Melissa Sommers, MM, MT-BC
As a child, Melissa grew up playing piano and singing to her heart’s content. Around the age of 10, she picked up the violin, eventually joined the percussion section of high school band, and accompanied various university choirs, events, and performers in college. While obtaining her undergraduate degree, she was lucky to have the opportunity to take 2 years of harp lessons. She also plays the guitar and Autoharp every day. And, being from Wisconsin, where polkas are HUGE, she can proudly say she owns AND plays the accordion!
Melissa has been passionate about using music to support others long before she knew about Music Therapy. Being the eldest of a sister that was born with a brain tumor, Melissa quickly discovered the power of music. Playing piano was one of the only ways to help her sister stop crying and eventually rock to the beat of the song after a difficult day. Melissa knew she wanted to use music to support children with special needs, but was not sure how to pursue it. When she entered her undergrad studies, she declared her major as music education with an emphasis in special education. However, during her first week of studies, she heard about the music therapy degree, walked over to the registrar’s office, and instantly changed her major. Melissa knew that was the career she was looking for.
Melissa received her bachelor¹s degree in Music Therapy from the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire. She completed her clinical internship at the Central Wisconsin Center, serving children, adolescents, adults, and geriatrics with a range of developmental disabilities and mental health needs. Melissa received her master¹s degree in music from Colorado State University, with a focus in Neurologic Music Therapy. She also completed specialized training in Neurologic Music Therapy (NMT Certification) and DIR®/FloortimeTM (DIR® Intermediate Practitioner).
Melissa has been providing music lessons to students of all ages since 2001. These lessons take place in various studios, community locations and the student’s home. Instruments include piano, voice, acoustic guitar, violin, pitched percussion (xylophone, marimba) hand percussion (congas, djembe), basic drum set, accordion, autoharp, and the kazoo (because who wouldn’t want to learn how to play the kazoo!)