We appreciate our clients – and it shows!

Thank you SO much for your extraordinary drumming workshop with the Cystic Fibrosis Retreat this past week. The reviews were out of this world, and drumming has become one of our most demanded events for future years! You did an amazing job facilitating the session and getting this new group into the music. I love the chanting/singing, the meditation, the checking in about our emotions/physical sensations after drumming, and your ability to be a composer and raise and lower our drum beats. I felt you were ON and really got/understood our group, and spoke from your heart. You truly do have an extraordinary gift and I thank the Universe that we found you. Thanks again for supporting us so beautifully this past week at CF Retreat! You are deeply appreciated.

Isabel Stenzel Byrnes

Program Manager, Cystic Fibrosis Research, Inc. (CFRI)

BAMT has opened up opportunities for my daughter to engage socially through music, and develop specific goals necessary for her future success. Ms. Julia Beth’s relationship-based approach allows my daughter to develop the trust that she needs to be successful during session. There’s a balance between love for music & expectations. My daughter leaves the session with joy in her face which gives us hope that one day she will verbalize: Music Therapy was fun!

Caroline de Vega

Mother of an 8 y/o girl with Autism

It is difficult to put into words how working with Ian has helped my son Logan during his recovery from a Bone Marrow Transplant but I will try. Each week Ian comes in and works with Logan he imparts to him so much more than music knowledge, he lifts his spirits and takes him from where he is ( in medically mandated isolation) to where he is going to be, playing and performing music with his friends. He gives him the tools he needs to get there and instills in him the belief in himself that it is in his control and he can accomplish it. That same positive attitude gets carried over to his disease. The hope, and joy and determination that it leaves with Logan is priceless. We can’t say enough about Ian and Bay Area Music Therapy.

Laura Ryan

Mother of 23 y/o client, Logan Moules

We couldn’t be more thrilled with my son’s progress, not just in music but in connecting with his therapist. My son loves Ian and can’t wait to see him at each session.

Christine K.

Mother to 2 great kids

Since signing up for music therapy guitar lessons from Ian I have noticed a remarkable change in my 16 year old grandsons attitude toward learning something new. He gets very excited on the way up to his session. Ian has a fantastic way in teaching children with developmental disabilities such as Albines. It brings great joy to my heart to see my grandson having so much fun and learning guitar at the same time. We cannot thank Ian enough for teaching him music with such joy and appreciation. Ian, YOU really are an Angel in his life.

Patricia Furger

Mother of teenage son with Intellectual Disabilities and ASD

Ian has a wonderfully accessible and easygoing style. His ability to connect with my shy son & engage him during his lessons come from his exuberant personality & top notch knowledge of music.

Sabine Clark

Ian has amazing skills, has extensive experience working with all kinds of special needs kids and is an all around great person who is lovable and kind. He worked with our son for about a year and we saw incredible things happen. He was very patient, innovative and creative with his techniques. He also helped our son improve his math facts by doing singing times tables with him and encouraged improvised expression during each session. I recommend him highly. Rather than music teachers who just do sing-alongs, his work encompasses much more and is geared towards real neurological, emotional and social development through music. It’s because of this that I find him to be the “real deal”, as it were. His friendly and open personality, sincere dedication to his work and his flexible approach are just what we were looking for.

Dmitra Smith

Mother of son with Autism

Ian Wilkerson’s therapeutic program builds engagement, communication, and emotional regulation through music. He brings incredible empathy and understanding to his work with the students at Oak Hill School. More than that, he describes his work in a way that is thoughtful and intelligent. He has built the skill set of our staff and through direct instruction and through modeling his practice. Ian understands our students and reaches them in new and interesting ways.

Matt Poynter

Director of Education, Oak Hill School in San Anselmo, CA

When our son was diagnosed on the spectrum, we felt really overwhelmed around how we would be able to provide nurturing, creative, and engaging supports versus the more traditional clinical models. We found BAMT and since his first day (almost a year and a half ago) our son has truly blossomed into an amazing, bright and talkative 4 year old. Music therapy has played to his strengths, encourages his creativity, has helped build his vocabulary and active listening skills, promotes peer play and sharing and allowed him to have a strong foundation and love for music and instruments which we know will serve him for the rest of his life.

Kimberly A.

Mother/Founding Executive Director of RYSE Youth Center

I’m really happy with how things are going! My son had a big smile on his face when we left yesterday and so did I! He’s been to LOTS of therapy in his day (including music therapy) but your time with him seems almost magical. So glad we found you!

Christine Lee

Mother of Son with Leukemia

Our daughters have loved working with Ian. He is skillful and talented. His patience and gentle caring manner helped all of us throughout our journey in music and therapy. Having children with special needs is hard work. With Ian, our life has been a little brighter.

Christine Kronlage

Mother of twin girls with Autism

Ian Wilkerson has worked with my son for more than one year. My son enjoys his weekly guitar lessons with Ian and has learned a great deal from him. Ian has tremendous patience and we are grateful for his good work. I highly recommend him.

Karen Carrera

Julia-Beth has been providing music therapy in our classrooms at Wellspring since August 2015. Staff and students alike count the days until Tuesday each week when her sweet voice and song fill our classrooms and halls. Julia Beth helps each child find their ‘voice’ through music, allowing and supporting their inner light to shine through. She is truly a master at meeting each child where they are and joining and expanding on their ideas and musical capacities. Many of our students communicate more clearly and more frequently during music time than any other part of the day. Julia finds the just-right blend between the much needed structure that anchors and regulates our students, while always leaving room for improvisation, exploration, and musical adventures co-created with the students. We wish every special education classroom could have the gift of music therapy in a group setting. There isn’t a more beautiful bridge between a child’s inner and outer worlds than through music.

Chrissy D'Agostino

Co-founder/Lead Teacher, Wellspring Educational Services, Walnut Creek, CA

Ian has been a wonderful and patient teacher and music therapist for my 5-year-old son. My son has high-functioning autism and is hyperactive, so we weren’t sure if he could focus enough to learn to play piano. Not only was Ian able to teach my son how to play songs on the piano in a matter of months, but he also taught him how to begin to read music. Ian’s work with my son has encouraged improved eye contact and turn-taking, as well as an increased awareness in body movement – benefiting my son immensely.

Colleen Teitgen

Mother of son with Autism

My son was extremely animated and attentive during the entire session and vocalized and responded and played with the drum and the piano. We are very excited by how Trevor responded to the music — it is magical. I was pretty blown away by it.

Holly Ruxin (after the initial session for her son Trevor)

I have been taking bass lessons with Ian for a year and a half. He is an empathetic, patient, and skilled instructor. I came to Ian with the intention of learning to read music and play an instrument, and what I’ve come away with has been so much greater – self confidence and trust in my own innate abilities. Ian is truly gifted at bringing out the best in the clients he works with, and I look forward to my time with him every week.

Anna Guiffre


We looked for some time to find “the right music teacher” who could consistently engage our 7 year-old son who has auditory processing challenges. We are just through our 1st year and are elated with Julia Beth of BAMT. Our goal with respect to MT is twofold, to support Eli’s cognitive development, using music as a tool, and to provide him with the opportunity to learn to play an instrument in a safe and nurturing environment. As an added bonus, and perhaps most important, Eli’s weekly one-on-one sessions with Julia Beth are pure enjoyment for our son.

Tom & Stacey

Parents of 8 y/o boy, Eli

I hired Ian Wilkerson to provide on-site music therapy services for a young woman with a diagnosis of CP and several life-threatening medical conditions. He immediately established a strong therapeutic bond that proved to be quite effective. The health and happiness of this client improved as a result of Ian’s music therapy services. My client was sad to see Ian go, but very appreciative of the time she did spend with him. Ian taught her to read music and the two even performed at a hospital event together.

Christine Cannon

Welcome to BAMT!

Bay Area Music Therapy is an organization dedicated to providing you with the highest quality integrative music therapy services. Our well-trained music therapists and adjunct providers can address the emotional, physical, psychological and social needs of you, your loved ones, or your community.

We offer person-centered & individualized music therapy programs and services to support creativity, self-expression and self-empowerment. Additionally, we provide a variety of educational and experiential music related wellness services.

We serve children and adults of all ages, needs and abilities. We work with special needs, senior care facilities, community outreach programs, stress & pain managements groups, as well as team building and wellness care in the corporate arena.

Bay Area Music Therapy has studio locations in Oakland and Santa Rosa, serving clients across the Bay Area, including San Francisco, East Bay, South Bay and North Bay.


Ian has amazing skills, has extensive experience working with all kinds of special needs kids and is an all around great person who is lovable and kind. He worked with our son for about a year and we saw incredible things happen. He was very patient, innovative and creative with his techniques. He also helped our son improve his math facts by doing singing times tables with him and encouraged improvised expression during each session. I recommend him highly. Rather than music teachers who ju…
Dmitra SmithMother of son with Autism