Music Therapy Team
Lara McKinnis MS, MT-BC
Director of Bereavement and Patient & Family Support
I was hooked on music therapy after reading an article about the “new” profession and then subsequently experiencing the dramatic effect that a pair of conga drums had on the lives of a some kids that I got to know well at a camp designed for people who had difficulty regulating their emotions. After receiving my Bachelor’s in Music Therapy from Radford University in 1998, I completed my internship at a Psychiatric Hospital in Montreal QU. Before returning to Grad School in 2006, my work and the wind took me to Tempe AZ, then Philadelphia PA, and finally to Providence RI. During that time, I provided in-home music therapy to children and families for children with Autism and other developmental differences; developed multiple programs for adolescents struggling with emotional regulation and anger management within school systems and community outreach venues; maintained a private practice for children and adolescents; and, worked with older adults struggling with depression and end-of-life issues. I returned to my Alma Mater from 2006 to 2008 as a Graduate Teaching Fellow and Received my Master’s in Music Therapy. After grad school, I moved to the Raleigh/Durham area of NC and worked with a small non-profit Music Therapy agency geared toward using specific music therapy protocols to enhance language and social skills for people with Autism and Asperger’s Syndrome. We also created advanced teaching methods within community college special education programs across NC. I moved to Asheville with my husband a few weeks after getting married in 2011. I worked for several years as a Four Seasons Hospice Music Therapist before transitioning to the Bereavement Department. I am passionate about the potential we all have to change and move through our challenges. I am not a fan of labels and shoot for the stars pretty much all the time. I maintains a small private practice in which I provide the Bonny Method of GIM and EMDR. I am easily excitable and love all things “weird, yet effective.”
Meredith Maiolo, MT-BC
Hi! I’m Meredith. I’m a new professional with a passion for both music therapy and hospice work. I received my Bachelor of Music in music therapy from Radford University in 2016 and will begin grad school soon! I got my first taste of the depth this work offers after completing a clinical rotation at a palliative care unit during my undergrad practicum, and an internship at a non-profit hospice. From there, I was led to Hendersonville, NC to begin my career as a board-certified music therapist at Four Seasons in January of 2018. I also work to increase Four Season’s presence in the community by providing MT groups and support groups to local partnerships, speaking at various venues about music therapy and hospice, and providing education on how non-music therapists can use music to enhance the quality of life in older adults. When I’m not changing the world through music, I enjoy taking part in all forms of creative expression, like pottery and clay working, painting, dancing, and karaoke! I’m an extroverted cat mom and a coffee lover, looking to nature and the stars for wisdom, guidance, and clarity.
Kaitlyn Crocker, MM, MT-BC
Kaitlyn Crocker here! No, I am not related to Betty Crocker and I am a mediocre cook. I am a board-certified music therapist living the dream! I have been blessed with many wonderful opportunities in my life and currently, I am working one of the most rewarding and fulfilling jobs. I have moved around quite a bit, receiving a Bachelor’s of Music Education degree at Samford University and obtaining my Master’s of Music Therapy at Florida State University. Go Seminoles! After graduating, I packed up to move out west to Colorado (with a small detour to Africa for six months.) I worked with children with developmental delays and adults with traumatic brain injuries. After wanting to move back closer to family, I happily made my way back south and joined the music therapy team at Four Seasons. It has been truly humbling and inspiring to join this great crew of music therapists and also collaborating with nurses, chaplains and social workers. When you intern here, in addition to learning from our exceptional music therapy team, you will gain insight into yourself and how to adapt in ever changing circumstances, learn self-care, and ultimately grow as a human being. Some personal goals of mine include hiking Machu Pichu, owning two dogs, and developing my novice skills in boxing.
Brenda Williams, MA, MT-BC, FAMI
I have been practicing music therapy since 1983. Much of my early work was in private practice with adolescent, adult and geriatric psychiatric patients, individuals with dementia and Alzheimer’s disease, students with developmental disabilities, and general hospital patients (i.e.: post-surgery, stroke, oncology). I became interested in hospice while working at a hospital in Hickory, NC which had inpatient hospice beds. When I moved to Hendersonville in 2005, there were no music therapists at Four Seasons Hospice. Along with another music therapist, I helped to develop the MT program at Four Seasons in 2007. It has been a joy to see the program grow from 2 part-time MTs to 6 full-time MTs and an internship program! I currently work PRN, providing support to the other music therapists when needed.
I am a Fellow of the Association for Music and Imagery (FAMI) and provide the Bonny Method of GIM to private clients, bereavement clients and hospice patients. I received my Bachelor of Music (Education) from UNCG, Music Therapy equivalency from the University of Georgia, and a MA in Special Education from Appalachian State University. I have been active in state, regional and national music therapy organizations and am past-president of the Music Therapy Association of North Carolina. I enjoy hiking with my husband and spending time with my children, their spouses and, especially, my granddaughter.
Ashley Newbrough, MA, MT-BC
Hi, I’m Ashley. I received my Bachelor of Music in music therapy from the University of Minnesota, and have completed my Master of Arts in music therapy at Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College. In addition to hospice and bereavement care, I have worked with teens and adults with intellectual and developmental differences, mature and older adults in long-term care settings, older adults with psychiatric needs, Deaf adults (ask me about the pink lipstick story sometime!), and have also focused greatly on work with patients with dementia. I have received extensive training in the Validation method for older adults with dementia, and I am passionate about educating others in this method. I presented on the Validation method at the AMTA 2016 National Conference. Four Seasons interns have an opportunity to learn more about this method and apply some techniques in their work! Lately, I spend most of my free time playing with my baby, going on walks, watching The Office on Netflix (for the 398th time), and reading when I can find the time! Goals for my future: taking up tap dancing again, drinking more coffee (because there’s never enough) and sleeping more than 2 hours at a time! I truly love supervising interns, and have taken a special interest in the use of improvisation and vocal toning as part of the supervisory relationship.
Hi, I'm Taylor. Music Therapy, for me, has always been about connections; I love to explore how each person's individual relationship with music can be tapped and expanded to encourage growth in other areas of life. I am a firm believer that music is not exclusive to Music Therapists and feel that I can best impact the lives of others by illuminating the music-based resources to which each of us has full access each day.
After receiving Bachelor of Arts degrees in Music Education and Flute Performance at Virginia Tech, I completed a Master of Science in Music Therapy at Radford University. My graduate clinical research included school-based resilience work with immigrant and refugee families. Following graduate school, I completed my internship in a hospice setting right here in WNC. I fell in love with the area, and have lived in North Carolina ever since!
My personal passions include expository writing, applied research, and community wellness. I dabble in woodworking and carpentry to support an ever-growing landscaping habit and am usually up to my elbows in sawdust or potting soil. I serve the western region at Four Seasons, which allows me to hike or kayak almost every day. Life is tough when you live in the Smokies!