Meet our Primary Music Therapist, Kaleigh Thomas
How long have you lived in San Diego?
I moved to San Diego two years ago this spring from Columbus, Ohio. I’ve really loved getting to know this city, and being able to take advantage of its beautiful beaches and perfect weather!
Where did you do your training?
I received my Bachelors of Music in Music Therapy from Ohio University and completed my clinical internship at Nationwide Children’s Hospital, a 400-bed pediatric hospital in Columbus, Ohio. I’m very grateful for the experiences I had at NCH, where music therapists are a valued part of the interdisciplinary treatment team. It’s very special to be able to provide music therapy for patients and their families, and to help them cope during a very scary and stressful time. There’s no greater feeling than bringing a smile to a child’s face when you were told they haven’t smiled since they were admitted into the hospital. Music therapy provides an opportunity for them to make choices, express themselves, and to act like a kid again – it’s very powerful.
Additionally, I was fortunate to receive training in Neurologic Music Therapy in November 2014 in Kansas City, Missouri during the National Music Therapy Conference hosted by the American Music Therapy Association.
Why did you become a Music Therapist?
Honestly, I hadn’t heard of music therapy until I began researching different colleges, but as soon as I discovered the profession I knew that I was meant to be a Music Therapist. Music has always been a large part of my life – I begged my parents to let me take piano lessons when I was 8 years old, and I’ve been singing as long as I’ve been talking – and I know how powerful it is to make music with others. Whenever I was upset or feeling stressed out, I could sit down at my piano and work it out on the keys. I wanted to bring the transformative experience of music to others, and being a Music Therapist allows me to be able to help others achieve a higher quality of life through something I’m very passionate about. I couldn’t ask for a better career for me.
What’s your favorite part about your work?
There are so many things that I love about what I do, but I think my favorite thing is the way that I’m able to create an instant connections with others as we’re singing and playing instruments. It’s amazing how quickly you can build a relationship with another person – no matter their age or diagnosis – through playing their favorite music.
What’s your current favorite album?
I can never pick just one! Right now, I’m really loving Adele’s 25, but Helplessness Blues by Fleet Foxes is an all-time favorite.
What are your favorite things to do when you’re not providing music therapy services?
I enjoy spending time outdoors doing yoga, swimming in the ocean, or walking around Balboa Park. I also really love to curl up with a good book, take roadtrips, and try cooking new vegetarian recipes with my boyfriend, Travis.
Kaleigh is our instructor for our Thursday Little Ones Music Making Classes, our guitar and ukulele lessons instructor, and sees a wide range of clients throughout San Diego county.
Book a consultation with Kaleigh at our Adams Avenue Clinic by clicking here.