Our Team

Ian Wilkerson, MT-BC

Ian Wilkerson, MT-BC

Founder/CEO

Ian Wilkerson is a Board Certified Music Therapist who has refined his musical skills through years of practice, extensive study and performance. A person-centered therapy provider, he specializes in supporting creativity, self-expression and self-empowerment through music. Ian is the founder of Bay Area Music Therapy, and he is also a passionate singer/songwriter and founder of the band Infinite Frequency.

Ian received a Bachelors of Music with dual majors in Music Therapy and Songwriting from Berklee College of Music in Boston, MA. Before graduating with honors, he sat as President of the Board for the New England Region Music Therapy Association for Students. In addition, he worked as a therapist while completing a series of five practica and an extensive internship at the Community Music Center of Boston. Ian was faculty Music Therapist at the Community Music Center in San Francisco from 2012-2016, and the Music Therapy Coordinator from 2016-2017. Ian is an active member of the American Music Therapy Association (AMTA), and he is a trained REMO HealthRHYTHMS Facilitator.

More Background:
Originally from the San Francisco Bay Area, Ian grew up in Santa Rosa. He is a singer/songwriter and guitar player, recording and performing original compositions. His music can be heard at http://www.ianfranklinmusic.com. Ian is the son of a Reichian therapist and comes from a family of healers. As such, Ian works from a holistic perspective and integrates breath-work into his music therapy sessions when appropriate. Furthermore, he specializes in helping people find their own unique and empowered voices through improvisation and songwriting. Ian facilitates one-on-one songwriting sessions as well as group sessions. His principle instruments are guitar and voice, however, he also integrates bass guitar, piano, drums and other instruments into much of the work he does. He provides both music therapy and instruction to all individuals, and focuses on abilities and client preferences to meet the individual’s needs. Additionally, he received his certification training in Neurologic Music Therapy (NMT) from the Center for Biomedical Research in Music (CBRM) at Colorado State University in Fort Collins, CO. Ian has a broad spectrum of experience within his professional life, including work in the following fields: Children and Adults with Special Needs, Skilled Nursing/Hospice, Corporate Wellness and Team Building, Psychiatric, and Pediatric.

Shelley Tsao, MT-BC

Shelley Tsao, MT-BC

Co-Owner/Operations Manager

Shelley Tsao received her Bachelors of Music in Music Therapy from Berklee College of Music in Boston, MA, and became a board-certified music therapist in 2007. She has experience working with children and seniors. Shelley is also the co-owner and operations manager of Bay Area Music Therapy.

Shelley is passionate about excellence and advocacy in human services, and she has an innate aptitude in relating to both children and older adults. During her internship, she worked with children and adolescents with complex medical, mental health and educational needs at Kennedy Day School in New England. Following her internship, she ran a preschool class as the head teacher.

After moving to Oakland, CA in 2008, Shelley started working as Programs Manager/Music Therapist at Piedmont Gardens Retirement Community, and was promoted as the Director of Resident Services after a year. Shelley was dedicated to supporting residents through their successful aging journey, culture change, and bringing the community together. Shelley completed educational and leadership programs including Validation worker certification, RCFE license and Leadership ABHOW.

Since the birth of her son in 2014, Shelley has been a stay home mommy and working as BAMT’s operations manager. She’s been enjoying helping new clients receive service, developing new programs, supporting students, volunteers, interns, and sub-contracting music therapists, and overseeing the day to day tasks at BAMT.

Sub-Contractors

Julia Beth Runkle, MT-BC

Julia Beth Runkle, MT-BC

Music Therapist

Julia Beth Runkle received her B.A. in Music Therapy from California State University, Northridge and completed her clinical training at Professional Child Development Associates in Pasadena, CA. Julia Beth is a client-centered therapist who believes each individual has a unique relationship to music, and through that relationship, there is the potential for self-espression, creativity, and personal growth. Within her sessions, Julia Beth uses a variety of instruments and musical experiences including improvisation, song-writing, music-based play, and the inclusion of other expressive arts. She has worked with a diverse clientele including children and adults with developmental and learning disabilities, geriatric and memory loss, traumatic brain injury, physical disabilities, pediatric oncology, and visual impairments.

Laura Roberts, M.A., MT-BC

Laura Roberts, M.A., MT-BC

Music Therapist

Laura Roberts received her Bachelor of Music Therapy from Georgia College & State University in Milledgeville, GA after completing her clinical training at Tallahassee Memorial Healthcare in Tallahassee, FL. During her clinical training, she completed the NICU MT certification. This certification involves extensive practice in providing music therapy for pre-mature infants. Laura recently completed the Master’s of Arts in Music Therapy program at Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College in Indiana. Her master’s thesis focused on the role that music therapy might have on the relationship between one with Alzheimer’s disease and the family caregiver. Laura is a person-centered music therapist who invites her clients to express themselves freely through music. She believes that the act of making music with someone can create an opportunity for growth. Laura has worked with a variety of populations including persons with Alzheimer’s/dementia, children with developmental disabilities, and hospice care.

John Mulcahy, MS, MT-BC

John Mulcahy, MS, MT-BC

Music Therapist

John Mulcahy, MS, MT-BC is a Board-Certified Music Therapist with specialties in improvisational and relationship-based musical interventions. He believes that all individuals have potential for growth and that musical engagement is an enormously powerful force to help them achieve this growth. In addition to contracting with Bay Area Music Therapy, John is a staff music therapist at Children’s Hospital in Oakland, CA.

Originally from the NYC area, John earned his Masters of Science in Music Therapy at Molloy College in Rockville Centre, NY. Along with holding Level One certification in Nordoff-Robbins music therapy, John has extensive experience utilizing the DIR/Floortime intervention model working with the special needs population after working as a music therapist at the Rebecca Center for Music Therapy in Rockville Centre, NY and as a teacher assistant at the Rebecca School in NYC.

Jennifer Goldhammer, MA, MT-BC

Jennifer Goldhammer, MA, MT-BC

Music Therapist

Jenny received her Masters of the Arts in music therapy from Drexel University in Philadelphia, PA. She completed her clinical internship at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, where she supported children from infancy through adolescence during their hospital experience. After graduate school, she worked for three years in the greater Philadelphia area in both school and in camp settings as well as in an outpatient private practice. She specializes in working with clients on social skills and emotional coping skills, in addition to goals that they and their families identify as important. Jenny believes in working closely and collaboratively with family members, educators, and other therapists to facilitate the best possible success for each client.

Jenny is a strong believer in person-centered therapy, and strives to meet each client where they are during each session. She enjoys incorporating music and play in her sessions and believes that through creative expression, we can all grow and thrive.

Gabriela Rojas

Gabriela Rojas

Recreational Music Facilitator and Early Childhood Educator

Gabriela Rojas is a person centered recreational music facilitator and early childhood music educator. She has trained on the piano for 21 years and also enjoys playing the violin. Gabriela plays a variety of other instruments, using guitar, piano, drum and percussion in her work. Gabriela is a singer/ songwriter as well and performs her original music around the San Francisco area. Gabriela is currently earning her Bachelors in Piano Performance and, subsequently, will be continuing her education to earn a Masters in Music Therapy. She began volunteering and studying with Bay Area Music Therapy Founder, Ian Wilkerson in 2011, and has since begun leading recreational music groups for the elderly as well as children and adults with special needs. She is also an elementary school Music Teacher for Music for Minors, and works as a play and learn teacher for toddlers at Gymboree Play and Music. She is passionate about free expression, giving people access to making music, and supports an interactive, personal, and fun experience.