Meet the Team
TRACIE SANDHEINRICH, MA, PLPC, MT-BC
Co-Owner, Lead Music Therapist, Director of Clinical Services & Development
Hospice, geriatric, palliative care, neurologic rehabilitation + pediatric medical/hospital
At a very young age, Tracie found herself sitting on a stack of books and magazines just high enough to reach the piano keys. She grew up in a musical family, actively singing and playing music in her home church, and singing at the nursing home where her grandmother lived. It is without a doubt that Tracie knew and valued the power of music. After a chance meeting and introduction to the field of music therapy, Tracie never looked back. Tracie finished her coursework, followed by completing a clinical internship at St. Luke's Hospital (Adult Rehab) and BJC Hospice. She graduated from Maryville University with a bachelor's of science degree in music therapy in 2008.
After her internship, Tracie was hired on with BJC Hospice in Farmington, MO (2007-2009) where she brought music therapy to patients who were diagnosed with a terminal illness. In many cases, patients were seen in the home or long-term care facilities. In seeing hospice patients, Tracie was able to provide tailored music therapy interventions and work closely with an interdisciplinary team, which has helped groom her formal approach to providing quality services. Tracie believes that even in an unfortunate situation like impending illness, music at its finest, can not only bring physiological and psychological comfort to the patient, but to the family as well.
In November 2009, Tracie received the offer to help jumpstart a program called Kids Rock Cancer, a non-profit organization affiliated with Maryville University, whose mission is to help children and families facing the challenges of cancer and/or blood disorders through the process of therapeutic songwriting. As the senior music therapist, Tracie actively sees patients, supervises an additional KRC music therapist, supervises practicum and internship students, and enjoys program development. Tracie continues to be inspired by these participants and families, and ultimately encourages each and every participant to write their own story because she believes everyone has a song to sing.
Also in 2009, Tracie started her own private contracting music therapy company called Through Melody. Her company provided board certified music therapy services specializing in adult, geriatric, palliative, and end-of-life care, specifically in Southern IL. Since the rapid growth and need for services on both sides of the river, Through Melody merged with Music Therapy St. Louis, where Tracie stands as co-owner and Director of Therapeutic Services. Along with an amazing team of music therapists, Tracie aspires to continue educating and advocating about the many benefits of music therapy and other expressive therapies. In addition to dementia and hospice care, Music Therapy St. Louis will provide services to people of all ages with all types of healthcare needs ranging from cancer, children and adults with disabilities, mental health/illness, grief and loss support and overall wellness.
Aside from music therapy, Tracie graduated from Lindenwood University's graduate program and holds a Master of Professional Counseling. Not only did this fuel her passion for mental illness support, but directed her on the “always learning” path with hopes to not only grow as a person and music therapist, but also to help make creative therapies more accessible to people in the community and advocate for the importance and awareness of mental health. In April of 2023, Jaime and Tracie launched their sister company, The Song Society, which is a non-profit offering therapeutic songwriting sessions to children (5+) affected by a life-altering medical condition, cancer/late effects and chronic ill--free of charge.
JAIME KENNINGTON, MMT, MT-BC
Co-Owner, Lead Music Therapist, Director of Clinical Services & Supervision
Children + adults of varying abilities, neurologic rehabilitation + pediatric medical/hospital
Jaime has been a professional performing musician in the St. Louis area for 20 years, fronting bands like Super Majik Robots; St. Louis A-List Top Cover Band Nominee, Big Rain; Sugar Boots and subbing for St. Louis A-List Top Wedding Band, My Friend Mike. After a 10-year career in marketing she decided to take a leap of faith and switch professions to follow her passion using music to service others. Six years later, she was a practicing board certified music therapist and attained a Master of Music Therapy at Maryville University.
With a variety of clinical placement from Special School District, St. Louis Psychiatric and Rehabilitation to St. Louis Arc, in 2016, she found herself leading the St. Louis Arc, Lafayette Industries and other music therapy programming. These populations range from toddler to geriatric populations. She leads integrated classroom group music therapy at Childgarden as well as the children, teen, adult and geriatric groups at St. Louis Arc and Rainbow Village and the employee program at Lafayette Industries. By 2019, she has led three (2017, 2018, 2019) Creative Music Making performances collaborating with the St. Louis Symphony and Maryville University.
At Music Therapy St. Louis, she directs and supervises undergraduate, graduate student in clinical practica or internship. She also leads the programming at Lafayette Industries, where there is an active student population, and is also on their Expert Advisory Panel for new programming and development. She also spends a lot of her time taking on private clients assessing and session planning in a 1:1 setting customized to that individual.
In 2017, Jaime was overjoyed to be part of the Kids Rock Cancer team. When she first heard of Kids Rock Cancer, in 2014, she immediately got involved. With her event experience, she volunteered at events, assisted in program efforts and joined the Club Rock Committee. Jaime identified with the program on a personal and professional level in such a way that it aligned with her life goals and dream career. All the pieces of the puzzle came together after a 6-year journey when she was offered the music therapist position at Kids Rock Cancer. Writing her first song at the age of 16, Jaime found an innate passion with therapeutic songwriting and advocates its evidence-based results. The opportunity with Kids Rock Cancer was a perfect fit; Jaime served as a music therapist and research analyst this non-profit until April 1, 2023.
Jaime and Tracie presented at the Integrated Creative Arts Therapy Conference (June 2018) where Jaime shared her master thesis containing over 13 months of research further understanding lyrical analysis in pediatric oncology. To date, Jaime and Tracie have presented on this topic at seven conferences and published a clinical article in the only sickle cell journal in the world, Journal of Sickle Cell Disease and Hemoglobinopathies. In addition, Jaime serves as a music therapist for The Angel Band Project, providing support to individuals who have survived sexual abuse and intimate partner violence. She has also presented on this topic globally and nationally via conferences.
While Jaime manages and oversees the student clinical programs through Music Therapy St. Louis, she served as adjunct faculty at Maryville University Spring 2019 - Fall 2022.
Jaime says, “If you love what you do, it shows and if it feels right, go with it.” She is passionate and driven to work in this field. After the career change and over a decade of perseverance she says it was worth every minute. In April of 2023, Jaime and Tracie launched their sister company,
The Song Society, which is a non-profit offering therapeutic songwriting sessions to children (5+) affected by a life-altering medical condition, cancer/late effects and chronic ill--free of charge.
KAELA FUNKE-STAHLHUT, MT-BC
Children, teens, and adults of varying abilities + memory care
Kaela first began her musical journey in the fourth grade when the high school orchestra teacher came to her elementary school. She fell in love with the violin and played it until she had to have her fingers bandaged! Kaela continued her studies in violin throughout her formative school years and into college participating in school and university symphonies, district and state competitions, and community ensembles. Kaela first heard of music therapy at a workshop for ILMEA solo & ensemble. She went home to research it and was intrigued by the possibilities and opportunities it would present for her. Kaela went on to pursue her bachelor's degree in music therapy from Drury University and graduated May of 2020. Following her internship at Music Therapy St. Pete, LLC in St. Petersburg, FL she accepted a position at an assisted living and memory care facility in Ladue, MO. However, the pandemic created quite an interesting entrance into the workforce.
The first year of being a professional proved difficult due to the pandemic and Kaela took a short hiatus from music therapy at the end of 2020 to teach preschool. However, the hiatus did not last long because she missed her field of work. In April 2021 Kaela and her husband got married and moved down to Florida so she could return to work at her internship site. Kaela worked with Music Therapy St. Pete, LLC continuously during the pandemic doing Telehealth and in-person from 2021 until the Spring of 2022. While Florida was beautiful and she loved what she was doing, she and her husband realized being near friends and family was their ultimate goal and decided to move back to the St. Louis area. Through her experiences at Drury University, her internship, and her previous jobs Kaela has developed a love for working with multiple populations. She likes the variety of working with all different types of people and has learned that she can take lessons from working with one population and use it to aid in another. She does have a soft spot for little ones and those she is able to share her love of violin with. Now that Kaela is back she cannot wait to see what the future holds with MTSTL! The excitement is bubbling!
AURIELLE MACCHI-CARTER, MT-BC
Board Certified Music Therapist
Children and adults of varying abilities, medical, hospice, geriatric + palliative care
Aurielle has been singing and dancing her whole life, performing in choirs and musicals from the age of nine. After many years of being on stage, Aurielle decided to pursue a degree in Speech and Theatre Education with a minor in music at Missouri State University. It was during her first semester that she realized her heart was no longer in education, and she decided to shift her studies to music and psychology. Aurielle was involved in several musical groups at MSU, including the premier all female a cappella group, A Cub Bella, and The Missouri State Chorale, the university’s flagship touring choir. She began to research music therapy and realized it was the perfect way to combine her love for music and interest in psychology.
After graduating from MSU in December of 2017, Aurielle began her music therapy studies at Maryville University and completed her internship at the Saint Louis University Cancer Center. In addition to her work at the cancer center, Aurielle has also worked in early childhood and with adults of all abilities. Since early 2020, Aurielle has had the honor of working with The Angel Band Project as the organization’s music therapy coordinator.
Aurielle is thrilled to be a part of the MTSTL team, and she looks forward to the exciting opportunities that await her!
DESTINY BUSHWAY, MT-BC
Board Certified Music Therapist
Children and adults of varying abilities, mental health, medical, hospice, geriatric + palliative care
Music has been a part of Destiny’s life since she can remember. Her family is very musical and her father taught music when she was a child. This made music a part of everyday life for her. She began singing and taking piano lessons at a very young age and her desire to be involved with music continued to grow. All through her early education she was involved in choirs and bands. It was in her teens that she joined her first contemporary band and fell in love with performing and songwriting. She has continued to write songs and play in bands as well as being involved in the direction of a church band for nearly a decade. Her desire to use music in a career that would serve others continued to nudge her through her twenties, when she learned about music therapy through her grandmothers battle with Alzheimer’s disease. She was intrigued by how music affected her so positively through one of the most difficult times of her family’s lives. This is where she learned that her love for music and for helping others could be combined in the use of music therapy. Since that point she knew that’s where she belonged and has been pursuing that dream ever since. She received her Bachelors in Music Therapy at Maryville University.
MADELEINE ECKERT, MT-BC
Board Certified Music Therapist
Children and adults of varying abilities, hospice, geriatric
+ palliative care
Madeleine has always had a love for music. From dance, piano, and voice lessons to various choirs in elementary school through college, a life without music was never an option for her. Alongside her love for music has always been her love for
serving others. When she discovered music therapy at a summer music camp, Madeleine automatically knew that this would be her lifelong career.
While attending the University of Miami, Madeleine fulfilled her practicum requirements in various medical settings in the Miami area. To contrast and expand her music therapy experience, Madeleine held her internship with a private practice in Louisville, KY. There she worked mainly at an inpatient psychiatric facility but also with adults of varying abilities and children at an inclusive school setting. In August of 2021, Madeleine received a Bachelor of Music in
Music Therapy with a double major in Psychology. She took a short break during which she married and moved to rural Iowa. Soon after moving to Iowa, she began contracting for a private practice called the Joy of Music, LLC where she worked with hospice patients and children with disabilities in the southeastern Iowa region. It was there that she discovered her passion for working with the hospice and geriatric populations. After almost a year of living in Iowa, Madeleine and her husband discovered the value they find in being close to family, so they decided to move to the St. Louis area where her husband’s family resides. Madeleine loves the giving nature of MTSTL and is grateful for the opportunity to provide music therapy for populations who wouldn’t typically be able to receive such services.
SARAH BERNSTEIN, MMT, MT-BC, NMT
Board Certified Music Therapist
Neurologic Music Therapist
Children, expecting families, pediatric medical/hospital + neurology
Sarah has always been passionate about music in all forms and helping others. She created her own undergraduate curriculum combining music, psychology, and pre-med courses at
The University of Illinois-Urbana Champaign, graduating with her Bachelor’s degree in 2014. Sarah continued studying and working with a variety of clinical populations while obtaining a Master of Music Therapy degree from Maryville University. Sarah has been a practicing Board-Certified Music Therapist since 2017.
Sarah has practiced in a variety of settings throughout her graduate studies and career as a Music Therapist, including but not limited to Special School District, Lafayette Industries, Pujols Family Foundation, and St. Louis Children’s Hospital. She enjoys providing opportunities for growth through assessing and implementing treatment plans for children of all ages, backgrounds, and abilities.
Outside of Music Therapy, Sarah loves to spend time with her family and friends as well as sing with the St. Louis Women’s Chorale. She adores her husband, dog, and two bunny rabbits very much and could eat sushi every single day.
Sarah is thrilled to be part of such a wonderful team at Music Therapy St. Louis!