Graduate Students

(*) Collaborative Program in Neuroscience (CPIN)

PhD in Music and Health Sciences

Lauren Cole*
Lauren is an accredited Neurologic Music Therapist and a current PhD student. She completed her Master of Arts in Music and Health Sciences (MA) at the University of Toronto, as well as her Hon. B.A in Music Therapy at Acadia University. Lauren has experience working as a Research Coordinator with Dr. Michael Borrie’s Cognitive Clinical Trials Group in London, Ontario. She hopes to contribute to the advancement of dementia and Alzheimer’s disease research, exploring music as a non-medicinal therapeutic approach.

Catherine Haire*
Catherine Haire is a PhD Candidate in Music and Health Sciences, Registered Psychotherapist, and Neurologic Music Therapist. Her research focuses on the use of music in improving therapeutic outcomes for persons with stroke. Currently she is investigating the effects of Therapeutic Instrumental Music Performance with Sensory-enhanced Motor Imagery on motor, affective, and cognitive outcomes in individuals who are at the chronic post-stroke stage.

Tara Henechowicz*
Tara Henechowicz is a first year PhD student in Music and Health Sciences at the University of Toronto. Tara has two major research areas, clinical neuroscience and music cognition/perception.  In Tara’s MA work, she studied the biological mechanisms and genetics of music training and motor performance and presented at the Society for Neuroscience (Fall 2018) and Society for Music Perception Cognition (Summer 2019). Prior to her graduate studies, Tara studied music theory and psychology at the University of Toronto (BMus with honours, 2018). Tara has an interest in music theory pedagogy and STEM with experience as a teaching assistant for Music Theory I and fourth year course, Introduction to Music and Health.  

Kyurim (Kyu) Kang*
Kyurim (Kyu) Kang is a PhD Candidate in Music and Health Sciences program. Her research focuses on interbrainwave synchronization with electricalencephalography (EEG) among children with disabilities, their parents, and music therapists during music therapy and storytelling sessions. This study will help to understand how music induces interbrain synchronization as an objective measurement of emotions between children with disabilities and therapists and/or parents. In this way, the therapist/parent may be able to provide quality care to their child.

Anna Karpazis*
Anna is a second year PhD candidate studying Music and Science with an interest in motor rehabilitation and optimization following brain injury. With a background in Music Therapy (MA) and Percussion Performance (BA), Anna is currently involved in a collaborative study with the University of Toronto’s kinesiology lab, examining the role of sensory information during movement.   

Stéphanie Lavigne*
Stéphanie is a PhD Student in Music and Health Sciences. Her interest in the Neurologic Music Therapy clinical approach has brought her to Toronto to study under the supervision of Dr. Michael Thaut. Her current research interest lies in taking a computational neuroscience approach to Music and Health Sciences.

Bing Li*
Bing Li is a third year PhD student at the Music and Health Science program in University of Toronto. Her research interest emphasizes on neurodegenerative diseases and general aging population. Her current doctoral research project is a cross-cultural investigation of using Neurologic Music Therapy (NMT) interventions in patients with Alzheimer’s Disease.

Marija Pranjić*
Marija Pranjić is a first year PhD student in Music and Health Sciences. Marija holds an MA in Music Therapy from Cambridge Institute for Music Therapy Research and a magna cum laude MMus in Piano Performance from Academy of Music in Zagreb. Prior to PhD studies, she worked as a Research Fellow at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York where she coordinated several clinical trials. Marija’s research interests lie in the domain of clinical neuroscience of music with an emphasis on music-induced plasticity in early childhood and biomedical applications of music to neurologic rehabilitation.

Nicole Richard*
Nicole is a PhD candidate in Music and Health Sciences. After completing her Bachelor of Music Therapy at the Canadian Mennonite University in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Nicole did an internship at Carizon Family and Community Services near Waterloo, Ontario. She worked as a neurologic music therapist in Winnipeg for a few years before returning to school to complete a Master of Arts in Music and Health Sciences. Nicole began her PhD at the Music and Health Research Collaboratory in 2018. Nicole’s research will investigate how music may support the development of volitional movement in children and youth with autism by addressing underlying neural pathways.  

Charlene Santoni
Charlene has a Master’s Degree in Vocal Pedagogy and is a PhD Candidate in the Department of Music and Health Sciences specializing in voice rehabilitation. Using singing voice pedagogy teaching directives, Charlene’s dissertation research explores ways of influencing oral-nasal balance in speech and singing in typical speakers and speakers with hypernasality. 

Melissa Tan*
Melissa is a first year PhD student in Music and Health Sciences. She holds a MA in Music Therapy from the University of Roehampton in London, UK and is also a Neurologic Music Therapy Fellow (NMT-F) and Registered Psychotherapist (RP). Prior to her PhD studies, Melissa worked as a clinician on research conducted by Megha Sharda, PhD, to examine the neurobehavioural outcomes of music therapy interventions for social communication for children with autism. Melissa’s research interests lie in exploring the effects of Neurologic Music Therapy interventions in trauma and stress care.

Jessica Teich*
Jessi Teich (pronounced teach) is a PhD candidate in Music and Health Sciences at the University of Toronto. In 2007, she received a Bachelor of Music in Music Education from Berklee College of Music. After graduating Magna Cum Laude, Jessi taught lessons while pursuing a music career during which she won over a dozen international songwriting awards and recorded several albums, including two in Paris. In 2017, after a decade-long career, she decided to restructure the role that music played in her life. Subsequently, in 2020, she completed a Master of Music in Music Therapy at Arizona State University. This included fulfilling her internship, completing her neurologic music therapy (NMT) training, and eventually working as a part time clinician under the tutelage of Suzanne Oliver at Neurologic Music Therapy Services of Arizona. Her experience working with various neurodivergent populations in a clinical setting led her to become curious regarding the many facets of NMT. Jessi’s current research interests include the application of NMT regarding motor learning, sensory processing, and self-regulation in children with autism.  

Chantelle Whiteside*
Chantelle Whiteside’s background as a violinist music therapist and neurologic music therapist has led her to work with diverse clinical populations, including neurorehabilitation, long-term care, palliative care, autism, and adapted music lessons. A current PhD student, she completed her Master of Arts in Music Therapy (MA) magna cum laude from Berklee College of Music, specializing in Conventional and Integrative Medicine, as well as her Bachelor of Music Therapy (BMT) from Wilfrid Laurier University, with a concentration in violin and psychology. She is a Certified Music Therapist (MTA), Neurologic Music Therapist (NMT), and Registered Psychotherapist (RP).

MA in Music and Health Sciences

Iue-Nin Annie Chu*
Annie is a Master’s student in Music and Health Sciences at the University of Toronto. She received B.M. in Music Therapy and a minor in Chemistry at SWOSU in the United States and became an accredited Neurologic Music Therapist this year. Her clinical experience includes rehabilitation, special education, psychiatry, and children with complex medical care. Her research areas of interest include the neurochemical responses to music, cross-cultural music therapy, and neuroplasticity in music learning for people with Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease. In the future, Annie hopes to explore music therapy as an alternative medicine and further develop clinical research in NMT to promote research translation into health care.

Rebecca Drolet*
Rebecca is a Master’s student in Music and Health Sciences at the University of Toronto. She received her Bachelor’s of Music Therapy (B.M.T.) from Acadia University. One of her research areas of interest is the relationship between music mnemonics and recognition success effort of memory. Rebecca hopes to further develop clinical research in Neurologic Music Therapy (NMT) to promote accessibility and interdisciplinary collaboration.

Cody Ray
Cody is a Master’s student in Music and Health Science at the University of Toronto. After completing his Bachelor’s of Music Therapy at Drury University, Cody completed his internship at Neurologic Music Therapy Services of Arizona (NMTSA) in Pheonix, Arizona. He is a Board-Certified Music Therapist (MT-BC) and has been working as a neurologic music therapist (NMT) in the Kansas City area with adults and adolescents with mental health diagnoses. Cody hopes to conduct research that will advance NMT techniques in mental health treatment.

Jimyung Yoon*
JiMyung Yoon, known as Jini, is a Master’s student in Music and Health Science at University of Toronto. Jini is a certified music therapist (MTA), neurologic music therapist (NMT) and educator who obtained a graduate diploma in creative arts therapies (music therapy option) from Concordia University in Montreal. She also holds a Bachelor’s degree in music and music education. Jini is an opera singer and has had the privilege of working both with individuals and groups of people with physical and cognitive impairments as a therapist. Her specialty and area of interest is the efficacy of music for stimulation in coma and minimally conscious states from a neurorehabilitation perspective.