Our Music Therapy Song Team
Our Music Therapy Song TeamTuned in to Learning® was founded in 2004 by Autism Specialist and Music Therapist, Michelle Lazar, MA, MT-BC with the help of Dr. Jeremy Jensen, Psy.D, MT-BC, Psychologist/Music Therapist, and the talented team of Board Certified Music Therapists from Coast Music Therapy. This San Diego-based music therapy song team specialize in not only curriculum development but in training special education staff and providing classroom consultation to assist teachers in better utilizing music with their students. In working with a wide range of classrooms since 1999, it became clear that typical children’s music was not often appropriate for the learning styles of children with special needs. Concepts in these songs were too abstract, lyrics were fast-paced and complex, and children only had a few seconds to respond to instructions presented in the song. In order to help fill this need, the Coast Music Therapy staff began to develop educational songs that addressed common IEP goals with simplified language and extended response time. Each song was field-tested directly in the educational setting to gain further feedback from teachers, therapists, and parents who used the program regularly with their students. Visual supports were also designed to match the same types of cues students had access to in the school setting such as flashcards, simplified worksheets, large print text, and real life photographs. Out of these beginnings, Tuned in to Learning® blossomed into a comprehensive curriculum that is utilized today in school districts, therapy clinics, and home programs internationally.
Specialists in Music Therapy and AutismUnder the direction of Michelle Lazar, MA, MT-BC, Autism Specialist, our team of Board Certified Neurologic Music Therapists specialize in serving students with autism and other special needs. In addition to publishing songs for special education, our staff also provide music therapy services through the IEP to San Diego county school districts through our agency Coast Music Therapy. Our motivated and musical team of professionals write, record, and produce each Tuned in to Learning® original song. We are always coming up with ideas for new songs, often inspired by IEP goals we are working on with our students.
Michelle Lazar, MA, MT–BC
After founding San Diego-based Coast Music Therapy in 1999, Michelle co-founded Tuned in to Learning® in 2004 in order to offer music-assisted learning strategies to parents, teachers, and therapists internationally. In addition to her degree in music therapy, Michelle completed her graduate studies with a specialization in autism and Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) at San Diego State University. Michelle has served on numerous special needs non-profit boards and was awarded the Volunteer of the Year award by the Combined Health Agencies and San Diego Autism Society for her efforts. She currently is on the advisory committee for The SongStream Project.
Michelle Lazar’s Listmania page of Song Story Books»»
Autism Specialist, Music Therapist, Founder and Director
Visit the Coast Music Therapy Website»»
Jeremy Jensen, PsyD, MM, MT–BC
Already a Board Certified Music Therapist, recording artist, and sound engineer, Dr. Jensen has also completed his doctorate degree in clinical psychology. He holds a master’s degree in music therapy from Colorado State University and has clinical training in Neurologic Music Therapy and Applied Behavior Analysis. Jeremy co-directed Coast Music Therapy from 2001 to 2009 and co-founded Tuned in to Learning®. He continues to serve both organizations by writing, recording, and providing consultation on therapeutic/educational songs. Jeremy resides in San Francisco and is the co-founder of Critical Beats whose mission is to raise money for non-profits working in Amazon conservation and sustainable education by intertwining music from current and indigenous artists.
Visit the Critical Beats Website»»
Psychologist, Music Therapist, Head of Music Production and Co-Founder
Talia Morales, MT–BC
Talia is a Board Certified Music Therapist and supervisor to the Coast Music Therapy staff in addition to lending her songwriting and vocal talents to Tuned in to Learning®. Currently, she’s completing a master’s degree in expressive arts therapy—the integration of visual arts, movement, drama, and music to promote self-expression and non-verbal communication. She also provides family workshops in Spanish. After hours, Talia is a registered yoga instructor and co-founder of The SongStream Project, a mobile recording project that gathers the songs behind a story and the stories behind a song. Talia has additional certification in Neurologic Music Therapy through Colorado State University.
Visit the SongStream Project Website»»
Neurologic Music Therapist, Supervisor and Program Coordinator
Shaina Pugh, MT–BC
A Board Certified Music Therapist with a baccalaureate degree in music therapy from Berklee College of Music in Massachusetts, Shaina is the Coast Music Therapy lead therapist and accomplished singer/songwriter for Tuned in to Learning®. She serves youth with autism and related needs through individual and group therapy, adapted music lessons, and consultation. After hours, Shaina performs with the Mar Dels, a San Diego seven-piece nostalgia band whose repertoire covers popular music from the 1940s through the 1990s. Shaina also has additional certification in Neurologic Music Therapy through Colorado State University.
Visit the Mar Dels’ Website»»
Neurologic Music Therapist and Lead Therapist for Coast Music Therapy School Programs
Veronica May, MT–BC
Veronica is a talented music therapist who breathes creativity and innovation into adapted music instruction and music recording for learners with special needs. You’ll hear Veronica’s exceptional songwriting and vocal talents on many of the Tuned in to Learning® songs. Veronica is also the guitar and drum instructor at San Pasqual Academy and brilliant singer-songwriter for the San Diego duo The Lovebirds. Veronica has additional certification in Neurologic Music Therapy through Colorado State University.
Listen to Veronica May Perform “The Train”»»
Neurologic Music Therapist
Visit The Lovebirds Website»»
Watch the “Cellar Door” Music Video by The Lovebirds»»
Laura Rose Anderson, MT–BC
Originally from Chicago, Illinois, Laura received her bachelor’s degree in music therapy and vocal performance from the University of Iowa. After completing her six-month clinical internship with MusicWorx Inc., in San Diego, she found her niche working at Coast Music Therapy. She continues to perform professionally throughout San Diego and is training to become a 200-hour certified yoga instructor. Laura has additional certification in Neurologic Music Therapy through Colorado State University.
Listen to Laura Rose Anderson’s Original Song»»
Neurologic Music Therapist
Watch Laura’s HAPI Drum Tutorial»»