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Meet Katelyn Blankenburg of Texas Music Therapy Services

Today we’d like to introduce you to Katelyn Blankenburg.

So, before we jump into specific questions about the business, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
I was born and raised in Houston. I went to school, volunteered, sang in choirs, and worked hard to help others. My two true loves have always been helping others and music. When I started searching for colleges, I was torn. Part of me wanted to pursue a degree in teaching or in social work, and the other part of me was drawn to music and wanted it to be my career. I attended Sam Houston State University (SHSU) for a choir camp the summer before my senior year of high school. At the camp, I talked to the faculty about my conundrum. That’s when they told me about Music Therapy. I was instantly hooked. Music Therapy perfectly combines my two passions.

As soon as I got home from choir camp, I applied to SHSU’s Music Therapy program. I was accepted to the university and was invited for an audition and interview at the music school. I was accepted into the Music Therapy program. I began pursuing my Music Therapy degree in the fall of 2014. I completed the program with a minor in psychology, a year early. The Music Therapy program consists of four years of study, followed by a six months internship. From there, in order to become a Music Therapist, there is a board certification exam as well as continuing education, very similar to other therapy domains. I took more than a full load of classes, worked throughout the school year and was involved in campus organizations. Part of the Music Therapy program is taking lessons on the student’s primary instrument, so for me, that was voice. Another part of the program is to learn to play many different instruments like piano, guitar, percussion, and more! During my time at SHSU, my love for Music Therapy grew. I completed my internship at TIRR Memorial Hermann, The Woodlands.

After finishing my internship, I decided to start a private practice. Music Therapists serve many different populations from the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit all the way through hospice and end of life care. We use music to reach non-musical goals. This looks different for each and every person that a Music Therapist serves. I want to serve as many people that I possibly can. I started my business, Texas Music Therapy Services in April of 2019. Since opening, I have employed five different Music Therapists and we have served hundreds of people. We serve children, teenagers and adults with special needs or on the autism spectrum, as well as those with mental health need as young at 18 months old all the way up through over 90 years old! We serve hospice patients, people with Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s and people who are post-stroke. We have served people in the prison system, people in inpatient settings, and in their own homes. My team of Music Therapists works hard to provide excellent service to the most vulnerable people in society.

Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
The biggest challenge this far has been advocacy. While Music Therapy has been around for a while, people do not know about it! People think that music therapy is just singing to people to make them feel better. It can seem like this is what we are doing, but we are always addressing goals specifically written for the client! We are credentialed therapists working toward certain things with people of all different backgrounds, not volunteers who want to help out.

This journey, while worth it, has not always been smooth sailing. As a very new business, I do not expect for it to be smooth any time soon. We have had doors closed in our faces, people not willing to learn the benefits of Music Therapy and people who want us to “perform” rather than provide therapy services.

Texas Music Therapy Services, LLC – what should we know? What do you do best? What sets you apart from the competition?
My company is called Texas Music Therapy Services. We provide Music Therapy services in home and in facilities all around Houston! We currently go as far north as Conroe and as far south as Sugarland/Pearland. We employ credentialed Music Therapists (MT-BC). We offer in-services consult services as well as individual and group music therapy and voice, piano, and guitar lessons to people of all ages and ability. We work as a team to provide the highest level of services. We have monthly meetings to collaborate and seek peer-supervision and to share intervention ideas and songs.

What moment in your career do you look back most fondly on?
Every moment is a proud moment. Each client brings their own challenges to the table. Helping them to not only reach those goals but to surpass them is what makes it all worth it.

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Image Credit:
Texas Music Therapy Services, LLC

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