Learn more about the music therapists who work with our Kids Rock Cancer rock stars!
Tracie Sandheinrich, MT-BC, Senior Music Therapist
At a very young age, Tracie found herself sitting on a stack of books and magazines, piled just high enough to reach the piano keys. She grew up in a musical family, singing and playing music in her home church, and performing at the nursing home where her grandmother lived. It was always clear that Tracie knew and valued the power of music.
After completing two years of college at SIUE, Tracie felt something was missing — until a chance meeting with a coworker whose daughter had graduated from Maryville University’s music therapy program. Music had taken a backseat in her life, but the opportunities music therapy offered reignited her passion. After completing her coursework in December 2007, Tracie held clinical internships at St. Luke’s Hospital (adult rehab) and BJC Hospice (end-of-life care).
After graduation, Tracie worked with BJC Hospice in Farmington, where she brought music therapy to patients diagnosed with terminal illnesses, an experience she describes as intimate and honorable.
“Even in an unfortunate situation like impending illness, music, at its finest, can bring physiological and psychological comfort not only to the patient, but to their family as well,” Tracie says.
In March 2009, Tracie started Through Melody, a music therapy company that provides board certified music therapy services specializing in adult, geriatric and end-of-life care in southern Illinois and Metro East.
Later that same year, Tracie was invited to help jumpstart Kids Rock Cancer. She is proud to have been able to watch the program flourish since inception.
“A KRC session can be an emotional, yet musical, journey for the entire family,” Tracie says. “So often, a participant’s song can truly provide a breakthrough in their emotional health. It is a lucky gift to be a part of their journey through such a difficult time.”
As Kids Rock Cancer’s senior music therapist, Tracie says she is constantly inspired by the young rock stars she works with. Her goal is to “keep the music playing,” and she encourages each and every participant to write their own story — because everyone has a song to sing.
Tracie is currently attending Lindenwood University’s graduate program to earn a master’s degree in professional counseling.
Ashley Warmbrodt, MT-BC, Neurologic Music Therapist
Following a year of studying vocal performance, Ashley craved a more engaging and rewarding profession. She discovered a perfect fit for utilizing her passion for music and helping people: music therapy. She transferred to Maryville University in St. Louis and changed her major to music therapy.
Ashley was first introduced to Kids Rock Cancer as a music therapy student. After hearing Tracie’s presentation, complete with examples of rock stars’ songs, Ashley introduced herself and asked how she could get involved in this touching program. Ashley volunteered at a few Kids Rock Cancer events as a student, then found herself interning with Tracie in fall 2013. After completing her six-month internship, Ashley was hired to work for Kids Rock Cancer as their second music therapist. The patients Ashley has worked with through this program have each left their own marks on her heart.
One of the things that drew Ashley to music therapy was personally knowing the ability music has to change her own emotions, and to express herself in an unparalleled way. Ashley enjoys helping clients to strengthen their voice and express themselves through music. Ashley also works with clients with varying needs, all united by the common goal of expression.
Outside of Kids Rock Cancer, Ashley also works with with clients with eating disorders, survivors of abuse, and children and adults with various disabilities. Ashley’s love for the power of music is rejuvenated in those therapeutic moments when music so clearly helped a client — emotionally or physically — in a way that other avenues couldn’t quite reach. To stay creatively inspired, Ashley also performs with fellow musicians outside of her music therapy work.