Graduate Students

(*) Collaborative Program in Neuroscience (CPIN)
(†) Collaborative Specialization in Aging, Palliative and Supportive Care Across the Life Course

PhD in Music and Health Sciences

Chantelle Caputo*
Chantelle Caputo’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 Candidate, 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). Chantelle’s current research involves the use of paired Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation with Neurologic Music Therapy for upper extremity stroke recovery.

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.

Tara Henechowicz*
Tara Henechowicz is a first year PhD Candidate 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.  

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.   

Julia Kowaleski*
Julia Beth Kowaleski is a PhD student in Music and Health Sciences.  She received her Bachelors of Music Therapy from Wilfrid Laurier University (2010) and her Masters of Music and Health Sciences from the University of Toronto (2017).  She completed the Neurologic Music Therapy training in 2013.  Julia founded the first music therapy practice on the island of Antigua (2010) working with children, youth, and young adults to address a variety of needs.  Her work in Antigua also included providing training in conjunction with Peace Corps volunteers for youth, young adults, and public school teachers about integrating children with special needs into camp and classroom environments, creating a masterclass program for aspiring young musicians, playing trombone and steel pan in calypso bands and steelpan orchestras for carnival, and performing as a member of the Antigua and Barbuda Defence Force band.  In 2017, Julia founded Julia’s Place Music Therapy which specializes in providing music therapy services for neuro-rehabilitation and child and youth development in Ontario. She serves in the president role on the Music Therapy Association of Ontario Board of Directors (2016-). 

Stéphanie Lavigne*
Stéphanie is a PhD Candidate in Music and Health Sciences. Her interest in the Neurologic Music Therapy clinical approach and fundamental neuroscience brought her to Toronto to study under the supervision of Dr. Michael Thaut. Her current doctoral research investigates auditory-motor synchronization using multimodality neuroimaging methods (fMIRS, fNIRS-EEG), and applying the network science framework for data analysis.


Bing Li*
Bing Li is a third year PhD Candidate 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.

Kathrin Mertel*
Kathrin Mertel is a first year PhD student. She earned her diploma in music therapy in Germany in 2003 and completed her Master’s Degree in Neurological Music Therapy at Colorado State University in 2005. For 5 years she was working full-time as a Neurological Music Therapist in Germany at a Neurological Rehabilitation Center in Dresden where she mainly treated patients suffering from TBI and cerebral palsy. 10 years ago she joined the team of the Cochlear Implant Centre of the University Hospital Dresden, Germany. There, she established a treatment concept based on the techniques of neurological music therapy in auditory perception training and cognitive training. In addition to her clinical work, Kathrin Mertel is author of publications, gives lectures and workshops. From 2007-2020 she had a teaching assignment at the Music Therapeutic Institute of the University of the Arts in Berlin, Germany. Kathrin Mertel is a regular teaching assistant at the NMT- training institutes of the Academy of Neurological Music Therapy.


Marija Pranjić*
Marija Pranjić is a PhD Candidate 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.  

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 student 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.  

Gloria Tian
Gloria is currently a PhD student majoring in Music and Health Sciences under Music and Health Research Collaboratory (MaHRC). She currently holds a BMus in Classical Performance (Violin) from the University of Auckland in New Zealand, and a MMus in Applied Music and Health from the University of Toronto. Gloria has worked alongside a wide spectrum of populations throughout her clinical training, but hopes to probe into research addressing application of neurologic music therapy (NMT) techniques as a non-pharmacological intervention during neurorehabilitation – following the event of brain injury in paediatric and/or adult populations. Similarly, utilising her performance background in research with professional performing musicians.

MA in Music and Health Sciences

Mackenzie Kiemele
Mackenzie graduated with her Bachelor or Music from the University of Toronto this past spring. During her degree, Mackenzie volunteered her time as a program coordinator at CanAge and competed as the skip of the Varsity Blues curling team. Both of these experiences developed her curiosity in how to improve motor control among the aging population. She is now pursuing her Masters of Arts in Music and Health Sciences at the University of Toronto and actively pursuing other research initiatives.

Hope Pascoe*
Hope is a Master’s student in Music and Health Sciences at the University of Toronto. She completed her Bachelor of Music Therapy degree, with a minor in psychology, at Wilfrid Laurier University in 2021. During her degree, Hope gained clinical experience in music therapy in her internship at Trillium Health Partners, working in palliative care and complex continuing care. Hope is now a Board-Certified Music Therapist (MT-BC) and has completed Neurological Music Therapy training. While at the MaHRC, she hopes to engage in research investigating the benefits of neurologic music therapy techniques for speech impairments associated with Parkinson’s disease in a telehealth setting.