Riley's Background: Riley is a Board-Certified Music Therapist who works in the Lowcountry with children and adults with disabilities through private practice. Besides her Music Therapy career, Riley is a Certified Kindermusik Educator at Kindermusik of Charleston. She enjoys the blend of music related work that she does in the Charleston area; "there is always a need, and with that you get a nice variety". Riley is passionate about helping others with music and embracing it's natural power to heal. We are grateful that she is a part of the Lowcountry Pianist & Company team and we enjoyed getting to know her better through our recent interview!
Q: Where are you from and what college did you attend?
"I am from a small town in Western New York called Dansville. I attended the State University of New York at Fredonia for my Bachelor of Science in Music Therapy."
Q: What brought you to Charleston?
"I moved to Charleston for a 6-month internship at Trident Hospital. At first I thought that I would move back to NY after the internship, however, I fell in love with the area and I wanted to be away from my home and get to know who I was. I then was offered a job with a private practice here in Charleston doing music therapy plus a position with Kindermusik of Charleston working with children in early childhood music classes. Later on that year I joined Lowcountry Pianist & Company!"
Q: Top 3 Favorite Books or Movies?
"Tough one - I have so many! I like a variety from romantic movies and books by Nicholas Sparks to scary and crime movies!"
Q: What instrument do you play?
"I primarily play piano and guitar, but I also play ukulele and sing. My first instrument that I learned in school was trumpet and then my primary instrument in college was French Horn.
Q: What is your favorite genre to play and/or listen to?
"I pretty much like anything besides scream-o and hard metal. I listen mostly to country music; the new country like Morgan Wallen, Kelsea Ballerini, Eric Church. I like that "gushy love," stereo typical country songs. Ha! I enjoy a variety of music in my life - it all depends on how I'm feeling."
Q: Do you have a dream goal?
"My dream goal is to work as a medical music therapist in a large hospital with children, to have a family and loving husband, and live in a house in the country."
Q: Which countries have you visited? Which do you want to visit?
"I have only been to Canada! My hometown is 2 hours from Canada and so we often would go to the Niagara Falls growing up. I would love to explore more of the country and the west coast of the U.S. I have never been over that way."
Q: When did you start working with Lowcountry Pianist & Company?
"I started working with LCP in March 2018. I have known Holly through our shared credential of Music Therapy. She reached out to me with opportunities to perform at retirement facilities once or twice a month.
In the first 6 months I was primarily performing during happy hours or Sunday concerts at retirement facilities. I loved being able to share my music with that population and it allowed me to just make music.
With my job in Music Therapy working with children and adults with special needs. I am usually playing music for a specific goal and usually not the full song. With LCP, I can play in a different way and embrace that I am a trained professional musician as well. I have recently been performing for a few wedding parties and providing music therapy sessions in memory care units.
I love the variety of opportunities that LCP provides me!"
Q: When did you become interested in Music Therapy? Tell us more about the field!
"A friend of mine told me about MT in my senior year of high school - I wanted to have a career in some sort of therapy like speech, OT, PT or become a psychiatrist. I see everyday how the power of music and a trained therapist have affect on on people in a positive way and it's simply beautiful. I provide MT because it is often the only type of therapy that can reach people and achieve certain goals."
Q: What are you credentials and past experience?
"I am a Board-Certified Music Therapy (MT-BC) and have experience working in a hospital with the full age range including NICU babies and end of life. I also have experience with private practice MT within schools and working with IEPs. Additionally, I am a Certified Kindermusik Instructor and I work with infants through 6 years old doing early childhood music classes. I also teach private piano lessons!
Q: Who inspires you?
"Other successful music therapists in the field and my grandmother. She always has worked for her money and life and know is very giving. She inspires me to work hard, speak my mind, and love others. Her and my grandfather's relationship was beautiful to watch and has had a huge impact on my life and my relationship."