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.
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.
Hi, my name is Cathy Kenny, MT-BC. I am originally from Niskayuna, NY and I am happy to serve clients in and around my hometown. I completed my music therapy coursework at Molloy College in Rockville Centre, NY, and completed my internship under the supervision of Elizabeth Schwartz, LCAT, MT-BC at Alternatives for Children in Setauket, NY, with a particular focus in Early Childhood Education. I am passionate about all things music and I believe in providing accessible social connections and emotional development through music to individuals across the lifespan.
Hi, my name is Sam Lawrence, MT-BC and I have been working for Expressive Journeys, LLC as a board certified music therapist since 2018. I am originally from Ballston Lake, NY. I received my Bachelor's degree from SUNY New Paltz in Contemporary Music Studies and continued my studies at New Paltz where I am finishing my Master's degree in Music Therapy. I completed my internship at Hudson Valley Hospice. My clinical experiences have led me to a person-centered and holistic view of music therapy. I work with both children and adults striving towards a wide range of musical and non-musical goals. In my spare time I enjoy singing and making music with friends.
Hello, my name is Alyssa Maher, MT-BC. I began working with Expressive Journeys, LLC in June 2019. I am from Poughkeepsie, NY, and received my Bachelor's in Music Education from the College of Saint Rose and Master's in Music Therapy from SUNY New Paltz. I completed my clinical internship at the Hudson Valley VA Hospital, where I worked with a wide range of veterans. From my background in music education, my music therapy work, and clinical internships, I align with a holistic, person- and music-centered approach, focused on making connections through music to support growth. I love working across multiple populations, from students to older adults! In my free time, I enjoy cooking, making music with friends, and doing yoga.
Hi, my name is Tehya Berkner and I have been working as a music therapist for Expressive Journeys since September of 2019. I attended Nazareth College of Rochester where I studied vocal music and received my BM in music therapy. I completed my internship training at The Center for Discover where I had the opportunity to gain extensive training working with individuals with disabilities through a music and person-centered, humanistic approach. I believe music is a unique medium that has the intrinsic ability to reach people in ways nothing else can. I feel privileged to share in the journey and continue building relationships rooted in the music.
Hello, my name is Taylor Santabarbara, MT-BC. I started working with Expressive Journeys, LLC in October of 2019. I am excited to work in and around the capital region as I am originally from Glenville, NY. I received a Bachelor's of Music in Music Therapy from Nazareth College in Rochester, NY. I completed my clinical internship at University of Rochester Medicine's Golisano Children's Hospital in Rochester, NY where I worked with children ages birth to 18 years of age. I am passionate about practicing music therapy during procedural support, pain management, and early intervention sessions. My career goal is to become a NICU and medical music therapist. During weekly sessions I strive to include student preferred music, as I believe this is a key element to creating an inclusive space for successfully achieving musical and non-musical goals. In my spare time I enjoy attending Broadway musicals and spending time with my friends and family.