Music therapy students and graduate teaching assistants from Drury University and University of Missouri-Kansas City gathered around the AMTA-Pro podcast microphone to describe their work with an intergenerational choir as a practicum experience. They describe various aspects of the music therapy treatment process, including assessment, session planning, data collection, co-treatment, supervision, and various interventions. Dr. Melita Belgrave, UMKC music therapy professor, joins in the conversation to provide information about the background and overall structure of the intergenerational choir practicum experience. The text section of this AMTA-Pro podcast includes brief bios of the speakers as well as a valuable 24-page resource packet compiled by Dr. Belgrave, Dr. Alice-Ann Darrow, and Dr. Natalie Wlodarczyk, professors who implement intergeneration choir practicums in their university programs at UMKC, Drury University, and Florida State University.

MT Practicum: Intergenerational Choirs

AMTA-Pro podcast featuring Graduate and Undergraduate Music Therapy Students from University of Missouri – Kansas City and Drury University

April, 2016

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Intergenerational Choir 2Intergenerational Choir 1







These photos capture a bit of the spirit of the April, 2016 Intergenerational Choir Rock Band concert at Drury University. Drury music therapy professor, Natalie Wlodarczyk, PhD, MT‐BC , as well as Melita Belgrave, PhD, MT‐BC, at University of Missouri-Kansas City, and Alice-Ann Darrow, PhD, MT-BC, of Florida State University, provide unique intergenerational choir practicum experiences for their students and graduate teaching assistants. The structure of the practicum experiences vary from university to university, but the basic concept is similar. This AMTA-Pro podcast provides descriptions of the practicums at UMKC and Drury University from the perspective of students, graduate teaching assistants, and Dr. Belgrave. The comprehensive resource packet contains clinical applications and data collection tools used by UMKC students during assessment sessions and treatment sessions in these target areas: sustained attention, divided  attention, retrieval of newly learned information, fine motor skills, and gross motor  skills. Additionally, this packet contains song lists used by faculty and students  at Drury University, Florida State University, and University of Missouri-Kansas  City.

Intergenerational Choir-resource packet


Belgrave, M., Darrow, A., Walworth, D., Wlodarczyk, N., (2011). Music therapy and geriatric populations: A handbook for practicing music therapists and healthcare professionals. Silver Spring, Maryland: American Music Therapy Association, Inc.

Podcast Speakers

Melita Belgrave, Ph.D., MT-BC, received her bachelor’s degree in music therapy from Michigan State University, master’s in music therapy, a certification in aging studies, and a Ph.D. in music education with an emphasis in music therapy at Florida State University. Dr. Belgrave has worked as a music therapist in special education, mental health, rehabilitation, hospice, geriatric, and intergenerational settings. Her research interests are music therapy with older adults and intergenerational programming. She has presented at regional, national, and international conferences, and her research has been published in the Journal of Music Therapy and Music Therapy Perspectives.

Andrea Boswell-Burn, MT-BC, is an Adjunct Instructor at the University of Missouri- Kansas City and specializes in clients with Traumatic Brain Injuries and children ages 5 and under. Andrea served as the Graduate Teaching Asst. and Clinical Supervisor for UMKC for 3 years, where she became a part of Forever Young and started her love for intergenerational clinical work.

Kaitlin Sutton is a senior at UMKC, graduating in May, 2016 and receiving both a Bachelors of Arts in Music Therapy and a Bachelors of Arts in Psychology. She is an active member of AMTA and UMKC-AMTS, as well as a music therapy advocate/member of the General Federation of Women’s Club. Kaitlin will be interning at Truman Medical Center in 2016 at the New Frontiers mental health program. After her internship, she wants to continue to focus on mental health and begin an adolescent suicide prevention program.

Kristina Guevara is a Music Therapy Graduate Equivalency student at University of Missouri-Kansas City. Originally from Boca Raton, Florida, Kristina aspired to be a music teacher in the local area. Months before receiving her Bachelor of Arts in Music Education from Florida Gulf Coast University, Kristina stumbled upon music therapy and was immediately hooked. Since venturing into her graduate studies, she has had many practicum opportunities working with a variety of populations in different settings. Aside from her schoolwork, Kristina enjoys playing videogames and singing to her two cats.

Stephanie Harriman, a Music Therapy Graduate Equivalency student at UMKC, has undergraduate degrees in music and psychology from the University of Arkansas. Stephanie discovered music therapy while conducting research for a music cognition assignment and was so fascinated that she decided to pursue a career in the field. In May 2016, Stephanie will graduate from the University of Missouri- Kansas City with her master’s degree in music therapy. Currently, she is serving her second term as President of UMKC’s music therapy student association and serves as a student representative on the board of Kansas City Metro Music Therapists. After internship, she hopes to work with children with disabilities and their families.

Taylor Renfroe is currently a second year graduate student of music therapy at University of Missouri-Kansas City.  She hold s a Bachelor’s of Music Education with an emphasis in piano graduating magna cum laude in the Honors College from Missouri State University.  Taylor specializes in music therapy in multicultural and educational settings.

Haley Crane will graduate in May 2016 with a BA in Music Therapy from UMKC. She is very passionate about helping children and adolescents with developmental disabilities, with the hopes of one day working in a clinical setting providing services for this population. In June 2016, Haley plans to begin her internship through West Virginia University, providing the opportunity to serve children and adolescents with developmental disabilities, patients in a hospital, and veterans in community programs. She is excited to see what the future has in store and is looking forward to a successful career as a board certified music therapist.

Lauren Buser is a second-year master equivalency music therapy student at UMKC. She is from Topeka, Kansas and obtained her Bachelor degree in vocal music performance from Washburn University. Lauren has worked in several clinical settings, including wellness settings for older adults and adult victims of domestic violence. She teaches piano, voice, and guitar to a studio of twelve students through Mobile Music Teachers and she works as the Activity Assistant at Bishop Spencer Place.

Jocelyn Anderson Fitzpatrick is an older student at UMKC in the second year of the Music Therapy Graduate Equivalency Program.  Her undergraduate degree was in Piano Performance in 1979. Sometime in her last year of college, she heard some of the students were interested in this career of music therapy, but, like many people at the time, she had no idea what that was.. Jocelyn writes, “Although I put music therapy in the back of my mind, I was always interested in the spiritual power of music. After an abrupt change in circumstances in my mid life, I needed healing and turned again to my piano. About the same time a family member asked me if I had heard about music therapy. Out of curiosity I began to research music therapy and was so intrigued, I decided to go back to school to get an equivalency degree in music therapy. So far, the education I have received in the degree program at UMKC has far exceeded my expectations. I believe the need for music therapy is enormous for all populations and I am really excited to be an advocate for it with everyone I meet.”

Chelsea Wells, MT-BC is a May 2016 graduate of Drury University where she was a regular participant in Drury’s Intergenerational Rock Band. She completed her music therapy internship at Advocate Children’s Hospital in Oak Lawn, IL and looks forward to a career in pediatric medical music therapy.

AMTA-Pro intergenerational choir