The Music Therapy Wellness Clinic at CSUN
The Music Therapy Wellness Clinic provides individually designed music activities for children and adults with disabilities and special challenges, including autism, developmental delay, physical, mental and emotional disorders, and learning disabilities.
Music therapy is a field that uses music in a prescribed manner as a treatment for rehabilitating, maintaining, and improving the lives of persons with physical, intellectual and emotional disabilities. Music Therapy is a creative arts therapy similar to others such as Art, Dance, and Drama Therapy. It is, however, unique in that music provides an accessible and enjoyable medium for growth and learning. It is a healing art, based on scientific principles and grounded in research.
The Music Therapy Wellness Clinic is dedicated to creating an environment where an individual with special challenges can acquire necessary life skills through the unique, creative and enjoyable medium of music. Our therapists are internationally recognized and encompass a range of techniques and areas of expertise. Our entire treatment team is dedicated to creating the opportunity for each participant to express his or her true creative essence while gaining needed skills and enhancing self-esteem.
The Music Therapy Wellness Clinic is a teaching clinic for the CSUN Music Therapy Department. As such, all sessions are utilized for student observation and learning and are part of the educational process for future music therapists.
Some of the benefits of Music Therapy include:
- Development of fine and gross motor skills
- Improvement in acquisition and application of academic fundamentals
- Development of practical life skills
- Increase in socialization
- Enhancement of self-esteem
- Expansion of the quality of life through musical enjoyment and creative self-expression
The Music Therapy Wellness Clinic provides individual and group sessions conducted by a highly trained and experienced Music Therapist. A variety of instruments are used, including piano, guitar, percussion, autoharp, recorder, electronic instruments, harmonica, and voice.
Director: Ron Borczon, MT-BC, MM
Ron Borczon is Professor of Music Therapy and the author of "Music Therapy: Group Vignettes", and Music Therapy a Fieldwork Primer." He is known internationally for his innovative approaches with victims of traumatic events. He has received the highest award of the AMTA for his work after the 1994 Northridge Earthquake. He worked with Oklahoma City Survivors from the 1995 bombing and travels extensively to support communities affected by violence and natural disasters. For more information on Professor Borczon go to: http://www.csun.edu/~hfmus003/BioBorczon.html
Assistant Director: Julie Allis Berghofer, NRMT
Julie Berghofer received her musical education, music therapy training and teaching credential from London, England. She has over 20 years experience in the pediatric filed with a particular interest in the role of music therapy in early intervention, with children on the autistic spectrum and those with profound multiple needs. Julie has worked as a clinician, consultant, teacher, supervisor and examiner in the field both in the UK and USA. For many years she was Head of the Music Therapy Services for a National Health Trust in the south of England and was part of the tutorial team at the prestigious Nordoff Robbins Music Therapy Center, London. Since moving to Los Angeles in 1996, Julie has been an integral part of the clinical team at the Music Therapy Wellness Clinic, CSUN. She currently serves as Assistant Director, teaches improvisation classes and supervises music therapy students. Julie lectures extensively on the ‘Nordoff Robbins Creative Music Therapy ‘approach and enjoys working with other professionals regarding collaborative interventions .She is involved with various parent groups and professional associations at regional and national level. In 2003 Julie was awarded the Professional Practice Award from the Western Region American Music Therapy Association for her continued contribution to the profession. She is one of the authors of the IMTAP – the ‘Individualized Music Therapy Assessment Profile’, published by JKP in 2007, which is gaining recognition as a valuable, comprehensive formal tool for music therapists. Julie continues to learn from her many clients and colleagues, striving always to enable students to reach their potential within positive musical interactions.
Clinician: Victor Lissabet, MT-BC
Victor Lissabet is a graduate from the Music Therapy Program at CSUN where he was awarded the Los Aguado–Sadio Memorial Endowment, the highest award a music therapy student can be given, and the Bostrom Scholarship. He completed his training at the Center For Discovery in New York were he worked with both children and adults with a wide range of special needs in a cutting edge environment of care based on humanistic principles of education and therapy. Victor brings a wide range of experience and musical ability to the clinic, including 8 years as a certified yoga instructor, proficiency in different styles on piano, guitar, voice, percussion, and banjo. Apart from his work at the CSUN Music Therapy and Wellness Clinic, Victor also works with adolescent drug and alcohol populations in the area.
Clinician: Rose Fienman, MT-BC
Rose Fienman hails from Arlington, Massachusetts. She earned her Bachelor of Music Therapy from Loyola University New Orleans and completed her internship with Music to Grow On in Sacramento, California. Before relocating to Los Angeles in July 2012, Rose worked with Music For Therapy in the Bay Area and was the consulting Music Therapist at the Milieu Center in Sacramento. She is a past President of the American Music Therapy Association Students (AMTAS) and has served as Executive Assistant on the World Federation of Music Therapy Council (WFMT). Rose is currently pursuing a Master of Social Work at the University of Southern California.
Clinician: Clara Ko, MT-BC
Clara Ko is a board certified Music Therapist, graduate of California State University Northridge with a degree in Music Therapy. She was introduced to piano when she was 3 years old, focusing on classical training and received a 3rd degree certification in Classical Piano by KMSE in Korea.
Her interest and research in Music, Psychology and Neuroscience introduced her to Music Therapy. She completed her clinical training at Season’s Hospice and Palliative care in Pasadena, CA providing music therapy services for end of life patients. Her clinical training at California Sate University of Northridge focused on children with special needs, training at following facilities: Pasadena Child Development Associates, CSUN Music Therapy Wellness Clinic, Miller Children’s hospital and Private Practice Magical Musical Moments. She also served as a board member for Music Therapy Association of Northridge. Clara is inspired by Nordoff-Robbins philosophy also known as Creative Music Therapy and believes that the music holds power to support people to utilize their fullest potential. Clara is now a part-time clinician at Cal State University of Northridge Music Therapy Wellness Clinic, Season’s Hospice and Palliative Care, Alternative Home Care for Pediatric Palliative Care, and owner/therapist at her private practice ‘MusicSway’, providing music therapy service in English and Korean in Greater Los Angeles Area.
Registration and Fees:
- $37.50 per 25-minute individual session
- $57.50 per 45- minute individual session
- $37.50 per 45-minute group
- $50.00 materials fee per semester
The Music Therapy Clinic is currently an approved vendor for North LA County Regional Center and Lanterman Regional Center, vendor number PL0047.
The Rising Star Choir
The Rising Star choir is a unique musical experience geared toward children with Autism. The choir sings music of different styles as well as music that the choir members compose individually in addition to music composed as a group. During the rehearsals, non-music goals such as socialization, self-esteem, attention to task and the creative process are considered and structured for by the Music Therapist. Currently, the choir participates in two performances yearly, one in December and the other in May. Funding from the Rising Star Music Fund provides the tuition for all participants so that there is no cost to the family. The choir generally meets on Saturday afternoons. If interested in more information on the choir, please contact the clinic.
The Sunshine Singers
The Sunshine Singers is a music therapy group whose approach is based upon the naturally inherent therapeutic situations that result from learning, rehearsing, and performing as a choir. Choir members are young adults with a wide array of challenges. Each individual is encouraged to share their unique voice, and when all these voices come together, the Sunshine Singers shine. Despite the differences between the individual members who make up the choir, each and every one embarks on a journey of creative collaboration. The infectious joy of this process is then shared with an audience, who walk away touched by the music of these performers. The cost of the Sunshine Singers is $50.00 per month.
The Sunshine Singers Holiday Concert performing at CSUN.
The presentation of the $15,000 donation by Shari Hoffman and Dennis Dreith of the Environment of People Foundation.
Thank you to The Environment Of People Foundation for their generous gift of $15,000.00 to the Music Therapy Wellness Clinic!
The Environment of People Foundation raised $15,000.00 for the CSUN Music Therapy Wellness Clinic. The fundraising event took place on in March 30, 2014 on the New York Street at CBS studios. The events of the day included a silent auction, free subway sandwiches with each paid admission and performances by Ellis Hall and Phil Upchurch. The Sunshine Singers of the CSUN Music Therapy Wellness Clinic were the featured act. Actress Laura San Giacomo presided as Honorary Chair.
The proceeds of the event will go to fund scholarships for clients who are in need of assistance in order to attend the clinic.
To contact the clinic please call 818-677-5663 or you can email us at