Niamh Fahy, MA, MT-BC
Niamh leads our psycho dynamic based programs supporting the emotional processes people face when living with a disability or just coping with issues life makes difficult to address through traditional verbal therapy. "Where word's fail, music speaks."-Hans Christian Anderson. She leads the Tun'd and co-leads our Amp'd classes within our Sync'd Gym program.
Niamh’s passion for everything musical has been apparent since a young age. Originally from Ireland, Niamh began learning violin at the age of 4 playing both classical and Irish traditional music. Niamh was immersed in everything musical from this point on and began playing the piano at the age of 9. Niamh’s love of music has afforded her the chance to work as a full time musician, playing all over the world. For 5 years Niamh toured consistently with Riverdance, the Irish stage show. Some of Niamh’s other work includes Women of Ireland, The Dohl Foundation, Il Divo, Donal Lunny, The Chieftains and Idina Menzel, Prior to moving to Austin Niamh lived in London for 3 years where she completed a Masters in Music Therapy at the University of Roehampton. Niamh always intended on becoming a music therapist and felt that 2011 was the right time for her to embark on this path. Niamh’s training background is psychodynamic in nature, where there is a strong emphasis on the inter-personal relationship between the music therapist and the client and the processes that take place within that relationship, while using music as the primary vehicle of communication. Having spent 12 months working at The Royal Hospital for Neurodisability in London, Niamh developed a strong interest in music therapy and the area of neruorehabilitation. At the hospital she worked with clients’ diagnosed with degenerative neurological illnesses and traumatic and acquired brain injuries by using music therapy to help facilitate rehabilitation of physical and emotional functions. Niamh completed a thesis as part of her Masters programme, in which she researched the effect clinical improvisation has on helping people with acquired brain injuries adjust emotionally to life with a disability. She is hoping to publish her findings in the coming years. Niamh will undertake the Neurological Music Therapy (NMT) training at the International NMT training institute in 2016. Niamh feels extremely lucky to work in a career that allows her to use her love of music and her love of working with people to create a therapeutic environment to facilitate client’s in addressing a variety of needs, physical and emotional, across the life-cycle.
Eddie Konopasek, MT-BC
Eddie leads our team in using music as a place to find and express your identiy and voice especially for adolescents and young adults. He is creating what he calls "rock-n-roll" music therapy. He loves working with children who have development delays and finding innovative ways to help children and adults reach their potential socially, emotional and physically through music as therapy. Eddie was born in Chicago, Illinois, performing music live all over the city since age 12. Playing both guitar and saxophone in various rock and blues bands, Eddie took music very seriously, and set his sights on Berklee College of Music in Boston, Massachusetts to continue to grow. He discovered music therapy at Berklee College of Music, and immediately fell in love. Eddie became the president of the music therapy club at Berklee, became vice-president of the New England Region American Music Therapy Association of Students, and participated in community volunteer projects including an international music therapy service trip to Grand Cayman while in school. Eddie also worked as a house guitar player for songwriters at Berklee College of Music as well as a studio guitar player, and has released many recordings including two commercially released LPs, "Take Back Your Mind" with the band White Roses, and "Bones" with the band Faces In The Floor. After graduating from Berklee College of Music in 2011, Eddie completed his music therapy internship at Perkins School For The Blind before working at Community Music Center in Boston for two years with adults with developmental/intellectual needs and dual diagnosis, with children who have special needs, and individuals of all ages experiencing autism, special needs, and mental health challenges. Eddie moved to Austin in September 2014, and is thrilled to be apart of the Center For Music Therapy team! Eddie believes strongly in the power music has to aid people of all ages, cultures, and ability, in their daily lives.
Emily Morris, MT-BC
Emily is the peer leader on this amazing center for music therapy team. She works with all our diverse clients and programs. Emily co-leads our Sync'd Gym and Rehab Circuit class with our physical therapist Rachel Throop as well as our Amp'd class with Niamh Fahy. Emily has a strong passion for working with older adults. Her heart and music have a special affinity for creating pathways for person's with dementia to recall their life and create a special place for them to be with others, sharing moments once thought lost.
She was born in Orlando, Florida and has lived in Florida her whole life until moving to Austin in May of 2012. Emily was brought up in a large household where the idea that it was "better to give than to receive" was truly lived out, and began serving the local community alongside her family at a young age. This led to additional work with non profits stateside as well as abroad, serving children, adolescents and adults in severely underprivileged areas.
Emily has been singing for as long as she can remember. Her grandfather was a musician and her oldest memories shared with him were sitting around the campfire singing "You can't Roller Skate in a Buffalo Herd." She took piano lessons as a child and then began playing the banjo at age 14. Believing Emily had a gift at music, her grandfather gave her her first guitar. She taught herself how to play and began writing her own songs. She has been in multiple bands and enjoys playing live shows around town.
Emily first heard about Music Therapy as a career while in high school, and shortly after learning more, Emily knew it was how she wanted to spend the rest of her life. The thought that she could take her two greatest passions, helping others and playing music, and morph them together for a greater purpose seemed too good to be true. Emily studied Music Therapy at Florida State University, graduated in 2011, and served her internship at Big Bend Hospice in Tallahassee, Florida. She is a board certified-music therapist.
Rachel Throop, PT
Rachel is our head physical therapist and leads our Sync'd Gym and Rehab Circuit Class as well as our Monday evening and Saturday physical therapy exercise class at our Health for a Song "Steppin Out! program. She is certified in PWR! intensive training for persom's with movement disorders. Rachel is an exceptional physical therapist with 10 years experience at St. David's rehabilitation as a senior physical therapist in their movement disorders program.
Hope Young, MT-BC
Hope leads the Center as business innovator, community liason and visionary. She also leads the Treadmill training program in our Sync'd Gym and Rehab and oversees all operations of the company.
"I am a second generation clinician. My Mother taught at Kansas State School for the Deaf in the 60's and then moved to Michigan as head of special education services in the 70's. When I was very young my Mom would often take me too work with her. All the kids there had hearing losses so I played with them through sign and gestures. I became their friend and they were as normal, fun and great to be with as all my other friends. My Mom's career helped me learn from her generation that the limitations on folks are mainly a reflection of the limitations of our society/culture not truly the limitations of the individual. I saw first hand in the 1970's how people's life potential changed when they moved from state schools into public schools with Public Law 94-147, the education for all handicapped children's act. I was a child then. It was normal to play baseball with my Mom's friend who had no arms and used his feet to pitch to me. It was fun when he would catch and throw me out at first base. I didn't see a disability, I saw a person who was better than me at baseball, gently encouraging and teaching me to throw, bat and catch better."
"I am now an adult and therapist witness to countless stories of healing and recovery against overwhelming odds. After 25 years of clinical practice I'm still asking the question of myself and the people I work with, "what's possible?" I still don't think I know the full answer, but it's never the worst of our fears that answers this question. My clients have taught me to listen for the voice of hope for the answers. I've learned to focus my work in a way that supports the rising of the human heart and spirit to soar above all the challenges we humans face. As a clinician, I know my purpose is to simply help and be there with the best abilities I have to offer."
Hope began her career as a Music Therapist working full time at Monteville Hospital in Morgan Hill, CA working with adolescent and adults in a short term-acute psychiatric and sub-stance abuse treatment program. In 1990, Hope moved to Austin, Texas. To read more about Hope, follow the Founder link on our website.
Hope Young is the Founder and President of The Center for Music Therapy, Inc. in Austin, Texas. She graduated from The University of The Pacific's Conservatory of Music in May of 1989. She is a board certified–music therapist.