NMT Academy Assistant Faculty

Dr. Stefan Mainka

Dr. Stefan Mainka works as a music therapist and researcher at Parkinson’s Center Beelitz-Heilstätten/Germany. His work focuses on sensorimotor rehabilitation and therapeutic musical sonification. He teaches at the Kunst-Uni Graz in Austria.

Kathrin Mertel

Kathrin Mertel earned her diploma in music therapy in 2003 and completed her Master’s Degree in Neurological Music Therapy in 2005.  2006 – 2011 she was working full-time at a Neurological Rehabilitation Center in Dresden where she mainly treated patients suffering from TBI and cerebral palsy. Since September 2011 she works at the Cochlear Implant Center of the University Hospital Dresden. Her work focuses on auditory perception training and cognitive training.
In addition to her clinical work, Kathrin Mertel is author of publications, gives lectures and workshops. Since 2007 she has a teaching assignment at the Music Therapeutic Institute of the University of the Arts in Berlin. 

Laurien Hakvoort, PhD.

Laurien Hakvoort, PhD., is a Dutch registered music therapist and Neurologic music therapy fellow. She is lecturer of music therapy approaches at the music therapy department of ArtEZ University of the Arts in the bachelor and (pre)master program and runs the on-campus Parkinson-NMT-group. In addition, she is a freelance researcher and guest lecture at University Palackého in Olomouci, Czech Republic. For 17 years she was a music therapist in forensic psychiatry and currently runs her private music therapy practice, Muzis.net.

Brian Harris

Brian Harris is the Co-Founder and CEO of MedRhythms.  MedRhythms provides Neurologic Music Therapy services across the care continuum and builds digital therapeutics based on Rhythmic Auditory Stimulation. Brian is a Neurologic Music Therapist Fellows whose clinical work is focused at Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital in Boston, USA where he created and implemented their first inpatient full time Neurologic Music Therapy program, specializing in Traumatic Brain Injury, Stroke, and neurologic disease and built this program to be the most comprehensive NMT program in the country.  Brian is also the Chair of the Arts & Neuroscience group at the American Congress of Rehabilitation Medicine and sits on the Advisory Council of the Academy of Neurologic Music Therapy. He has been an invited speaker at venues throughout the world including: the American Academy of Neurosurgeons, Harvard Medical School, the American Congress of Rehabilitation Medicine, Stanford University, Berklee College of Music, The Neurology Foundation of India, and Google.  Brian is an author on multiple publications related to music and rehabilitation and is listed as an inventor on several patents related to MedRhythms digital therapeutic platform.  His work has also been featured in Forbes, CNBC, The Huffington Post, Pitchfork, Mashable, The Boston Herald, XConomy, MedTech Boston and on Chronicle Boston. Brian has been named to MedTech Boston’s 40 Under 40 Healthcare Innovators.

Carolyn A Dobson, CMDCP, AAP-BC, MT-BC

Carolyn is a Neurologic Music Therapy Fellow providing clinical services, program consultation, and professional supervision in the Dallas, TX metroplex. Carolyn’s primary clinical focus includes older adults with neurodegenerative diseases and those with acquired/traumatic brain injuries. She serves as the U.S. Liaison on the NMT Academy International Council and is a current member of the NMT Academy Advisory Council. 

Cheryl Jones 

Cheryl Jones RP, MTA, PhD is an accredited music therapist and a registered psychotherapist.  She has been a teacher in the music therapy departments at Wilfrid Laurier University and Concordia University and is regularly an invited guest lecturer at universities and conferences.  In addition to teaching, she has also provided clinical supervision for student internships. She has served on the accreditation board for the Canadian Association for Music Therapy. Cheryl maintains a private clinical practice working on rehabilitation goals with individuals who have sustained an acquired brain injury.  She also has clinical experience with other populations including Alzheimer’s and dementia, autism, Huntington’s Disease, Parkinson’s, palliative care, and a range of mental health disorders. Cheryl was one of the first NMTs in Canada and was the first Canadian NMT fellow. She currently serves on the Advisory Council for the NMT Academy. 

Caitlin Hebb, MT-BC, Neurologic Music Therapist Fellow, Clinical Operations Manager, MedRhythms, Inc.

Caitlin Hebb is the Clinical Operations Manager for MedRhythms Inc. She graduated from Berklee College of Music with a degree in Music Therapy, and received her fellowship in Neurologic Music Therapy from The Academy for Neurologic Music Therapy. Caitlin is also the Internship Director for MedRhythms, Inc. at Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital where she primarily works with patients on the traumatic brain injury, stroke, and spinal cord units. She is passionate about education and advocacy, and has spoken at several regional and national conferences. Caitlin has been involved in creating several new initiatives in the Boston Area that focus on the intersection of research, clinical application, and education including MedRhythms Meeting of the Minds and the New England Region Neurologic Music Therapy Chapter meeting. In addition, she leads cutting edge groups, including the Boston University Aphasia Community Chorus. Caitlin also serves on the board of The New England Region of The American Music Therapy Association as the Interprofessional Collaborative Resources Representative.


Chrissy is the Business Development Manager and NMT for MedRhythms Therapy. Chrissy has an undergraduate degree in music education from The Catholic University of America, a graduate degree in music therapy from SUNY New Paltz, and a Master of Social Work degree from Boston University.Chrissy has supervised music therapy interns from Anna Maria College and Berklee College of Music. She is responsible for overseeing and shepherding the growth of MedRhythms clinical services. Chrissy also provides neurologic music therapy services for groups and individuals across a variety of settings. She serves on the Academy of Certified Brain Injury Specialists Board of Governors, and has been working in the field of brain injury for the past 7 years. Chrissy presents for MedRhythms at many conferences and brain injury events, speaking to the life changing neuroscience on how music is processed and perceived in the brain. Chrissy is currently working to establish MedRhythms NY, offering world class NMT services to patients with neurologic injury and disease in the Capital Region. In her free time, Chrissy enjoys spending time with family and friends, taking walks with her husband and dogs, reading, singing, and doing puzzles!

Nicole Richard

Nicole Richard has been an NMT since 2016 and an NMT-Fellow since 2019. She is enthusiastic about NMT, having witnessed its efficacy with many clinical populations. Nicole loves to teach, and has supervised a number of students in their practicum placements in the clinical master’s program (with an NMT focus) at the University of Toronto. Currently a PhD candidate studying with Dr. Michael Thaut, Nicole’s research will promote the ongoing development and application of NMT interventions addressing movement in autistic individuals. She has also done research on the efficacious use of NMT via online platforms, and assisted with a number of NMT clinical studies focused on TIMP, RAS, APT, and more. 

Dr. Charlene Santoni 

Charlene Santoni received her Master’s Degree in Vocal Pedagogy and her PhD in Music and Health Science with a specialization in voice from The University of Toronto. Her doctoral research explored ways of influencing oral-nasal balance in speech and singing in typical speakers and speakers with hypernasality. Her work earned publication in the Journal of Voice, Folia Phoniatrica et Logopaedica, and The International Journal of Pediatric Otorhinolaryngology. She also co-authored a chapter on music-inspired speech and language rehabilitation that is featured in the Oxford Handbook for Music and the Brain. She is currently a guest lecturer at The University of Toronto and a sessional singing voice instructor at McMaster University. She also maintains a private studio where she provides advanced singing training, singing voice rehabilitation services, and vocal intonation therapy. In 2014, she was awarded The National Association of Teachers of Singing Voice Pedagogy Award. Charlene is a Neurologic Music Therapy Affiliated Professional that specializes in vocal intonation therapy. For more information about Dr. Santoni, you can visit her website: www.charlenesantoni.com

Sarah Melton, MA, MT-BC, NMT Fellow

Sarah Melton, MA, MT-BC, NMT Fellow got her initial NMT training in 2015 and completed her fellowship process in 2018. Some of her favorite work in her career so far has been supervising interns and updating clinical staff resources at Neurologic Music Therapy Services of Arizona — she loves teaching, mentoring, and making sure others feel empowered to do their jobs well.  She completed a Master of Arts in music therapy at Berklee College of Music with thesis work on music and multisensory integration in the brain.  She doesn’t have a favorite client population yet and has worked with clients using NMT to address goals from cognitive motor control, to memory, to emotional well-being, to speech and language development, to balance and improved gait parameters. Sarah also loves dance, yoga, and hiking all over Arizona’s mountains with her husband. 

Maegan Morrow

Maegan Morrow graduated from Sam Houston State University and received her advanced fellowship training in Neurologic Music Therapy at the Robert F. Unkefer Academy of Neurologic Music Therapy. She is a Board Certified Music Therapist and member of the American Music Therapy Association, and currently works at Houston Methodist hospital in the Woodlands, TX. For the past 17 years, Maegan had been practicing Music Therapy at TIRR Memorial Hermann in the largest medical center, the Texas medical center in Houston. Her primary area of expertise is using Neurologic Music Therapy techniques for interdisciplinary work in a Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation setting.