MHTP’s Board of Directors is responsible for all governance of MHTP, including both short- and long-term guidance of the organization.  MHTP is the only therapeutic music training program governed by a Board of Directors.  This is a working Board comprised of volunteers who put in many hours in service to MHTP.  Most Directors have at least one major MHTP project for which they are responsible and serve on one or more active committees.  Directors have a wide diversity of education, experience, and interests that collectively and synergistically combine to create a powerful and highly-skilled group of individuals who deeply love MHTP and are dedicated to its highest good.

Karen Peterson, CMP, BA – MHTP President, has been employed part-time since 2012 at St. Barnabas Medical Center in Livingston, New Jersey, outside New York City. She plays live therapeutic music at the bedside for patients in all areas of the hospital, including ICU, CTICU, BICU, CCU, cardiac telemetry, cardiac step-down, oncology, pulmonary, renal/transplant, surgical, orthopedic, emergency, and hospice. She also plays for staff at the nurses stations and medical records. Karen has a BA in Scientific and Technical Communication from Bowling Green State University in 1998, where she also studied pedal harp. In addition to serving on MHTP’s Board of Directors, Karen is a member of the Research Committee and this site’s webmaster. She has over twenty years of experience in technical writing, user interface design, and software development project management, working with American Express, Nikon, IBM, Starwood Hotels, Yahoo!, TIAA-CREF, and others. She also works as a harp coach and workshop presenter. Karen is probably the only double-strung harper who is also a bodybuilding figure competitor. She graduated from MHTP in January 2012.

Angela Brown, CMP, BS – MHTP Vice President, MHTP Treasurer, having grown up in the deserts of the Southwest, now makes her home in the White Mountains of northern New Hampshire. A CMP since 2014, Angela brings 40+ years of piano/keyboard experience and 15+ years of non-profit experience to her role on the Board of Directors for MHTP. Even though her degree is in Family Science (BYU ‘90), her job experiences have been in the world of healthcare, and she currently works from home for Hamilton Dermatology in Alpharetta, GA, as a pre-cert specialist. Now that her two children are grown and in college, Angela finds time to share live therapeutic music weekly at a local nursing home and hospital, provide accompanist services for local schools and churches, and serve on the school board and other local non-profit boards.  As a governor-appointed councilor on the New Hampshire State Council for the Arts, she spends many hours attending and supporting local arts events. On summer evenings you can find her kayaking, relaxing on the deck, or enjoying the sunset. In winter, she is out snowshoeing or cross-country skiing. She admits to having an obsession with sheet music.

Karen Stowe, CMP, RN, VAHT-P – MHTP Secretary, began her studies in harp at the age of 24, after receiving her licensure as an RN. She became a Certified Music Practitioner in 2005. She has been employed by Bon Secours DePaul Medical Center for 12 years, providing hundreds of hours of live therapeutic music at the bedside and in the medical departments at DePaul as well in various memory-care and assisted living facilities throughout the Coastal Virginia area. She is also employed at Lake Taylor Transitional Care hospital providing live therapeutic music in the pediatrics unit for severely disabled patients.  She partners with Tidewater Arts Outreach, whose mission is to share the joy and healing power of quality arts experiences with people who have limited access to the arts due to health, economic, or social circumstances. In addition, she regularly plays for weddings, parties, church services, and community events. She became certified as a Vibroacoustic Harp Practitioner in 2014, and has provided over 300 therapeutic sessions.

Debby Hix, CMP, PhD, is a CMP since 2000, and has since then been employed continually by hospitals and hospices in Blacksburg, Virginia, to provide live therapeutic music on the harp for a variety of patients.  She plays often for healing and memorial services, as well as festive occasions, and gives presentations on MHTP and her experiences with healing harp music.  Debby was MHTP’s Curriculum Reviewer for 10 years, during which time the curriculum was completely updated and standardized across all modules.  Debby is retired as a Senior Research Scientist from the Computer Science faculty at Virginia Tech in Blacksburg and, when she is not traveling the world, continues to study the growing scientific body of literature on the effects of therapeutic music.

Dawn D. Collins, CMP, MA, was certified by MHTP in May 1997. She is a vocalist and acoustic guitarist, and additionally plays Native American style flute, mountain dulcimer, harp, ukulele, and a variety of percussion instruments. Dawn has been an advisor for MHTP since the inception of the mentor/advisor program and has volunteered in difference capacities for past MHTP conferences. Dawn’s education background includes a BS in Business Administration, Masters in Expressive Arts Therapy, a Masters in Worship Studies/Ethnomusicology, certification as an interfaith chaplain, among other certifications in healing arts-based programs. At present, Dawn is an independent contractor serving as a CMP at Whittier Nursing Home, Ghent, New York, as well as serving the Columbia County ARC as a therapeutic musician and expressive arts program provider for private special needs clients.

Martha Lewis, CMP, MA, MTS, left the corporate world after many years to pursue her passion for the healing arts.  After completing an MA in Expressive Arts Therapy & Counseling and an MTS 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 active as an MHTP Board Director until 2002.  She was an instructor for MHTP from 1995-2017.  Now semi-retired, she is once again serving on MHTP’s Board of Directors. Over the years, Martha has taught and facilitated expressive therapy workshops throughout the country and served in various ministries for Episcopal churches in the Episcopal Diocese of Texas.

Chuck Beckman, CMP, has been providing live therapeutic music for hospital and hospice patients in metro Atlanta since 2010. Chuck is the Therapeutic Music Program Coordinator at Northeast Georgia Medical Center in Gainesville, Georgia, where he oversees the development and operation of a therapeutic music program that provides live therapeutic music to patients five days per week.  He also provides live therapeutic music for end of life patients with Agape Hospice Care. Since its founding in 2012, Chuck has been the Executive Director at Strings of Mercy, Inc., a 501(c)(3) organization that works to raise awareness of live therapeutic music and helps develop sustainable therapeutic music programs for healthcare facilities around Atlanta.  Strings of Mercy currently provides live therapeutic music services at Gwinnett Medical Center in Lawrenceville and Duluth, The Joan Glancy Rehabilitation Center, The Gwinnett Extended Care Center, and St. Mary’s Medical Center in Athens, Georgia. Chuck also developed therapeutic music programs at Agape and Capstone Hospice. Chuck lives in Cumming, Georgia, with his wife Cheri and two adult sons living nearby.  When not playing or promoting the use of live therapeutic music, Chuck enjoys cycling and tournament bass fishing. 

Former directors and executive directors:

  • Rachel Allen

  • Angi Bemiss

  • Stella Benson

  • Kathleen Bingaman

  • Randolph Case

  • Faye Clerget

  • Allen Dec

  • Margo Drohan

  • Melinda Gardiner

  • Sue Hoadley

  • Glenn Huels

  • Peggy Jaegly

  • Susan Krysiak

  • Barbara W. Lepke-Sims

  • Martha Lewis

  • Carol Joy Loeb

  • Nick Magerl

  • Mona Peck

  • Ruthann Ritchie

  • Linda Sherman

  • Cynthia Snodgrass

  • Donna Snead

  • Kris Snyder

  • Carol J. Spears

  • Cheryl Zabel