AZMTA promotes the professional interests and needs of Music Therapists, instilling ethical standards and professional growth of it's members, advocating for persons that would benefit from Music Therapy Services, and supporting the aims and objectives of the American Music Therapy Association (AMTA).

Executive Board
Upcoming Events
What is a Qualified Music Therapist?
AZMTA Member Benefits
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AZMTA Executive Board

Cynthia Engelsman, MM, MT-BC

Board Certified Music Therapist, Certified Gerontologist

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.

Christine Heaps, MT-BC

Board Certified Music Therapist, Certified Activity Director, Certified Dementia Practitioner

Christine Heaps is a board-certified music therapist, certified activity director, and certified dementia practitioner. A native of Oklahoma, she graduated from Southwestern Oklahoma State University in 2005 and completed her music therapy internship at Arbor View Senior Living (formerly Colorado Lutheran Home) in Arvada, Colorado in 2006.

Except for one year in Texas, Christine has been in the Phoenix area since completing her internship. She has worked with pediatric, young adult and senior adult populations as well as owned her own business teaching piano lessons and facilitating early childhood music groups. Currently, Christine is the Active Living Director at Copper Creek Inn Memory Care Community in Chandler.

Christine enjoys spending time with her husband, Josh, and son, Weston. She especially loves attending Music Together classes with them. She also enjoys being a part of her church (Church on Mill in Tempe) where she volunteers in the Children's Ministry.

Christine is very excited to be a part of the AZMTA board and has been serving as Vice President since January 2020.

Vice President


Rachel Keener, MT-BC

Board Certified Music Therapist, Neonatal Intensive Care Music Therapist

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.

Mary Gaughan, MT-BC

Board Certified Music Therapist

Mary Gaughan is a board certified music therapist living in Flagstaff, AZ. She received her bachelor's degree in music therapy from Arizona State University in May 2015. Upon graduating, Mary completed her 6 month internship with Seasons Hospice in Orange County, California and became a board-certified music therapist in January 2016. Mary has been working in the hospice setting for the past 5 years in addition to having clinical experience working with children and young adults with disabilities and providing bereavement services to clients and families. Having recently relocated to Flagstaff, Mary is excited to be starting a private practice in Northern Arizona to offer music therapy services to clients of all ages and abilities.

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 clients you can find her adventuring with her dog Nalah, scaling the sides of cliffs rock climbing, mountain biking, 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.

Media Relations


Upcoming Events

AZMTA hosts an annual symposium with CMTE classes, as well as other opportunities to network with professionals in the music therapy profession. Students and patients are also invited to join us at these events. See our Events Page for information on upcoming events.

Visit our events page

What is
music therapy?

Music therapy is the clinical and evidence-based use of music interventions to accomplish individualized goals within a therapeutic relationship by a credentialed professional. Research in music therapy supports its effectiveness in a wide variety of healthcare and educational settings.

Music therapy interventions can be designed to:

  • - Promote Wellness
  • - Manage Stress
  • - Alleviate Pain
  • - Express Feelings
  • - Enhance Memory
  • - Improve Communication
  • - Promote Physical Rehabilitation
Music Therapy FAQ's

What is a qualified
music therapist?

National board certification requires that each music therapist has met the eligibility requirements to sit for (and pass) the Certified Board for Music Therapists (CBMT) exam.

Requirements include:

  • - A bachelor's degree or higher in music therapy from an AMTA approved college and university programs.
  • - In-depth knowledge in three main areas: musical foundations, clinical foundations, and music therapy foundations & principles as specified in the AMTA Professional Competencies.
  • - A minimum of 1200 hours of clinical training, including a supervised internship, prior to earning certification.
Learn more at CBMT.org


AZMTA is a fantastic way to connect music therapists and students together! We offer networking opportunites, educational resources, symposiums, and a directory to make it easier for clients to find and connect with qualified therapists.

Membership Benefits

See our directory for a qualified Music Therapist in Arizona

All AZMTA therapists are board certified music therapists who have sucessfully completed the required training curriculum and have passed an independant examination by the Certification Board for Music Therapists.

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