Melanie, MT-BC, MA


Melanie is a Board-Certified Music Therapist. She earned a Masters Degree in Music Therapy from NYU, a BA in Communication Studies from Vanderbilt University and is licensed in Creative Arts Therapy in New York State. She holds a Post-Master's Level I and Level II Advanced Training Certificate from the Nordoff-Robbins Center for Music Therapy at NYU.  She has also completed the certification in Neurological Music Therapy from The Academy of Neurologic Music Therapy.  

Melanie has provided music therapy services for Preterm infants through adulthood and has experience working with a variety of populations, including individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder, Global Developmental Delay, Intellectual Disability and Traumatic Brain Injury.  Melanie is a member of the American Music Therapy Association, Certification Board of Music Therapists, Actor's Equity Association, Screen Actor's Guild and the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists.

Melanie came into the music therapy field after 15 years of experience as a professional singer, bringing with her a deeply rooted philosophy and belief in the power of music as a form of communication and as a tool to form healthy physical, emotional and spiritual connections. She has a music-centered approach to music therapy and incorporates aspects of music, performing and creative arts expression.

Amanda, MT-BC, MMA

Amanda A.

Amanda is an excellent musician with a heart for helping others with her musical gifts. After completing her BA in Music with a piano concentration at UC Santa Cruz, she completed her Masters degree in Music Education for Music Therapy (MME) and is wonderfully capable of fulfilling both of these roles at The Music Place.

She began learning piano at the age of nine and subsequently learned the guitar and ukulele. Although classically trained, she also loves playing more contemporary music. In addition to serving as a music therapist and adaptive music teacher for those with special needs, she teaches piano, guitar, and beginning ukulele. Her hobbies include improvising music, writing songs, Japanese anime, and traveling.

Amanda's teaching style is fun-loving yet strong, patient, and intuitive. She has a natural gift as a teacher and therapist, and is not afraid of the most challenging clients. She sees each student or client for their unique perspectives, capturing and and building upon their hearts for music, and inspiring musical and emotional growth.

Joe, MA, MT-BC


"Mr. Joe", MA, MT-BC, is a multi-talented, super-educated musician who loves to learn.  Starting with steel lap guitar, Joe began learning various instruments at the age of seven and just never stopped learning.  With a dual major in voice and trumpet, Joe earned his Bachelors of Science degree and then went on to earn Master of Arts in music a few years later.  After serving as music director in several churches for over thirty years, still hungry to learn, Joe decided to broaden his experience once again by studying music therapy at the University of Pacific extension in San Francisco. He received his national board MT-BC certification in 2017. 

Joe has served young and old in the Bay Area since 1968 and still loves learning and loves the power that music can have in the lives of men and women of all ages.

He and his wife have grown children and he enjoys reading, attending concerts, and he also enjoys arranging choral and instrumental music for use in both private lessons and ensembles.

Lynnelle, BM, MA

Lynnelle B.

Lynnelle enjoys working with clients in a variety of musical mediums during her music therapy sessions. she began her professional career as a musician performing throughout the Bay Area and U.S. Her musical career has been diverse and challenging including:

  • being a charter member of the San Francisco Youth Symphony;
  • performing with the Monterey Pops Orchestra;
  • touring with a jazz trio around the country;
  • being a member of the conducting class at Tanglewood (the Berkshire Music Festival);
  • attending invitation only workshops and classes at Curtis Institute and Carnegie Hall; and
  • serving as a delegate to the Sixth World Symposium on Choral Music

Lynnelle has led orchestras, choirs, seminars, master-classes, and tours. She founded and served as Artistic Director of the SpiritMusik Concert Series and currently serves as the Director of Music at the Congregational Church of San Mateo, UCC. She received her BM in Music History with minors in Western Civilization and Art History at SFSU and an MA in Orchestral Conducting from the Lamont School of Music at DU, studying under master teachers Vince LaGuardia and Dr. William R. Ward. She has been studying Music Therapy at University of the Pacific at their San Francisco campus in pursuit of her MTBC license, and is currently serving her internship in Music Therapy at The Music Place.

Chris, BM, MT-BC
Chris D

Chris, BM, MT-BC, found his passion for music as a child and his love for teaching soon after that. He began learning music playing trumpet and continued on to study guitar, piano, ukulele and voice over the next several years.  He began teaching music in high school, taking advantage of community opportunities to work with children of varying abilities and disabilities. With a growing love for music and teaching coupled with a desire to do something important with his music, he planned on music education as a career. However, while touring colleges, something happened that clarified his focus. After speaking to the head of the music therapy department at Loyola University in New Orleans,  Chris discovered music therapy and how it was used to help students/clients reach non-musical goals. It was at that point that he knew that music therapy was the intersection of both his desires and talents.

Chris earned his Bachelor's of Music in Music Therapy, and subsequently his national Board Certification in Music Therapy (MT-BC) . Not long after,  he saw a job posting that included both music therapy and music education.  Having grown up in San Jose, he was happy to find a job that could facilitate his gifts and passion, and after rigorous clinical and technical interviews was happily awarded the position.  Chris is a great fit partly because of his versatility.  Not only does he feel comfortable serving clients with special needs, but he also enjoys teaching even the youngest students ages 1-3, and is currently training to teach the full Early Music Awareness program.

Recently engaged to his high school sweetheart, Chris' hobbies include hiking, cooking, exploring YouTube and dog training.

Brendan, MM, MT-BC


Brendan is passionate about whatever he does. Music. Teaching. Kids. Performing. Music Therapy. Helping people. These are just a few of the things he loves. 

An outstanding pianist, vocalist, and  cellist, Brendan is competent on a number of other instruments, but he is passionate about sharing his gifts with kids. As long as he can remember, he has enjoyed and appreciated the way even the youngest children respond to a fun teacher. He first noticed his love for working with kids while teaching gymnastics and martial arts to children as young as 3 years old. (He is a second degree black belt too!) He is also passionate about helping people. After first considering a career in medicine, he found music therapy to be the perfect way to combine his love for helping others with his love for music.

As a result, after completing his Bachelor of Music in Vocal Performance, Brendan went on to complete his Master of Music in Music Therapy followed by his national board certification. In addition to music teaching, Brendan has hundreds of hours of clinical experience with many special needs populations, but the majority of his clinical training and experience has been with students on the autism spectrum. This has equipped him with both the patience and the skill to share music with anyone.

He now fulfills both passions at The Music Place and Arts Educators group teaching piano, voice, cello, violin, and a variety of instruments while also serving a broad range of clients with special needs. In his personal time, he also enjoys leading Bible studies for young adults at his church. 

Fun facts: Brendan has performed with choirs at Carnegie Hall and St. Peter's Basilica in Italy, and in 2019, performed at the Macy's Thanksgiving Parade with Gamma Phi CIrcus alongside singer/actor Billy Porter. (Brendan was a member of the circus during graduate  school). 

John, MS, MT-BC


After studying piano for 8 years, John (MS, MT-BC) discovered the versatility of guitar and never stopped playing it. He expanded his musical horizons again when, after completing a combined undergraduate degree in Music, Music Technology and Jazz guitar, he was inspired by observing music therapists work with children on the autism spectrum. As he worked as a teacher assistant, he saw first-hand how students with severe challenges in self regulating and communicating would respond to the therapist (ex: approaching the therapist at the piano in calm manner, singing/vocalizing with them). He was also impressed as he observed the same students back in the classroom act in a much more calm and related manner. This led him to find out more about the field and eventually complete a Masters Degree in music therapy.

He has worked with those who have special needs since 2007.

John was excited to join the therapist/teacher team because of the variety of offerings and the opportunity to teach both neuro-typical and students with special needs. He is fun, energetic and uses his huge music repertoire and musical skill to creatively customize his approach to students and clients.

John is married and has recently returned to the Bay Area with his wife and preschool aged child after several years on the East Coast.