Tasia grew up in a home impacted by the all-consuming health challenges of her younger sister. As she watched pain and suffering up close, the desire to help hurting people grew. Perhaps because of the daunting medical situation her family balanced on a daily basis, Tasia never wanted to be a doctor. Instead, after her first years at Tri-County Community College, she turned to Gardner Web, a national leader in Christian higher education, where she earned a degree in Sacred Music, with a concentration in Voice, for her faith plays a major role in her life.
In 2009 Tasia entered Queen's University in Charlotte, NC, to study Music Therapy. Even as a first year student, she was given the opportunity to work with clients as she gained exposure and experience in psychiatric day groups, assisted living homes and memory care, schools, pediatric and adolescent populations with a wide range of disabilities, and hospital settings. Her work with children always held a special place. She laughingly recalled the heavy load she took at Queens. " I was eager to move on to more experience as fast as possible."
From Queen's University she was accepted into a highly competitive internship with Fulton County Schools, followed by a career in private practice. Eventually Tasia found her way back to an earlier public school experience where she has spent the past six years in South Fulton County where she works with a culturally and economically diverse population of students who are eager and open to learning.
Tasia, of course, has her own poignant teacher stories of lives changed by the "power of music," the impact of simply "singing a song" or using a drum to help with gait issues. She recalled the positive impact of music therapy on a challenged student raised by a single dad only 26 years old. Pride swelled as she shared the growth path of a non-verbal teenage who now has his own blog and speaks publicly about his autism.
As I took in the depth of this educator's career and the positive impact she makes daily in the lives of her students, I smiled with pride as she also recalled and referenced her 1st- 4th Grade Learning Center experience: Teacher Faith Seiglie who poured so much into developing her character; the memory of being "turned loose" with a unique, somewhat weird science fair project where exploration was encouraged, and the "close to 1:1 experience that she enjoyed at The Learning Center and in her homeschool years. Tasia realizes that she purposefully sought out college environments and work opportunities that offered this same small group interaction.
This now mother of two and highly skilled and talented Licensed Professional Music Therapist, Music Therapist-Board Certified, recognizes this personality trait. " I consider myself a bit of a nomad. I need change." With increased skills in managing confrontations, making awesome connections as she builds peer relationships based on respect, Tasia does not rule out private practice again. She also is dedicated to growing awareness and increased understanding of Music Therapy. Unfortunately the realizes that some teachers fail to see the validity in Music Therapy. She is, however, encouraged as more educators and those in the position to add music therapy to school offerings are embracing the Social Emotional goldmine found in song.
"Music Therapy is the clinical and evidenced-based use of music interventions to accomplish individualized goals within a therapeutic relationship by a credentialed professional who has completed an approved music therapy program. Music therapy interventions can address a variety of healthcare and education goals." The American Music Therapy Association
Simply put, music therapy uses music to met non-musical goals. Music addresses goals such as physical, emotional, social, behavioral, spiritual, academic, language and communication, and much more. Music is a universal language!