AMTA Print this Page

Two Prestigious DC-Based Organizations Start Music Therapy Programs

Two Prestigious DC-Based Organizations Start Music Therapy Programs

AMTA is proud to announce that two of the most prestigious organizations in Washington, D.C., recently hired AMTA members to start brand-new music therapy programs. The Levine School of Music, which is celebrating 35 years, is the region’s preeminent center for music education. Levine is nationally recognized as one of the premier community music schools. Leanne Belasco, MS, MT-BC, is the first Director of Music Therapy and will be designing and implementing a comprehensive music therapy program to serve the region’s children and adults who can benefit from music therapy services.

Peter Jablow, the President & CEO of Levine, remarked, "Music therapy reflects Levine’s core values of opportunity and community. Under Leanne’s leadership Levine, will for the first time in the Washington region, offer a comprehensive program to individuals with disabilities and developmental disorders for whom music would otherwise be unavailable."

Children’s National Medical Center has a 140 year history of providing comprehensive services to children and adolescents in the Washington region, being the only exclusive provider of pediatric care in the metropolitan area. Children’s internationally recognized team of pediatric healthcare professionals see more than 360,000 outpatient visits each year and provide care for patients who come from the region, the nation and around the world. Clarissa Karlsson, MT-BC, is the first Director of Music Therapy for Children’s Center on Cancer and Blood Disorders. She will focus her attention on the Hematology and Oncology units. Clarissa is completing her graduate degree in music therapy at Drexel University.

Social worker, Lynn Hardesty, LCSW, advocated for the music therapy program, which will fall under her jurisdiction as the manager of the Patient and Family Support Program in the Center for Cancer and Blood Disorders. According to Hardesty, "Music therapy offers us one more way to provide children, adolescents, and their families with opportunities for creative expression of feelings, with innovative interventions for symptom management, and with techniques aimed at pain reduction and support.  We also anticipate that Clarissa and this new music therapy program will help promote the healing environment by providing music on the unit and facilitating opportunities for patients, families and staff to participate in music-making as a community."  

AMTA members should celebrate the investment in music therapy being made by these two influential organizations. Your association’s staff were actively involved in the development of these two new high-ranking and highly visible programs, making these dreams a reality.

For more information about Levine, contact Leanne at or about Children’s, contact Clarissa at



Copyright © 1998-2020. American Music Therapy Association® and its logo are registered trademarks with the U.S. Patent and Trademark office. Information, files, graphics, and other content on this site are the property of the American Music Therapy Association® and may not be reproduced beyond personal use in print or any other media without express written permission of the American Music Therapy Association. The American Music Therapy Association® is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization and accepts contributions which support its mission. Contributions are tax deductible as allowed by law.
8455 Colesville Road, Suite 1000 | Silver Spring MD 20910 | Phone: 301.589.3300 | Fax: 301.589.5175