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AMTA Wilson Trust Music Therapy Project (WTMTP)

wtlogo_cA Project of the American Music Therapy Association

The AMTA Wilson Trust Music Therapy Project (WTMTP) resulted from a $400,000 legacy gift awarded to the American Music Therapy Association (AMTA) by the Eleanor and Raymond Wilson Charitable Trust to expand access to, and grow, sustainable music therapy services in the Puget Sound Region of Washington State. Mrs. Eleanor Wilson was a passionate advocate for music and the environment. The Wilsons resided in the Puget Sound region and supported numerous music and arts programs in the greater Seattle area.

Why is the WTMTP important to the profession?

WTMTP represents a model for growing quality music therapy services for underserved regions and populations. The program strives to support music therapy sustainability, technical assistance to area professionals, partnerships and collaborations, and successful outcomes.

Grants are administered by AMTA through Program Announcements (PA) and include both small grants as well as larger matching grants. Since the inception of the WTMTP in late 2011,  AMTA has worked closely with Board Certified Music Therapists, faculty of Seattle Pacific University (where there is an AMTA-approved music therapy degree program), and major agencies and facilities throughout the Puget Sound region to develop a network of quality music therapy programming delivered by Board Certified Music Therapists. The project kicked- off with a face-to-face strategic planning event with area music therapists and a representative of the Wilson Trust.

A midcourse site visit was conducted in early August, 2016. The aims of the site visit were to a) gather input and data on the resulting expansion of music therapy services in the Puget Sound region – the breadth, depth, and reach -- since the start of the WTMTP; and, b) evaluate the trajectory for the next phase of the WTMTP to continue expanding music therapy in the region.

Awards - Major Institutions, Matching Grants

seattle_childrens_detailSeattle Children's Hospital
$34,000 Awarded July, 2012

Pediatric medical and oncology

Music therapy services doubled and their good work generated even more interest in music therapy. A third part-time therapist was hired in March, 2016.

“Wilson Trust's anchor program funds helped Seattle Children's establish a music therapy position dedicated to serving our Cancer Care unit.  With that support, the following year found a 400% increase in music therapy services provided to our young patients experiencing treatment for cancer.  Wilson Trust enabled a quantum leap in the development of the music therapy service at Seattle Children's--thank you Wilson Trust and AMTA!”

- David Knott, MT-BC         


musichall-web-1xSnohomish County Music Project
$40,000 Awarded January, 2015

Underserved persons, community-based program.

The award expanded music therapy staff from .5 FTE to 2.0 FTE.  It expanded programs to work with school aged students recovering from trauma and continued work with seniors, veterans, and music therapy practicum students. Growth of music therapy services as a result of the Wilson Project has been influential in expanding services to serve Native American communities and school aged tribal members in the area.

"The Wilson Trust has been instrumental (pun intended) in the expansion of music therapy services to vulnerable populations throughout Snohomish County. Their support has enabled us to increase our capacity, serving 152% more people in 2016 who would not otherwise have access to these services."

- Vasheti Quiros, Executive Director


UW_Medicine_logoThe University of Washington Medical Center Arts in Healing Program              
$16,275 Awarded October, 2015

Medical-Surgery/Pain, referrals for CCU/ICU, and NICU

This award led to the addition of a .2FTE music therapist serving Palliative Care services and the Medical-Surgery/Pain floor at the Medical Center. Services are beginning to expand to NICU.

Awards – Small Grants

“Pay-it-Forward” Program Awards
$8,765 - Individual Awards up to $750 each Awarded November-December, 2011

This PA used a ‘pay-it-forward’ model whereby funding recipients were asked to pay-it-forward through service to the music therapy community. Pay-it-Forward activity to MT community noted in parentheses.

  • Dr. Carlene Brown - Camcorder purchase for clinical skills training (Camcorder equipment made available for Music Therapy Association of Washington (MTAW) events and MT-BCs)
  • Patti Catalano - Public School Pilot Study (Continuing Practicum Supervision)
  • Jim Couture - Encore: MT Internship (Continued service to the Washington State Recognition for Music Therapy Task Force, Presentations to MTAW, SPU students, related agencies)
  • Barbara Dunn - CD Recording: “More Than a Song: Exploring the Healing Art of Music Therapy” (Continuing education training component for local music therapy community)
  • Sha’ari Garfinkel - Music Transcription & Notation Project (Create Practicum Experience in connection with SPU)
  • Jen Hastings - Bringing Neuro Rehab Music Therapy to the Northwest (MTAW Conference Planning, added assistance to the State Recognition Task Force)
  • Nancy Houghton – NMT Training (Served as MTAW President)
  • Kirsten Hutchison - Music Therapy for At-Risk Youth in the Puget Sound (Continuing Practicum Supervision)
  • David Knott - Adaptive Use Musical Instrument (AUMI) Technology (Continue management of MTAW listserv and website)
  • Wendy Woolsey - Technology in Music Therapy Workshop (Continue services with State Recognition Task Force, Spring Conference Planning and Liaison between MTAW and Sigma Alpha Iota)
  • Rebecca Wu - Tone Chime Choir for the Residents of Assisted Living Facilities (Involvement in advocacy and support of MTAW events)
  • Wendy Zieve – Music Therapy Services for Greenlake Elementary and Wonderland Development Center (Continued work with State Recognition Task Force and on MTAW Board)
Clinician Small Grants
$11,610 - Individual Awards up to $1,500 each. Awarded August-September, 2014

This Program Announcement funded expanded professional music therapy services and activities. Awardees included:

  • Megumi Azekawa
  • SPU/Carlene Brown
  • Betsy Hartman
  • MTAW
  • Music Works Northwest
  • Wendy Woolsey
  • Rebecca Wu
  • Wendy Zieve

Technical Assistance, Education, and Professional Development

seattle-pacific-universitySeattle Pacific University, Music Therapy Clinic and Practica Program                 

Two grants provided seed funding to support a) the growth and expansion of sustainable, supervised practica sites for music therapy students in the Puget Sound Region with affiliation to the SPU music therapy training program, and b) music therapy clinic development and equipment.


MTAssocWAThe Music Therapy Association of Washington (MTAW)                                       

This grant provided seed money for the creation of a three year plan for continuing education for Board Certified Music Therapists in the region including MTAW’s symposia events.


Technical Assistance, November, 2012

The Art of Securing Grant Funding. WTMTP, King County Library System, and Foundation Center Grant Writing Workshop – Held at the Redmond, WA library. A workshop was conducted for Board Certified Music Therapists on grant writing and fund development.


Charting the Second Half of the WTMTP

Following a successful site visit in August, 2016, the AMTA Wilson Trust team is assessing the status of grant-funded programs and services to a variety of populations and settings to determine how to maximize the remaining funds and further expand the access to sustainable music therapy services.

Special thanks to the site visit contacts during the August, 2016 site visits:

Seattle Children's Hospital

  • David Knott
  • Kira Haller
  • Evelyn Pinder               
  • Betsy Hartman
  • Debbie Kruse
  • Angela Carden             

Snohomish County Music Project

  • Vasheti Quiros
  • Karla Hawley
  • Victoria Fansler           

University of Washington Medical Center

  • Gayle Cloud
  • Karen Neuhard-Forsythe                  

Seattle Pacific University

  • Carlene Brown

Music Therapy Association of Washington

  • Sara Cannon
  • Betsy Hartman

WTMTP Contacts:

  • Patti Catalano, MM, MT-BC, WTMTP, Regional Project Manager (
  • Barbara A. Else, MPA, LCAT, MT-BC, WTMTP, National Project Director (

Advisory Team:

  • Piper Laird, MM, MT-BC, Past President, Western Region, AMTA
  • Ronna Kaplan, MA, MT-BC, Past President, AMTA
  • Jodi Winnwalker, MSW, LCSW, MT-BC

Overall Administration:

  • Andi Farbman, EdD, AMTA Executive Director
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