Allison received a Bachelor of Music in Music Therapy from Florida State University, one of the top music therapy programs in the U.S., with honors (cum laude). She completed her internship at San Antonio State Hospital, the state mental health facility in San Antonio, TX. Allison has been board-certified since 1997 and has worked with individuals of all ages ranging from neonates to geriatrics. She has worked with a broad spectrum of populations including mental health, early intervention, special needs, autism spectrum, drug and alcohol rehabilitation, Alzheimer’s and abuse victims.
In 2002, Allison was hired by Mars Music, Inc. to implement the Babies Make Music program in the Atlanta area, as the corporation placed a large emphasis on early music education and early music intervention. In addition, Allison has designed music therapy programs, music education classes and music camps for local schools and organizations. By combining her music therapy experience with her love of teaching, Allison is able to offer successful, adaptive lessons to individuals who might struggle in the traditional private lesson environment.
Sara holds a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Agnes Scott College and a Master’s of Music Education with Music Therapy from the University of Georgia. The focus of her clinical training has been child and adolescent psychiatric populations and working with children who have special needs. She completed her clinical internship at River Oaks Hospital in New Orleans, where she worked with psychiatric populations, including children and adolescents with eating disorders, trauma, and addiction/dual diagnoses, and with general adult psychiatric groups.
Sara is board-certified and specializes in working with children and adolescents, addressing a variety of needs associated with autism, ADHD, cerebral palsy and other behavioral, neurological and psychiatric disorders. She also teaches adaptive beginning and intermediate piano lessons for children and adolescents with special needs, and typical children as well.
My most treasured memory of my work so far has been the day that one of my adaptive students performed for the very first time. I had been working with her for several years, first as a music therapy client and then as an adaptive student as she met her treatment goals with me. She had learned to play “Twinkle, Twinkle” in our lessons together, and we had practiced everything from walking up to the keyboard to taking a bow afterwards. But when the day arrived, she was too afraid to perform for the audience when her turn came.
We encouraged her, but she was simply too frightened.
She watched all of the other students perform, and after everyone had finished and the audience had begun to leave, she looked up at her mother and me and said, “I want to try.” So I walked her up to the keyboard, and she played for her entire family and the remaining audience members. Not only that, she has performed many times since that day. That moment of immense pride and love reminds me every day of why I do the work that I do.
Kristen LaPorte has a Bachelor of Music in Music Education from the University of Delaware, and a Master of Arts in Music Therapy from Immaculata University. She is a music therapist and vocal instructor who has taught private lessons as well as choirs. Before coming to Georgia and Metro Music Makers, Kristen worked as a music therapist in two children’s hospitals and a private practice specializing in children with learning disabilities in New Jersey. She is a member of the American Music Therapy Association and the Phi Kappa Lambda National Music Honor Society.
Kristen teaches voice and piano and also works as a music therapist at Metro Music Makers. “I love having a piece of my heart in both the music education world and the music therapy world,” she says. “I know how influential music has been in my own life, and I love helping my students discover their own journey with music and the role that it can play in their own lives.”
Kristen is known for her corny jokes and funny voices, which she uses in her quest to make music accessible to everyone while keeping them laughing in the process. She is also a huge Harry Potter fan who loves musical theater.