We had the good fortune of connecting with Katelyn Blankenburg, MT-BC, NMT and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Katelyn, what’s something about your industry that outsiders are probably unaware of?
If you haven’t heard about music therapy, then you probably think it is listening to music, or karaoke, music lessons or something similar. In reality, it is much much more! Music therapy is using music to reach goals. These goals can include many different things. Music therapists are board certified clinicians that have a minimum of a bachelors degree in music therapy along with a board certification, with continuing education just like other therapies (occupational, speech, etc). Music therapists work with ALL populations! From birth to death and everything in between. Music therapists address goals in the cognition domain, motor domain, social/emotional domain, communication domain, and more! Music therapy is tailored to each and every client’s needs. We use music that is preferred by the client, so if you like Metallica- we use Metallica! If you like Kendrick Lamar, then that’s what we use. We utilize music not only as the therapy but as a tool to meet non-musical goals.
Can you give our readers an introduction to your business? Maybe you can share a bit about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, We have had to do a lot of restructuring and use a lot of creativity. The state of Texas has programs that allow people to receive services without charging them. With the pandemic being so rampant, we were unable to provide services to many of our clients. Many of our clients are medically fragile and extremely at risk. The state did not approve video services until the end of April. Most of our clients missed out on services for over a month. Because of this, new adapted quickly to offer virtual community groups to anybody and everybody that wanted them. We offered these groups as well as now are offering virtual summer camps! We also work in collaboration with Houston Creative Arts Therapy to put on #HCATWeek! HCAT week provides group sessions (for free or low cost) in different creative arts therapy domains like music, drama, art, yoga, and more! This year was the first year of HCAT week and we are very excited for the future.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
My favorite places in Houston revolve around music! I am constantly visiting The Woodlands to sit on the lawn and watch whoever is playing. The House of Blues and White Oak Music Hall are two other great places for catching a fun and cheap show on the weekends. Miller Outdoor Theater has free shows as long as the weather is nice! During the day, Buffalo Bayou is fun for kayaking with friends! Houston is hot, but getting out on the water is a great way to beat the heat. Depending on what time of year it is, the margarita festival is a great place to hangout and have some drinks with friends and the community. There are so many places to see and things to do that it is impossible to get all of them in one weekend!
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I would not be where I am without the hard work of all my contractors: Athaliah Walcott, Courtney Roebuck, Alexandra Johannigman, Adriana Brent, Ana Sorto, and Kirsten Cottle. Without their support and hard work, Texas Music Therapy Services would not be able to provide the quality services that we do! I would also like to shoutout Nina Garcia. Nina is a Registered Drama Therapist here in Houston. Nina has passion, drive, and energy that radiates to those who surround her. We are constantly in collaboration to provide services to the community of Houston. Finally, I would like to thank my best friend, Joriana Sullivan. Joriana, Jori for short, works in Harris County CSCD as the CSS Implementation Officer. Jori is one of the most hardworking people I know. Jori works tirelessly while also making time to lift up her family and friends. Jori and I met in college and have been inseparable ever since. She not only pushes me to work harder, she inspires me daily to be the best person I can be. I owe everything to my amazing support system.