Gratitude at Thanksgiving

Music Therapy Connections | Springfield, IL

Throughout the week leading up to Thanksgiving, each of our employees here at Music Therapy Connections shared letters of gratitude. In case you missed our daily social media posts, we’ve rounded them up right here.

Katey Kamerad, MT-BC (Co-Owner)

Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday! This will be mine and my husband’s 8th year hosting our collective family in our home for a warm meal and beautiful day of celebration. Throughout the entire Thanksgiving weekend, our house is filled with laughter, hugs, open arms, helping hands, and thoughtful conversation. My heart is filled with joy and gratitude each Thanksgiving season. This year I am feeling particularly grateful for the incredible support I have felt in every area of my life. 

I am grateful for my husband. No matter what I bring to him, no mater the hours I work, no matter what I need, he supports me. By supporting every wild dream, hopeful ambition, and crazy idea, MTC has only benefited. Over the years and throughout our growth, he’s been in the background, the whole time saying, “Go for it!”, “You’ve got this!”, and “I’m so proud of you!”. He’s been the one asking, “Have you eaten?”, “Have you slept?”, and “How can I help you?”. He’s supported every single thing I’ve done, every decision I’ve made, and every step I’ve taken and I cannot say thank you enough. 

I am grateful for my business partner. No one can have a full understanding of what your business means unless they are in it, side by side, with you. Rachel, is 100%, fully invested, in everything we do. We are a team. Beyond our designated roles, I have witnessed the most incredible friendship and support from her, not only in our business, but also in our personal lives. No matter the situation, project, task, etc., I know Rachel is there and is in it all with me.  

I am grateful for all of the clients I have the honor of working with through music therapy. Providing services primarily in a hospital setting, my clients often are letting me into the most vulnerable or intimate moments in theirs lives. They allow me in to be a part of their journey, their joy, their grieving, their sorrow, their pain, and their growth. They give me the opportunity to share their time and be a part of their experience and memories. We share in music making, listening, dancing, laughing, and singing.  And in that shared experience, they provide such support for music therapy and the work I do every day. 

I am grateful for the immense support of our community. I am so incredibly humbled by the outpouring of support I have seen for music therapy within our community, especially over the past few months. With each Facebook post, recommendation, video, picture, verbal “I love music therapy” or “thank you”, etc., we feel the love and know that what we do is so worth it! Because of that support, we have been able to start working in so many new areas and only continue to grow the number of people we have the opportunity to work with each week.

I am grateful for my friends and family. They are the people who have been along for the ride, listening, sharing advice, comforting and lifting me up, and sharing in all my joys and struggles.  They are the people who supported me even when they had no idea what the words “music therapy” meant. I am so grateful for each and every one of them and what they have shared in or taught me along this journey so far. 

Simply, I am grateful. For you, this season, and the opportunity to continue doing what I love, every day. 

Emma Kovachevich, MT-BC (Music Therapist)

Emma Kovachevich | Music Therapy Connections

There are so many things to be thankful for in this season of my life. I’m extremely thankful for my family and friends who have been supporting me along my music therapy journey.

The late night phone calls, crying, laughs, and smiles, they’ve been there through it all. I’m also incredibly thankful for the professors, teachers, and supervisors who have stood by my side and taught me everything I know. The road to becoming a music therapist can be difficult, but supportive teachers and mentors make the experience easier.

Lastly, I’m thankful for the communities I have worked in throughout my practicums in Macomb and internship in Springfield. If it wasn’t for you, I wouldn’t have been able to gain the quality hands-on experience that you all have given me. Thank you for supporting me during my stages of music therapy student, intern, and professional. I am thankful for each and every person who has played any role in making me who I am today!

Becky Waddell (Instructor & Studio Manager)

Becky Waddell | Music Therapy Connections

When November comes around, it’s the perfect time to be reminded of the many things to be thankful for. I’m sure you’ve seen the Month of Thanks and Attitude of Gratitude posts on social media platforms. Although I’ve taken part in this activity in the past, this year, I’m doing something different.

I am thankful for my dear husband. He works so. very. hard. to keep our family in order. His hard work has given us the roof over our heads, the food on our plates, and the clothing on our backs. And when he isn’t teaching music at the collegiate level, he’s working on his music business; writing, producing, and promoting his artists. All to support our family. He’s a strong advocate for our three children, the special needs community, and area educational platforms. He supports me, and my many hats, and allows me to be me! Thank you for ALL that you are and ALL that you do.

I am thankful for my place of work. Music Therapy Connections has been my home for almost four years, and I enjoy every. single. moment. I’ve been able to grow as an individual and strengthen my planning, teaching, and business-orientated goals, all while continuing to develop myself as a musician. I’ve had the pleasure of working with a variety of students, most since my first days at MTC. To watch a student learn and grow is a gift in itself. Thank you to my bosses, my co-workers, my students, and ALL families at MTC, for helping foster a love of music throughout the community. 

I am thankful for my family, extended family, friends, and acquaintances, near and far. YOU are my support system. Caring for a child with special needs really does take a community. My children have grown, knowing there is good in the world. They know that they can count on you for love and understanding. Thank you for being there during the good times, as well as the bad. YOU matter!

Molly Robitaille, MT-BC (Music Therapist)

Molly Robitaille | Music Therapy Connections

This Thanksgiving season, I am grateful for community. As many of you may know, I came to MTC and Springfield all the way from Connecticut. I am so grateful for the community that has opened their arms to me- both here at MTC and in the greater Springfield area. I immediately felt at home with both, and as a young professional in a new state that was so comforting to me.

I want to thank all the wonderful families and people I serve here in the Springfield area and especially the team here at MTC for welcoming me with open arms and making me feel so at home. These have been a wonderful first six months here and I look forward to so many more! I hope you all have a happy and healthy holiday season, and I look forward to seeing you around MTC!

Laura Mui, MM, MT-BC (Music Therapist)

Laura Mui | Music Therapy Connections

As I reflect on almost 2 years as a MT-BC, I am thankful for so many things! I am, of course, thankful for music therapy as a field that reaches so many people and touches individuals in so many ways. I love seeing how music has uniquely helped my clients across school settings, geriatric populations, and hospice settings to thrive and grow. I’m also thankful that music therapy has opened my eyes to the greater community of allied health professionals, paraprofessionals, teachers, nurses, and social workers that work so hard and care so much for their clients. 

In fact, I wanted to dedicate my post of gratitude to all of the staff that I work with in the school setting and to the nurses and administrators I work with in the assisted living facilities.  To the staff, nurses, and administrators, I want to say THANK YOU for showing up, being present, and supporting music therapy. Whether it is taking care of a client’s bathroom needs during a session, transporting each client to and from a session, dancing or singing along, or just being a constant support to my clients after the session is over, I am truly thankful for all you do!

As someone who meets with clients for only 30 or 45 minutes a week, I am always inspired by the way you persevere and care for your students and patients, especially when unexpected needs arise. Thank you for reminding me that a smooth music therapy session would not be possible without your quick thinking and behind-the-scenes support. 

Rachel Rambach, MM, MT-BC (Co-Owner)

Rachel Rambach | Music Therapy Connections

This season, I can’t help but reflect on the evolution of Music Therapy Connections, and all of the people who helped make it what it is today. My heart is filled with gratitude every time I see our full parking lot, walk into our bustling studio, watch our amazing team in action, and witness how music is positively affecting people of every age and ability.

I am thankful for my very first group of families, students and clients; you inspired me to grow as a music therapist and as a business owner. You invited me into your homes in the very beginning, then spent years coming to mine, and stuck with me as MTC upgraded locations twice.

I am thankful for my co-owner, Katey — the extrovert to my introvert, the yin to my yang, a true partner for the last 5+ years of this adventure. Katey is the person who makes every challenge seem possible, and never ceases to amaze me with her endless set of skills.

I am thankful for my entire family, who has been instrumental in the growth of MTC from its roots. There are no words to express my gratitude for all of their support, in the form of naming Music Therapy Connections (thanks, mom!), providing endless hours of child care for my children, attending all of our events, and being the most amazing cheerleaders. My husband, especially, has stood by me throughout it all and been the best partner I could ever ask for.

I am thankful for our community, who has fully embraced music therapy and everything else we offer. To the schools, facilities and organizations who contract our services, to our student and clients who come through our doors every week, and to our families who spread the word and help us continue to grow: THANK YOU!

We are grateful that YOU are a part of our community as well, whether locally or long distance. Thank you for taking the time to read our letters of gratitude, and we wish you a very happy Thanksgiving!

{Application of the Week} Learning Your Address with “Count On Me”

{Application of the Week} Learning Your Address with Count On Me

This week, we’re shaking things up with a song that can be used with individuals who are working on identifying and communicating helpful information about themselves.

Using the tune from Bruno Mars’ popular song “Count on Me”, the adapted lyrics teach situational problem solving, as well as utilizes the natural pause in the song to prompt the client to communicate his or her address in a fun way!

Possible Goals Addressed:

  • Address identification
  • Augmentative/adaptive communication device navigation
  • Verbalization

Music used:

Mars, B., Lawrence, P., & Levine, A. (2011). You can count on me [recorded by Bruno Mars]. On Doo-Wops & Hooligans [CD]. Los Angeles, California: Larrabee Recording Studios.

Materials needed:

Print out of adapted lyrics (with client’s address)
Accompaniment instrument of choice


The music therapist will sing the adapted version of the song “Count on Me” by Bruno Mars. When mentioned in the song lyrics, the therapist will prompt the client to state his or her address.

Additional considerations can include:

  • The use of a traditional  pick or oversized pick
  • Utilizing hand over hand prompting, partial physical prompting or limited prompting
  • The client’s appropriate range of motion
  • Utilizing certain fingers, certain hands, or both hands


Verse 1

If you ever find yourself lost and you don’t know where to be
Just rem-e-ember
Your address

If you ever forget just how to find your street
Just rem-e-ember
Your address


[Client] get ready,
Tell me, where do you live?


[Centre W Dr,]
[Springfield, IL 62704]

Oh yea

Ooohh, oooh, yea, yeah yea

Teacher Feature: Kristi Lecocq

Teacher Feature: Kristi Lecocq

Kristi Lecocq has been teaching voice, piano, and guitar with Music Therapy Connections for a little over two years now, and just this fall joined our team of Listen & Learn class teachers! We love having Kristi as a member of our team and are so excited to share a little more about her in this month’s teacher feature! Check out what she shared about her musical background.

“I grew up in a very “von Trapp-esque” family. My parents, siblings, and I all sang in multiple choirs at church, and for several years we were even part of a larger community choral group called Festival Singers that performed around the St. Paul/Mpls area during the holiday season. Most of our extended family gatherings during my childhood incorporated some form of jam session or sing-along.

I earned a bachelor of music in commercial music (vocal emphasis) from Millikin University. After graduating, I moved to Nashville, TN to soak up the singer-songwriter life for a few years. I returned to central IL in 2001 and have been performing in local rock bands ever since. Bands included Blue Bus, Equinox, Pancake Supper, One-Eyed Red, Alligator Wine, and currently the original rock band, Fireside Relics, which released its second original album this past March. I was also an adjunct faculty member in Millikin’s music industry department from 2004-2009 and taught songwriting and vocal styles classes. I am also currently part of a Springfield musical duo called the Tater Tots that performs children’s music for sing-alongs, parties, and events.

Some memorable and unique musical experiences over my lifetime include: playing in the Rosemount MN High School Marching Band at the Metrodome for the 6th game of the 1991 World Series between the MN Twins and the Atlanta Braves; singing with the Millikin University Choir and Vocal Jazz Ensemble in Haiti and the Dominican Republic; singer-songwriter performances at the infamous Bluebird Cafe in Nashville, TN; a recording session two summers ago with my husband Scott (who is also a musician) and our two children at Sun Studio in Memphis, TN.

In addition to teaching voice, piano, guitar, and Listen & Learn classes at MTC, I also play the ukulele and the flute.”

Teacher Feature: Kristi Lecocq

Kristi also took the time to answer a few questions about her favorite things and share a couple fun fact about her personal life.

Favorite color: lime green

Favorite food: homemade egg sandwich + coffee & OJ (or most anything breakfast-related)

Favorite game: anything involving trivia

Favorite place to visit: Twin Cities to see my family and anywhere “up North” in MN, but especially the Boundary Waters

Favorite day of the week: Friday

Favorite non-musical activity: I’m a huge photograph nut. I love looking through old family photos, making photo books, and dabbling in photography, especially of my kids; I also enjoy being a “backstage mom” and “gymnastics mom,” volunteering at my children’s school with LEGO Club/library, and participating in political activism.

Weird talent: ??? I cannot think of a single one. My husband says I’m mundane! (I do shoot pool left-handed even though I’m a righty. Not sure that qualifies as “special.”)

We think Kristi is anything but mundane! She is a truly special part of MTC and we know all of her students agree. Let us know if you have a question for Kristi or if you are interested in filling one of her available lesson times.

Teacher Feature: Reid Muchow

Reid Muchow

Next in the “Teacher Feature” lineup is Reid Muchow! Reid has been teaching at MTC for 2 years. He is a Springfield native and currently teaches percussion, piano, guitar, and vocals. Reid has lived in both Chicago and New Orleans as part of his musical journey, and has a huge variety of experience that he pulls from when working with all of his students. We asked Reid to tell us a little more about himself. Check out what he shared:

Tell us about your background.

I started playing drums on a drum set that I made out of boxes and duct tape. I played drums throughout high school and discovered my dad’s record collection which exposed me to genres like jazz, soul, funk, classical, and rock. This gave me an interest in learning many different instruments and in many styles of music. I studied music with professor Jane Hartman at LLCC in Springfield, IL for a 2 years and moved to Chicago in 2008 to study jazz music at Roosevelt University studying with drummer Paul Wertico (Pat Metheny Group), music theorist Scott Mason and composition and arrangement with Tom Garling(Buddy Rich, Maynard Fergusson).  

After graduating in 2011, I performed internationally and nationally with several groups including Chicago based-groups The O’My’s, And The Heard and currently I am in Memphis blues artist Brandon Santini’s band.

What else have you done musically?

  • Performed at Lollapalooza 2011
  • Played at Edmonton Blues Fest in 2016
  • Performed with Chance The Rapper
  • Been on an album that’s been in the Billboard top 100 (ZZ Ward – Til’ The Casket Drops 2012) playing drums
  • Currently on Grammy nominated Chicago artist Vic Mensa’s 2017 album The Autobiography playing drums  

What is your favorite:

Color – Red

Food – Pizza

Game – Monopoly

Day of the week – Friday

Non-musical activity – Yoga

Music to play – anything as long as it’s good music!

Do you have a weird talent? I can pop my toes without my hands

What else do you enjoy doing? I enjoy playing with my 2 cats Lucy and Simba, reading, doing yoga and exercise, cooking, recording music, and spending time with my girlfriend Rachel.  

For more about Reid, check out his personal website:

Teacher Feature: Becky Waddell

Becky Waddell - Piano and Guitar Instructor in Spingfield IL

We love our team at Music Therapy Connections! Each of our instructors has a set of unique gifts and talents that makes them a perfect fit for so many of the families we work with in the studio.

In a recent Facebook live video, we shared about the importance of finding the right teacher for you! Every student is just as unique as their teacher, so finding the right fit is important.

We want you to know even more about the teachers we have on our team at Music Therapy Connections by sharing a blog post featuring fun facts and interesting details about each team member.

First Up: Becky Waddell

Becky teaches piano and guitar at Music Therapy Connections. Her background includes a Master of Elementary Education, Master of Music Composition, and Bachelor of Music Theory and Composition.

Becky plays several instruments including the saxophone, clarinet, flute, piano, voice, guitar, and ukulele. Becky loves to practice and is always working to improve her skills. She’s currently focused on piano, guitar and ukulele.

On top of working at MTC, Becky is also adjunct music faculty at Lincoln Land Community College where she will be performing in the faculty recital during the 2017-2018 school year.

Becky has performed on stage and in the orchestra pit in numerous musicals. She fills in on saxophone with the Lincoln Land Community College Big Band when needed.

Becky Waddell | Piano & Guitar Instructor | Springfield, Illinois

Becky resides in Pawnee with her husband and three children. She considers herself to be quite creative and extremely reliable. She says could eat pizza and pasta every day of the week and can’t function without her morning coffee.

When asked what she enjoys doing when she’s not working or with her family, Becky said, “I love love love going to musicals and long to have the stage lights suck me in again.”

We LOVE having Becky as part of our team! She currently works with several students but is accepting new students as well. If you or a family member is interested in lessons, be sure to fill out our registration form HERE. Stay tuned for more posts featuring each of our individual instructors and therapists.