 65 years separate us, I’m almost never aware of the difference in our age. Julie’s concern for my well-being has been so genuine that I have long since stopped thinking of her as my music therapist but as my friend.”– Letty Morse