Harmony Garden Music Therapy Services has been providing music therapy and early childhood music opportunities to families and individuals in Jackson, MI since June 2006.
Jaime Lawrence, MT-BC has been a musician her entire life. She grew up singing in a local church choir, has played the flute for over 25 years, and in her adult life found a love of performing musical theatre and singing in bands. The days of jazz band performances and musical theatre are temporarily on hold though, as Jaime is also the mother of three young children who keep her busy! She and her husband have regular jam sessions with the three little ones – sometimes at the dinner table – so live music is still running wild!
Jaime received her Bachelors Degree in Music Therapy from Michigan State University. She completed her music therapy internship at the Center for Discovery in Harris, NY. This internship provided extensive training in creative and improvisational music therapy techniques.
She is nationally certified through the Certification Board for Music Therapists.
Jaime opened Harmony Garden Music Therapy Services (HGMTS) in June 2006, when she returned to Jackson. She wanted to give back to the community she grew up in, believing that music therapy and early childhood music have a place in her hometown.
HGMTS has been providing music therapy and early childhood music (Harmony Garden Sprouts) in Jackson ever since. “I hope to always think ahead, to educate Jackson on the benefits of music therapy, and to provide the best quality music services to the families here.”
Jaime has a very wide range of experience working in a variety of settings. As a music therapist, she works with children as young as 3 months old, as well as adults in Hospice and palliative care for those who are 70-100 years old. Her clientele is just as diverse as the ages she serves. Jaime has extensive experience and loves working in early childhood. She provides music therapy for preschools, playgroups, early on, great start, and for families who join the Harmony Garden Sprouts classes at HGMTS. Jaime works with individuals of all ages with special needs (autism, down syndrome, cognitive impairments), traumatic brain injury, mental illness, substance abuse, memory care needs (Alzheimer’s, dementia), and individuals who are in hospice.
Jaime enjoys working hard to help families in Jackson gain access to music services and is always trying to find a new way to educate and promote music therapy. In January 2016, Jaime joined the board of directors for David’s Promise, a ministry of Compassionate Ministries of Jackson County, that seeks to provide an inclusive atmosphere where people with and without special needs grow in faith, make friends, serve our community and share life with one another. In September 2017, Jaime joined the Jackson Jr. Welfare League and looks forward to even more opportunities to give back to Jackson.
To top this all off, for the past 15 years and counting, Jaime has helped to organize, run, and provide music therapy support for the Eric ‘RicStar’ Winter Music Therapy Camp in East Lansing, MI. Then she took this camp model, and started the New Song Music Therapy Camp with Compassionate Ministries of Jackson County in the summer of 2017. This camp is an annual event.
Bekah received her degree from Michigan State University and became a board certified music therapist in 2007. She worked as a music therapist at The Center for Discovery in Harris, NY until September of 2010 when she relocated to Jackson with her husband and children to be closer to extended family. She began working for Harmony Garden as a contract music therapist as well as for Michigan State University’s Community Music School Music Therapy Department. Bekah took a break from music therapy in 2014 to start a program for adults with special needs and their families titled “David’s Promise,” a ministry of Compassionate Ministries of Jackson County. This ministry enables individuals to make friends, learn about and use their gifts and talents and give back to the community. Once it was an established and thriving community ministry, Bekah returned to focusing on two of the things that she loves, music therapy and spending more time with her husband Scott and her five children.
Kara Lewis, MT-BC (she/her) is an Asian-American person of color who is part of the LGBTQIA+ community. She is dedicated to providing affirming and anti-oppressive music therapy practices and listening and learning from marginalized and minority communities.
Kara grew up in Jackson, Michigan and attended both Parkside Middle School and Jackson High School. She began piano lessons at a young age and was involved in choir and band throughout school. During Kara’s 7th grade choir class, she was first introduced to the career of music therapy, and knew from that moment that she wanted to pursue music therapy as a career.
Kara received her degree in music therapy from Nazareth College of Rochester in 2017. During this time, she studied trombone and participated in orchestra, wind ensemble, and brass choir, and also worked as a student ambassador for the music therapy program. After graduation, Kara completed a 6-month internship at Golisano Children’s Hospital in Rochester, NY. At the hospital, she worked in various pediatric departments including general inpatient units, hematology/oncology, cardiac, pediatric intensive care, and with people struggling with eating disorders.
She joined HGMTS in 2018 and is excited to give back to the community that first sparked her interest in music therapy!
Steve is a board certified music therapist from Connecticut. His parents own a music store, so he grew up surrounded by great musicians. He took lessons on drums, piano, and guitar before settling on bass guitar as his primary instrument, all of which he’s now played for over 20 years. He started teaching for his parents at 16, and continued to teach guitar and bass until he went to college.
Steve graduated from Montclair State University in New Jersey, just a short train ride away from New York City. After college, he worked as a music therapist in Connecticut for seven years before moving to Michigan.
While working as a music therapist in Connecticut, Steve worked with clients of all age ranges and areas of need. He has worked in schools, with children, group homes with adults, nursing homes with older adults, and more! He also developed and grew a music therapy program at a veterans hospital, which is still going on today.
Steve is looking forward to getting to know and being a part of the Harmony Garden community!
Denise Travis, MM, MT-BC, feels like she was born with an instrument in her hand. She started taking formal lessons at the age of 8 and still loves learning new music, picking up new instruments, and adapting and writing new songs. Denise received her Bachelor and Master of Music Therapy from Michigan State University. She has worked for Music Therapy Clinical Services at Michigan State University, the Preschool and Communication Therapies (PACT) program at the University of Michigan, and Eastern Michigan University’s Autism Collaborative Center. Denise has experience working with clients of all ages, from birth through hospice. She has worked in a variety of settings including university clinics, elementary schools, ISD and RESA schools, group homes, pediatric clinics, and hospice centers. She also enjoys educating others about music therapy and has led presentations and workshops for Central Michigan University, Michigan State University, Michigan Music Therapists, GIML Michigan Chapter, Great Lakes Region of the American Music Therapy Association, and various Michigan elementary and high school music departments. Denise believes: “Music making is part of what makes us human. Without music our lives are lessened, while active music making helps us learn, grow, emote, connect, and heal.”
In addition to her degrees and board certification in music therapy, Denise holds certification in Drums Alive, a cardio drumming program that focuses on the brain/body connection, and Level I certification in Early Childhood Music from the Gordon Institute of Music Learning. She has taught early childhood music classes at the MSU Community Music School since 2006. Denise also plays French horn with the Meridian Community Band for her own musical enjoyment. When she isn’t making music, Denise enjoys cycling, reading, and playing with her trivia team.
Layna Beckermeyer is finishing up her degree in Music Therapy from Western Michigan University. A lifelong Michigander, Layna currently lives in Kalamazoo with her husband, four children and a smattering of pets. Before attending school for Music Therapy, Layna worked as a Nurse Assistant, Kindermusik instructor and homeschooled her children. While in college she has served as a classroom music teacher, elementary and middle school substitute teacher, and piano teacher. Her practicums in music therapy have given her experience with preschool aged children, adults with developmental disabilities and seniors. Singing and making music with others is Layna’s greatest pastime; she also enjoys composing and arranging choral music, and learning to play new instruments. Outside of music, she loves going camping with her family, baking, and gardening.
Hello, my name is Natalie Miller. I have been married to my wonderful husband, Andy, since May of 2007. We have two beautiful daughters, Lucy 13 and Alice 11. We love spending time in Ludington and Pentwater throughout the year.
I have an associates degree in Early Childhood Education. I spent almost 10yrs teaching at as a lead teacher in the Early Headstart program and preschool program. I quit work when my daughter was born to become a stay at home Mom. Both of my girls have gone through the sprouts classes and in fact, Lucy was in the very first one Jaime held. I’m looking forward to getting to know all of you.