Hello, my name is Erin Lancraft Best, MT-BC. I am the owner and managing director of Expressive Journeys, LLC. Having the opportunity to work as a Board Certified Music Therapist throughout my professional life has taught me a great deal about people and what helps them to be successful. Music is an amazing modality that can be used to work on fostering growth in individuals' needs on many levels. I work from a client centered and holistic approach to music therapy services.
My education includes a Bachelor of Music Therapy from Radford University. After graduation, I completed a nine month internship under the supervision of Beth McLaughlin, MSE, LCAT, MT-BC and Mark Ahola, MM, LCAT, MT-BC at the Wildwood School in Schenectady NY. During this experience, I implemented music therapy sessions with school age students who have Autism Spectrum Disorders and various developmental disabilities. It is important to me to continue to stay educated and learn about new and exciting ways to help clients through the fundamentals of music.
Throughout the years following my internship, I have had the opportunity to develop my private practice, Expressive Journeys LLC. During this time I have gained skills and knowledge working as a private contractor with school districts in the area as well as other Special Education Programs over the past 10 years. I have had a productive working relationship with therapists and teachers that have implemented sessions or academics with my students and adults. This rapport has enabled me to work across many school districts and facilities and has shaped me into a more compassionate and creative therapist for my clients. Working in classrooms with preschoolers, adolescents, and young adults has also given me the ability to tailor and adapt lesson plans and music experiences to best fit individuals’ needs.
In my free time I enjoy staying active by cycling and swimming. I also enjoy cooking new recipes and creating jewelry.
Hi my name is Ashley Cook, MT-BC and I have been working for Expressive Journeys LLC as a board certified music therapist since January of 2016. I’m originally from Queensbury, NY and am happy to be practicing throughout the capitol region of New York and the Adirondack foothills. I primarily work with students in the school setting and adults with a variety of developmental and neurological diagnoses. I teach adaptive guitar, piano, and voice lessons at our company’s music space. I believe in a holistic and client centered approach to music therapy services. My education includes a BA in music therapy from Shenandoah Conservatory in Winchester, VA. I completed my music therapy internship at Grafton Integrated Health Network in Berryville, VA under the direction of Bronwen Landless, M.M.T., MT-BC. I’m passionate about advocating for music therapy services and implementing techniques that involve the connection between music and the brain. In my free time, I enjoy hiking and being in nature as well as power lifting at my local gym. Together Erin Lancraft Best, MT-BC and I enjoy playing music at restaurants and coffee houses in our community on the weekends.
My name is Catherine Farquharson, MT-BC and I am a Board Certified Music Therapist who works at Expressive Journeys LLC. Prior to working at Expressive Journeys LLC I interned at Children’s National Health Systems in Washington, D. C. I received my Bachelor of Music Therapy from Shenandoah University. I have also presented at the World Congress of Music Therapy in Japan on various early childhood interventions. In my free time I enjoy playing piano and singing. Studying piano for 19 years has helped me to implement creative activities for students and adults who have multiple disabilities.
Hi my name is Kevin Alvarez, MT-BC and I am originally from Southern California. I received my Bachelors degree in Music Therapy from the University of the Pacific in Stockton, California. I completed my internship at the Wildwood School in Schenectady, NY, working with students with Autism Spectrum Disorders and other developmental delays. I joined the Expressive Journeys LLC team in September 2015. During weekly sessions, I strive to incorporate creative and original songs and activities which help students stay engaged and have fun! I also use a variety of musical genres to support clients in creating memorable experiences and achieve individualized goals. I like to spend my free time seeing movies and attending Broadway shows.
Hi my name is Jeff Starace, MT-BC and I am a board-certified music therapist from Bayside, NY who works for Expressive Journeys, LLC. I treat clients in the Capital District of Albany, NY, primarily working with adults who reside in group homes, nursing homes, and other long-term care facilities. My educational experience includes a BA in Music from Queens College and an MS in Music Therapy from SUNY New Paltz. My primary instrument is guitar and I enjoy composing music and performing in my spare time. I emphasize a person-centered approach to music therapy by incorporating music activities that are based on the choices and needs of the clients I work with.