Our Lineage

Using music to help and to heal has been woven into many cultures throughout human history.

The roots of western therapeutic bedside music can be traced back to Pythagoras of Greece; King David’s soothing of King Saul; the Druids and Bards of Britain and Ireland; the monastic communities of the Middle Ages, and visionary musicians like St. Hildegard of Bingen, who embodied and passed on the knowledge of the power of therapeutic music.

In our time, bedside therapeutic music was pioneered by Therese Schroeder-Sheker and the Chalice of Repose Project through the new medical modality of Music Thanatology, beginning in 1973. Using harp and voice, Therese planted the first seeds for the development of bedside therapeutic music. MHTP is grateful to Therese for her vision, dedication and perseverance.

The Founders of MHTP

Laurie Riley
Laurie is a lifelong multi-instrumentalist and professional musician, has training as a nurse's aide and extensive experience in medical settings. She began her work in therapeutic bedside music in 1991. In March of 1994 Laurie co-founded the Music for Healing and Transition Program, Inc. with Martha Lewis. Laurie’s vision for bedside music was not limited to the harp and she imagined therapeutic musicians in many different kinds of medical settings. She continues to support the work and training of therapeutic musicians, and performs, records, and also writes instructional materials. Laurie is a popular teacher and keynote speaker for conferences and events.

Martha Lewis
After years in the corporate world, Martha left to pursue her passion for the healing arts. After completing a M.A. in Expressive Arts Therapy & Counseling and a M.T.S. in Spirituality and the Arts, she co-founded the Music for Healing and Transition Program, Inc. with Laurie Riley in 1994. Martha was the first president and executive director of MHTP and remained on the Board of Directors until 2002. Besides currently teaching for MHTP, she teaches and facilitates expressive therapy workshops at the Shalom Center, Splendora, TX, and coordinates special needs ministries for Episcopal churches in the Texas Diocese.

MHTP Original Founding Board who incorporated MHTP in 1994

Laurie RileyMary Radspinner
Martha LewisMaryann Schulz

These people have served MHTP in subsequent Boards and or as Executive Director

Randolph CaseMargo Drohan
Ruthann RitchieStella Benson
Allen DecPeggy Jaegly
Kathleen BingamanFaye Clerget
Angi BemissSue Hoadley
Ande FlavelleGlenn Huels
Cynthia SnodgrassDonna Snead
Mona Peck 

MHTP’s Financial Manager 1998 to the present

Mary Artese