Music Therapy Institute


Since 1986, the Music Therapy Institute (MTI) has been the largest provider of professional music therapy services in the greater Westchester region, working individually and in small groups with over 2,000 children and adults each year. The Institute provides services onsite at the Music Conservatory of Westchester as well as throughout the county through the Institute’s Outreach program.

Music therapy addresses the physical, emotional, social and cognitive well being of children and adults with a wide variety of special needs. Using the inherent qualities of music, therapists design individualized programs to provide opportunities for social interaction, allow for emotional expression, increase attention, promote growth in motor skills, increase communication skills and alleviate pain and stress. Music therapy can make a profound difference in the lives of those who participate, encouraging healing, growth, and change.

Update April 2020: *MTI parents please coordinate directly with your student’s music therapist to establish the best way for you to support the online sessions.

Our Board-Certified therapists all hold masters or doctoral degrees in music therapy.

Dr. Tina Brescia, MT-BC, LCAT, Director of Onsite Services
(914) 761-3900 ext. 134,

Lisa Sandagata, MT-BC, Director of Outreach Services
(914) 761-3900 ext. 138,



Individual and group music therapy sessions are offered by knowledgeable, warm and caring music therapists for people of all ages at the Conservatory’s fully accessible facility.


Provides the therapeutic benefits of music to help veterans in the tri-state area with combat-related injuries.


Provides individual and group music therapy in partnership with 31 organizations throughout the Westchester region.


Meet our Board-Certified therapists, whom hold masters or doctoral degrees in music therapy.


Qualifying students of all ages who have disabilities may apply for scholarship assistance to take music therapy or adapted instruction.



  • Alzheimer’s
  • Attention Deficit Disorder
  • Autistic spectrum disorders
  • Cerebral Palsy
  • Developmental, Learning and Emotional disabilities
  • Down’s/Fragile X/Rett’s Syndromes
  • Head injuries
  • Neurological impairments
  • Parkinson’s
  • Psychiatric disorders
  • Speech delays/impairments


  • Research supports connections between speech and singing, rhythm and motor behavior, memory for song and memory for academic material, and the overall ability of preferred music to enhance mood, attention, and behavior to optimize the student’s ability to learn and interact.
  • Preschool children in an early intervention music therapy program show high on-task behavior during sessions and a high success rate in language development, social skills, cognitive concepts, motor skills, and music knowledge.
  • Studies show positive effect induced by music and helps to improve social problem-solving skills in middle school students.
  • Because music is processed in both hemispheres of the brain, music can stimulate cognitive functioning and may be used for the remediation of some speech/language skills.
  • Music stimulates all of the senses and involves the child at many levels. This “multi-modal approach” facilitates many developmental skills.
  • The music captures and helps maintain attention. It is highly motivating and engaging and may be used to naturally encourage clients to increase participation and attend to a task for longer periods of time.
  • Musical elements and structures provide a sense of security and familiarity in the music therapy setting, encouraging individuals to attempt new tasks within this predictable but malleable framework.

For more information, visit the American Music Therapy Association