AZMTA Officers


2019 AZMTA Executive Board

President – Cynthia Engelsman, MM, MT-BC

Cynthia Engelsman, is a board certified music therapist, neurologic music therapist, and certified Gerontologist.  Ms. Engelsman is also a certified Health Rhythms practitioner.  She has provided music therapy services for individuals and groups in the Phoenix area and in southern Nevada.  Ms. Engelsman has worked with children/adolescents, adults, seniors, and families in a variety of settings including home health, adult day programs, inpatient psychiatric hospitals, outpatient day programs, and clinic settings.

Ms. Engelsman received her bachelor of music in vocal performance from the New England Conservatory of Music,  completed the music therapy equivalency program from Arizona State University (ASU), and went on to complete her Advanced Master of Music Therapy degree from ASU.  During her Master’s program, Ms. Engelsman was a graduate research assistant for the ASU School of Social work Gerontology Department; her clinical project focused on Chinese Americans with Dementia and their Caregivers.

Cynthia has been serving as president of AZMTA since January 2018.


Vice President- Ellie Bautista, MT-BC

Ellie Bautista graduated from Appalachian State University (the “other” ASU) in 2015, where she received her bachelors degree in music therapy. She completed her internship in Kansas City, Missouri and became a board-certified music therapist in 2016. She and her husband moved out to Phoenix two years ago to pursue jobs- both as music therapists! They have fallen in love with the desert and are thrilled to get to explore this beautiful part of the world. Ellie currently works as a hospice music therapist and loves her work. Before moving to Phoenix, Ellie served as the CMTE chair for the Music Therapy Association of North Carolina. She is thankful for the opportunity to serve as Vice President as it gives her the opportunity to engage with incredible music therapists doing wonderful work in Arizona. She is eager to continue to foster the collective growth of our profession through continuing education opportunities here in AZ!





Secretary / Treasurer – Rachel Keener, MT-BC

Rachel is a board certified music therapist and NICU-certified music therapist.  She received her bachelor’s degree in music therapy from Mississippi University for Women in 2014, and completed her internship at Tallahassee Memorial Hospital in Tallahassee, FL. Through this internship, she also became certified as a NICU-MT through the National Institute for Infant and Child Medical Music Therapy at the Florida State University, which qualifies her to work as a music therapist in neonatal intensive care.

Currently, Rachel serves in the West Valley area of Phoenix, both at Musical Surprise in Surprise, AZ, and independently through her business, Keener Music LLC. She offers private or group music therapy sessions, as well as traditional or adaptive private piano and violin lessons. Her work has encompassed both one-on-one settings and groups, with a variety of clients and needs such as geriatric/dementia, neonatal, intensive care, and end of life; as well as clients with autism, intellectual disabilities, and speech delays.

Rachel has been serving as the secretary-treasurer of AZMTA since January 2018. The last two years have been a time of revitalization and growth for the organization, and Rachel is excited to see the vibrant community of music therapists that has arisen to support AZMTA and the field of music therapy.

Media Relations- Mary Gaughan, MT-BC

Mary Gaughan is a board certified music therapist working for Brookdale Hospice in Phoenix, serving patients in the east valley. She received her bachelors degree in music therapy from Arizona State University in May 2015. She completed her internship with Seasons Hospice in Orange County, California and became a board-certified music therapist in January 2016. Mary has a passion for working with hospice and geriatric populations and has committed much of her professional career and CMTE learning to furthering her skills with this population.

Born and raised in Arizona, Mary has traveled extensively and lived in many places but always finds herself coming back to her sunshiny-desert roots in Arizona. When she isn’t working with her hospice patients you can find her adventuring with her dog Nalah, scaling the sides of cliffs rock climbing, or camping. Mary joined the AZMTA board in May 2019 and is very excited to help keep the AZMTA community connected in her Media Relations position.