Five reasons you should attend the 2023 Boundless Retreat

Registration is now open for the 2023 Boundless Retreat, which will take place in a few short months on the warm beaches of South Carolina from November 12-16.

Meredith here! I can think of so many reasons why retreats are so important for entrepreneurs and business owners like you. Below, I share my top five reasons why YOU should attend the Boundless Retreat.

  1. Develop valuable connections with like-minded, creative, human-centered entrepreneurs that will help support you in your journey.
  2. Boundless is an experience that cannot be imitated! From the activities we have planned to the magic that will happen in this particular group, this is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity!
  3. Experience the value of being a part of a working mastermind – a group with shared intentions and a commitment to moving forward! You won’t believe what will come forward when the creative forces of this group start flowing!
  4. You deserve this! I’ll say it again — YOU DESERVE THIS! Between the gorgeous retreat accommodations, the spectacular scenery, the fabulous meals and time and space to invest in you; this place will fill you so that you can keep giving to others!
  5. Share some creativity with yourself! The focus on taking care of yourself and deepening your knowledge and skills as a business owner throughout this weekend will help you keep the passion flowing for your work and your career!

Give yourself the gift of time and space at the Boundless Retreat. Turn your attention to thinking and dreaming. I cannot wait to see what you’ll do and what you’ll take away!

~ Meredith

Colorful ocean beach sunrise with deep blue sky and sun rays.

Registration open for the 2023 Boundless Retreat!


Do you find yourself constantly working in your business?

 Do you feel continuously pulled in a million different directions as a business owner?

Do you rarely get to step out of your email inbox or your routine to strategize for your future?

What if you had dedicated time and space to focus solely ON your business, your dreams, and your future?

Introducing the 2023 Boundless Retreat, an invigorating and challenging retreat focused on giving you the time and space you need to let your dreams and your ideas percolate.

During this four-day retreat, you will have the margin to imagine the possibilities for your business. You will receive the opportunity to learn from and make meaningful connections with other like-minded business owners. You will set your intentions, expand your mindset, and truly be boundless.

In addition to a transformative retreat experience, you will escape to sunny Myrtle Beach, South Carolina where you will settle into a beautiful and luxurious home overlooking the Atlantic Ocean, while enjoying catered meals and the company of other business owners.


Join the Together With The Beat: Expanding Your Early Childhood Music Toolbox online event!

Green, maroon, white, and gold rectangle with a headshot of Elizabeth Schwartz along with the words "Together With The Beat: Expanding Your Early Childhood Music Toolbox" and Online via Zoom, August 30, 2023 from 8-9 Eastern.

Together With The Beat

Expanding Your Early Childhood Music Toolbox


Wednesday, August 30, 2023 from 8-9pm Eastern


Join Elizabeth Schwartz, MA, LCAT, MT-BC for the online event Together With The Beat: Expanding Your Early Childhood Music Toolbox. The event will take place via Zoom on Wednesday, August 30, 2023 from 8-9pm ET.

Click here to learn more and RSVP!


RMTS Team Busy with Conferences and Presenting in the Spring of 2023!

The Roman Music Therapy Services Team had a very busy conference season this spring!

Our team attended conferences in Massachusetts, Indiana, Connecticut, and Vermont. There were presentations and exhibit booths and keynotes, and a ton of MUSIC shared with hundreds of conference attendees.

We are so grateful for these opportunities to speak about music therapy and how it transforms so many lives.

The RMTS Leadership Team Meets the new MA Governor!

The Roman Music Therapy Services Leadership Team attended Associated Industries of Massachusetts’ 2023 Executive Forum, featuring the new Massachusetts’ Governor, Maura Healey. We’re so grateful to have the opportunity to network and gain more insight into the growth of Massachusetts businesses!


With most events cancelled, and the ability to “go-out” to a concert, restaurant or movie suspended, it’s easy for our Friday nights to feel just like any other night of the week. After a week of working from home, homeschooling and being cooped up in your own space, it would be great to have something to look forward to at the end of the week. At Roman Music Therapy Services, we feel it too! That’s why we thought a Friday night karaoke would be the perfect way to let loose, socialize and celebrate making it through another week!

We have been hard at work in the past few weeks planning a way to open our “doors” virtually and create a gathering place for all those in our network who are missing community connections.  

Getting Ready 

On Friday, May 29th, join us in a virtual “Care”-aoke night to foster connection, share in virtual music making, and shake up the monotonous routine. In order to make this night extra special, we are inviting participants to gather a few items to help them prepare for the festivities. Our virtual karaoke party will include three themed group songs: 

  • First, we will be rocking out with the Village People to a well known classic, the YMCA. Just as the Village People donned a variety of caps and costumes in their music video, we are encouraging participants to find a silly hat to wear as we wave our arms and dance out the letters Y-M-C-A! 
  • Second, we will get those toes a-tapping with the brightest, goofiest socks you can find! “Kick off your Sunday shoes” and dance around with some silly socks as we get Footloose!
  • Last, we’ll ask participants to find anything colorful to wave in the air. Whether that be a bouquet of flowers, a colorful scarf, some old ribbons, confetti, we’ll have a rainbow of musical movement as we dance to Colors of the Wind. 

The “Care” in Care-aoke

In addition to a rocking good time, we hope to honor the caregivers whose hard work we have witnessed these past several months. The move from in-person to virtual sessions has not always been an easy one. It takes dedication, communication, and patience on the part of families, teachers, staff members, and stake holders in order to keep the music going. Beyond our sessions, caregivers across the globe are taking on roles they’ve never had before, sometimes working longer hours, sometimes learning new skills, sometimes continuing to work while staying at home and parenting 24/7. We see these efforts and it is only through this selflessness and care that many of our clients are able to create a semblance of normalcy.  Care-aoke participants will be invited to make small contributions to a group song over the course of the evening, culminating in a live performance at the very end to thank the many caregivers for their hard work.  

If you or anyone you know could use a night of music, appreciation and fun, please register to join us by filling out the form below, and follow our social media pages (Instagramfacebook) for promotions and updates about this and other events! 

Friday, May 29, 2020

6:30PM ET

via Zoom – Register below for link



Register Here for Virtual Karaoke

Open Mic Karaoke

Open Mic Karaoke: October 18th , 7PM @ Onset School of Music

Take center stage or be part of the audience singing a variety of songs, performing and dancing to the beat. Our karaoke nights foster creative self-expression where everyone can enjoy rewarding group experiences with meaningful music-making. Whether you love to sing to Taylor Swift or you enjoy listening to friends croon to James Taylor, this inclusive community event is fun for the whole family!

If you haven’t participated in one of our Open Mic Karaoke night’s you have been missing out on a unique experience.  Part of our Project Harmony menu of programs, Open Mic Karaoke is one of our most popular community music-making events. There is still time to register for the last one scheduled this year! RSVP’s are needed by calling Jen at the office, 781-224-3300. $5 suggested at the door. Staff accompanying residents enjoy complimentary admission.

Project Harmony Strikes a Chord

Project Harmony Logo text with three circles with music symbols in shades of green and blueFinding Inspiration in the People We Serve

The vision at Roman Music Therapy Services has always been to create connects and build communities for people of all ages and abilities. We believe that making music is something everyone can do, celebrating potential instead of focusing on limitations, highlighting similarities and not differences.

In an ongoing effort to create programming that is meaningful and brings different communities together, we launched Project Harmony in the fall of 2017. Most of the offerings under Project Harmony’s umbrella were created with adults with disabilities in mind, to help transition folks from sheltered or protected experiences to more integrated interactions within the community.

Project Harmony offers ongoing series and individual events that provide:

  • Meaningful social experiences
  • Opportunities to develop authentic friendships
  • Creative self-expression
  • Interactive learning and growth
  • Sense of belonging with others
  • Enhanced physical health and well-being

Making Music, Transforming Lives

Our goal with Project Harmony is to create spaces in which all people can gather together, meet new friends and experience joy in music making. So far, we have held several Open Mic/Karaoke nights, as well as a weekly chorus. The karaoke nights are full of fun, energetic music makers and audience members, cheering each other on and crooning to a favorite song. We have had parents and families, friends looking for something to do on a night out, adults with disabilities and young children participate.

Finding wholesome, enjoyable events within the community can be a challenge for many people, so the reception of our Friday night Karaoke evenings has been very positive! Our weekly chorus, which meets Monday afternoons, has been an outlet for adults with disabilities in day programs, but anyone is welcome to join. Learning new songs and singing them in the group has been a rewarding and empowering experience! At the culmination of each 10 week series, the chorus members perform a showcase in front of their peers, demonstrating their hard work and dedication!

We have high expectations for Project Harmony, the scope of its offerings as well as the longevity of its impact. In the future, we also hope to roll out drum circles, a digital music series and many other meaningful programs that utilize music to empower all people within the community.

Keep an eye on our website and Facebook page for future events and program announcements!


The Gift of Music

The hustle and bustle of the season can leave you feeling drained and stretched thin

As we find ourselves quickly approaching the holidays, take a moment to enjoy some down time with your family and loved ones. Life moves so fast … slow it down and take a respite with a favorite CD or playlist to enjoy each precious moment. Also take some time to record your family singing songs or telling stories. With cell phones and tablets, technology has made recording very simple. I’ve started this with my little ones and it is beyond precious to hear them singing their favorite carols. I can just imagine how dear those recordings will be as they grow. Treasure every moment!

During the holidays, remember to make some time for yourself and your loved ones. Step back from the frantic pace and do something that truly puts the spirit into your holiday season. And don’t forget the music!

Still looking for the perfect gift?

gift ukuleleIf you are looking for last minute gifts, we have lots of great instruments for the musicians in your family. For the kids, a floor tom or maracas are always a great “go-to!” And for that favorite uncle or big-kid at heart Grandpa, a ukulele will be a huge hit (if they can pry it away from the little guys)!

We also have CDs that make great gifts.

Our suggestions for the perfect musical gift:

  • Baby’s first Christmas: Baby drum, egg shakers, and ocean drum
  • Perfect for preschoolers: Shark ukuleles, floor tom, bongos, Putamayo CD’s and castanets
  • Great for young families: A Sprouting Melodies gift card!

gift drumStop by the office to purchase, call or send us an email. While there aren’t scheduled classes next week, we will be in the office Monday through Friday.

Have a little one in your life who you think would love Sprouting Melodies? We have gift certificates available.

Make your own music!

Our Intergenerational Holiday Sing will be happening on Monday, December 19th at 6PM. This will be a special event in conjunction with Onset School of Music and will be taking place at their facility. Come and de-stress with some music making in the holiday tradition!

Have a wonderful holiday and Happy New Year!

Intergenerational Holiday Sing

Intergenerational Fun!

Join us on December 19th at 6PM as we partner with Onset School of Music for a musical event for the whole family! The holiday sing is a great way for young and old to put their voices together and celebrate the season. Registration is required.

Share the joy and build community!

Sing and make music in the holiday spirit!

The event will take place at Onset School of Music, 4 Audubon Road, Wakefield, MA.


Community, Camaraderie, Confidence and Competence

music notes - programs for music therapistsAre you a music therapy business owner looking to grow your music therapy business, or a music therapist who works independently? It’s common to feel isolated or unsure. We are excited to share two great learning opportunities for music therapists and music therapy business owners.

Business coaching and clinical supervision programs for music therapists

MTBO Mastermind, conducted by Meredith Pizzi, MPA, MT-BC and founder of Roman Music Therapy Services, is for music therapy business owners. This program will help you overcome growing pains and provide strategies to elevate to a more strategic level. Coaching is a wonderful way to actively build your business with the support of other like-minded music therapy business owners who have had similar experiences.

Through coaching, you can set the vision for your organization while also deciding the next direction you wish your business to grow in or develop. Coaching is goal driven, and your coach will help motivate you and hold you accountable to attain the goals you set. Be inspired, motivated and energized by transforming yourself from a business owner to a business leader!

Meeting of the Musical Minds Supervision will be conducted by Annette Whitehead-Pleaux, MA, MT-BC, who has joined Roman Music Therapy Services as our clinical supervisor. This individual and group supervision will help to reduce isolation, increase self-confidence and gain ideas and inspiration. As music therapists, we invest so much time and energy into our sessions with our clients, while neglecting to invest in ourselves with the same dedication.

Supervision is a key component to being a music therapist. Engaging in regular supervision has helped me personally as I worked in a pediatric burn unit, mental health hospitals and in school settings. I could not have done that work, or come up with the solutions to tricky situations, without that supervision. -Annette Whitehead-Pleaux

Annette will be facilitating two music therapy clinical supervision groups starting at the end of January/beginning of February, a standard group and one for LGBTQAI+ MTs. There is still time to check out MT clinical supervision through a free consultation and to sign up for one of the groups. Invest in yourself this new year!

Are you ready to take the next step?

If you are interested in learning more about our coaching or supervision services, you can get more info by watching the webinar that Meredith and Annette conducted last month, which dives deeper into what is offered through both programs.

Once you’ve determined that coaching or supervision are right for you, you can request an appointment time with either Meredith or Annette.

Please feel free to call our office, 781-224-3300, for more information.


Drumming With Heart: Celebrating our 10th anniversary!

As many of you know, we celebrated our 10th anniversary last Saturday at Melrose Memorial Hall. It truly was an event to honor not only the work we do in providing individual and group music therapy services, but also to express appreciation for the community connections we have made and partners we have gained along the way. Continuing our mission of uniting the generations, bringing music to everyone, and transforming lives through music making, the celebration offered an opportunity to bring our entire music-making community together in a party atmosphere.

Meredith Meredith singing with guitaropened the event with a few words of acknowledgement and thanks to clients, supporters, community partners and employees who have been part of the 10 year journey. She also sampled for the crowd one of the opening songs often used by the music therapists, Today Is A Beautiful Day, kicking off the event and setting an upbeat and inclusive tone for the day’s events. Later in the afternoon Meredith shared the news Roman Music Therapy Services’ growth and success have created the need to expand into a bigger space, and that our new home is right down the road in Wakefield, MA (Stay tuned or follow us on Facebook for up-to-the minute details).

Continue reading “Drumming With Heart: Celebrating our 10th anniversary!”

My Own Voice Choir Group At Our 10/1/16 Anniversary Celebration

Our 10th Anniversary Celebration is only a few days away!

Our lunch menu is ordered, our drums and maracas are packed up and our voices are ready!

Be sure you’ve registered to reserve your spot.   

We are so pleased to announce some special guests who will be joining us on Saturday to perform for you!

My Own Voice

Part of the Treble Chorus New England, My Own Voice was launched in 2011 as a pilot program. Its intent was to provide choral opportunities to children and young adults with special needs. My Own Voice participants receive mentoring during their rehearsals from performers of other area choirs.

The program, targeted for individuals with physical, cognitive and developmental disabilities or impairments, started with four members and has grown to over 50 members! Performers from the choir are from Methuen, Haverhill, North Andover, Andover, North Reading, Reading, Stoneham, Peabody and Middleton.

Photo credit: Tim Jean, The Andover Townsman Staff From left Angelina, 16, William and twin sister Francesca, 14

Their unique model has proven overwhelmingly successful. My Own Voice is unique; there are no other after-school music programs for children with special needs like this one! The group founder, Bernadette Lionetta, envisions sustained growth over the coming months and years. Please contact Bernadette if you know anyone who enjoys singing choral music and might be interested in joining the group.

Make sure to register for the event so that you too can enjoy My Own Voice’s performance! We look forward to seeing you on October 1st. And to making music with you into the future!

If you have any questions about the event or ambassadorship, please contact the office at 781-665-0700.

Continue reading “My Own Voice Choir Group At Our 10/1/16 Anniversary Celebration”

A Musical Milestone!

A Musical Milestone: Celebrating 10 years of Music Making

10 years of making music

This summer marks the 10th year that Roman Music Therapy Services has been making music in the community — a milestone we are excited to share with all of you!

Our Founder and Executive Director, Meredith Pizzi, MPA, MT-BC,  launched RMTS 10 years ago from her home office in Malden. Since those beginnings, we have experienced  tremendous growth! While based in Melrose, our therapists also see clients across New England.

Our team works with a variety of populations, spanning the spectrum from beginning to end of life care, and we also hold our very popular Sprouting Melodies classes in our Melrose office.

We couldn’t have gotten here without YOU!

To celebrate our musical milestone and to show appreciation to the clients, stakeholders, supporters and contributors to Roman Music Therapy Services, we will be hosting a 10 year anniversary celebration at Memorial Hall in Melrose on Saturday, October 1, 2016.

The event will take place from 11:30 am to 2:00 pm. The agenda will include recognition of community partners, success highlights,  music (of course!), lunch and a drum circle.

Join us – register now!  Continue reading “A Musical Milestone!”

Holiday Music Making

Tis the season to be musical!

At this year’s Home for the Holidays the music therapists from Roman Music Therapy Services joined the Melrose community in leading music before lighting the tree. This year BOARD CERTIFIED MUSIC THERAPIST Laura Micheli asked her Sprouting Melodies 4 class what songs they would like to singholidays start with music at the Tree Lighting.

Sprouting Melodies is Roman Music Therapy’s early childhood music program for children ages 0-6 years. Sprouting Melodies 4 is designed for children between the ages of two and a half to four years. All the children from class were able to attend the Tree Lighting and joined the music therapists on microphones to sing “Frosty the Snowman”. The children especially loved singing the “Thumpity Thump Thump” lyrics faster and faster as practiced in class.

All the families of Melrose sang together until the tree was lit like magic! Then the music continued as families made their way down Main Street to greet Santa! It was a Magical Musical Night to remember!

Make sure to have music be a part of your holiday tradition to create special memories to pass on between the generations!

Sprouting Melodies Family Spotlight

Balancing Family with Work is a family timeChallenge for Many Families

Sprouting Melodies is thrilled to feature one of our very own moms Christy Dole who has been growing an at-home business while raising her beautiful daughter. Read her story…

“I have been enjoying the time I get to spend with Sienna at Sprouting Melodies. I’m so thankful to have started my own business with Rodan +Fields, the doctors that created Proactiv and now the fastest growing premium skincare brand. Before I started my business, extra classes like Sprouting Melodies weren’t an option.

I am a former recruiter of 10 years. I loved working with professionals helping them find their perfect and sometimes dream job! While I loved aspects of that career, the 9-5 lifestyle was not for me. I didn’t enjoy 2 weeks vacations a year, working for the weekend or having moody managers. And I always knew when I had children, I wanted to be home. I was introduced to Rodan + Fields through my husband’s colleague and once I learned I could be home with my soon to be daughter and earn an income I dove in!

In 1 year with Rodan+Fields, working part time hours around my daughters schedule I just about matched my 60 hour a week salary. I help people feel confident about their skin with osproutingMelodiesLogo300ur clinically proven products that address sensitive skin, sun damage, melasma, hormonal acne and anti aging or their money back. At the same time I help women and a few good men all over the country to start their very own businesses with the most famous dermatologists in the world to help reach their life goals!

First and foremost, I am home with my daughter, but not only am I able to contribute to my families bottom line, I am able to enjoy being a mother and all the fun activities that can come with it, like attending Sprouting Melodies since Sienna was 6 months old. The bonding and fun we have together is something that can’t be replaced and for that I thank my Rodan + Fields business!”

Christy has offered a free skin care consultation and free samples of top products to the families in our Roman Music Therapy Services community. She is also interested in talking with anyone who might be interested in learning more about the business opportunities of working with Rodan + Fields. She can be contacted directly at or 602-451-5318

Continue reading “Sprouting Melodies Family Spotlight”

Providing the Beat at the Provider’s Council Expo

Cultivating connections

Providers CouncilAs our organization has grown over the last 9 years, we have met wonderful people and had the opportunity to work with fabulous organizations along the way. This past year, through the LEND Fellowship, our professional network continued to grow. Through the process, we were introduced to The Provider’s Council. With member organizations throughout the state, The Provider’s Council is the largest association of community-based human service providers in Massachusetts. Continue reading “Providing the Beat at the Provider’s Council Expo”

Always be on the lookout for a chance to make music!

Have you had a chance to make music lately? Have you sung alone or with others?

With the holiday season fast approaching, music will become more present to us. I admit that when the snow first fell last week, I had the urge to go out and sing carols walking up and down the street, just like I did when I was in high school! Unfortunately, or fortunately, it was 6:55am and we were all eating breakfast together getting ready for the school, so busting out in song on the street wouldn’t really work!

With the hustle and bustle of November and December, remember to take some time to relax, and to be… Sit and listen to your favorite music as you surround yourself with your own winter holiday traditions. Pull out that old, dusty instrument in the basement or attic and show your kids how you “used to” play. Try pulling out that simple voice recorder on your cell phone, or GarageBand on your ipad or iphone and record your family singing your favorite holiday songs. We usually come up with a playlist as a family, and start recording early so that we can burn cd’s as holiday gifts for family members.

We also want to invite you to join us for music making as part of the holiday traditions in Melrose as part of Home for the Holidays.

This year, on Friday, December 6, 2013, we will be singing for the Tree Lighting at City Hall and then following the procession down Main Street, our team will be leading familiar holiday songs inside the lobby of Eastern Bank. On Saturday, Roman Music Therapy Services will be open from 1:00 – 3:00pm. We will have our Second Annual Family Open Mic at 1:00pm, and our Gift Boutique will be open so you can come scoop up some goodies for everyone on your list! This year we are even going to try to feature the Mom’s and Dad’s Choir at our Open Mic!

So come lend your voice to the effort and enjoy making music with your loved ones.

Calling All Music Therapy Business Owners!

The not-to-be-missed MTBO Event of 2013!

Music Therapy Business Owners Mastermind Retreat


  • Are you passionate about music therapy?
  • Do you have a music therapy practice that excites you and inspires you every single day? Does it also sometimes frighten you?
  • Do you want to get a handle on your business so that it creates the perfect work-life “fit” for you?
  • Do you want to choose the direction of your business and see that it goes in the direction you choose, rather than having your dream of self-employment become nothing more than a day (and night!) job?
  • Do you want to use your degree and your training to create work that fits with your life and your personal purpose and mission?

You are in the Right Place!

Learn More and Register Today!

Boston Conservatory Welcome Address, by Dr. Karl Paulnack

This is an excerpt from a welcome address given to parents of incoming students at The Boston Conservatory on September 1, 2004, by Dr. Karl Paulnack, Director of the Music Division.

“One of my parents’ deepest fears, I suspect, is that society would not properly value me as a musician, that I wouldn’t be appreciated. I had very good grades in high school, I was good in science and math, and they imagined that as a doctor or a research chemist or an engineer, I might be more appreciated than I would be as a musician. I still remember my mother’s remark when I announced my decision to apply to music school-she said, “you’re wasting your SAT scores!” On some level, I think, my parents were not sure themselves what the value of music was, what its purpose was. And they loved music: they listened to classical music all the time. They just weren’t really clear about its function. So let me talk about that a little bit, because we live in a society that puts music in the “arts and entertainment” section of the newspaper, and serious music, the kind your kids are about to engage in, has absolutely nothing whatsoever to do with entertainment, in fact it’s the opposite of entertainment. Let me talk a little bit about music, and how it works.

One of the first cultures to articulate how music really works were the ancient Greeks. And this is going to fascinate you: the Greeks said that music and astronomy were two sides of the same coin. Astronomy was seen as the study of relationships between observable, permanent, external objects, and music was seen as the study of relationships between invisible, internal, hidden objects. Music has a way of finding the big, invisible moving pieces inside our hearts and souls and helping us figure out the position of things inside us. Let me give you some examples of how this works.

One of the most profound musical compositions of all time is the Quartet for the End of Time written by French composer Olivier Messiaen in 1940. Messiaen was 31 years old when France entered the war against Nazi Germany. He was captured by the Germans in June of 1940 and imprisoned in a prisoner-of-war camp.

He was fortunate to find a sympathetic prison guard who gave him paper and a place to compose, and fortunate to have musician colleagues in the camp, a cellist, a violinist, and a clarinetist. Messiaen wrote his quartet with these specific players in mind. It was performed in January 1941 for the prisoners and guards of the prison camp. Today it is one of the most famous masterworks in the repertoire.

Given what we have since learned about life in the Nazi camps, why would anyone in his right mind waste time and energy writing or playing music? There was barely enough energy on a good day to find food and water, to avoid a beating, to stay warm, to escape torture-why would anyone bother with music? And yet-even from the concentration camps, we have poetry, we have music, we have visual art; it wasn’t just this one fanatic Messiaen; many, many people created art. Why? Well, in a place where people are only focused on survival, on the bare necessities, the obvious conclusion is that art must be, somehow, essential for life. The camps were without money, without hope, without commerce, without recreation, without basic respect, but they were not without art. Art is part of survival; art is part of the human spirit, an unquenchable expression of who we are. Art is one of the ways in which we say, “I am alive, and my life has meaning.”

In September of 2001 I was a resident of Manhattan. On the morning of September 12, 2001 I reached a new understanding of my art and its relationship to the world. I sat down at the piano that morning at 10 AM to practice as was my daily routine; I did it by force of habit, without thinking about it. I lifted the cover on the keyboard, and opened my music, and put my hands on the keys and took my hands off the keys. And I sat there and thought, does this even matter? Isn’t this completely irrelevant? Playing the piano right now, given what happened in this city yesterday, seems silly, absurd, irreverent, pointless. Why am I here? What place has a musician in this moment in time? Who needs a piano player right now? I was completely lost.

And then I, along with the rest of New York, went through the journey of getting through that week. I did not play the piano that day, and in fact I contemplated briefly whether I would ever want to play the piano again. And then I observed how we got through the day.

At least in my neighborhood, we didn’t shoot hoops or play Scrabble. We didn’t play cards to pass the time, we didn’t watch TV, we didn’t shop, we most certainly did not go to the mall. The first organized activity that I saw in New York, on the very evening of September 11th, was singing. People sang. People sang around fire houses, people sang “We Shall Overcome”. Lots of people sang America the Beautiful. The first organized public event that I remember was the Brahms Requiem, later that week, at Lincoln Center, with the New York Philharmonic. The first organized public expression of grief, our first communal response to that historic event, was a concert. That was the beginning of a sense that life might go on. The US Military secured the airspace, but recovery was led by the arts, and by music in particular, that very night.

From these two experiences, I have come to understand that music is not part of “arts and entertainment” as the newspaper section would have us believe. It’s not a luxury, a lavish thing that we fund from leftovers of our budgets, not a plaything or an amusement or a pass time. Music is a basic need of human survival. Music is one of the ways we make sense of our lives, one of the ways in which we express feelings when we have no words, a way for us to understand things with our hearts when we can’t with our minds.

Some of you may know Samuel Barber’s heart wrenchingly beautiful piece Adagio for Strings. If you don’t know it by that name, then some of you may know it as the background music which accompanied the Oliver Stone movie Platoon, a film about the Vietnam War. If you know that piece of music either way, you know it has the ability to crack your heart open like a walnut; it can make you cry over sadness you didn’t know you had. Music can slip beneath our conscious reality to get at what’s really going on inside us the way a good therapist does.

Very few of you have ever been to a wedding where there was absolutely no music. There might have been only a little music, there might have been some really bad music, but with few exceptions there is some music. And something very predictable happens at weddings-people get all pent up with all kinds of emotions, and then there’s some musical moment where the action of the wedding stops and someone sings or plays the flute or something. And even if the music is lame, even if the quality isn’t good, predictably 30 or 40 percent of the people who are going to cry at a wedding cry a couple of moments after the music starts. Why? The Greeks. Music allows us to move around those big invisible pieces of ourselves and rearrange our insides so that we can express what we feel even when we can’t talk about it. Can you imagine watching Indiana Jones or Superman or Star Wars with the dialogue but no music? What is it about the music swelling up at just the right moment in ET so that all the softies in the audience start crying at exactly the same moment? I guarantee you if you showed the movie with the music stripped out, it wouldn’t happen that way. The Greeks. Music is the understanding of the relationship between invisible internal objects.

I’ll give you one more example, the story of the most important concert of my life. I must tell you I have played a little less than a thousand concerts in my life so far. I have played in places that I thought were important. I like playing in Carnegie Hall; I enjoyed playing in Paris; it made me very happy to please the critics in St. Petersburg. I have played for people I thought were important; music critics of major newspapers, foreign heads of state. The most important concert of my entire life took place in a nursing home in a small Midwestern town a few years ago.

I was playing with a very dear friend of mine who is a violinist. We began, as we often do, with Aaron Copland’s Sonata, which was written during World War II and dedicated to a young friend of Copland’s, a young pilot who was shot down during the war. Now we often talk to our audiences about the pieces we are going to play rather than providing them with written program notes. But in this case, because we began the concert with this piece, we decided to talk about the piece later in the program and to just come out and play the music without explanation.

Midway through the piece, an elderly man seated in a wheelchair near the front of the concert hall began to weep. This man, whom I later met, was clearly a soldier-even in his 70′s, it was clear from his buzz-cut hair, square jaw and general demeanor that he had spent a good deal of his life in the military. I thought it a little bit odd that someone would be moved to tears by that particular movement of that particular piece, but it wasn’t the first time I’ve heard crying in a concert and we went on with the concert and finished the piece.

When we came out to play the next piece on the program, we decided to talk about both the first and second pieces, and we described the circumstances in which the Copland was written and mentioned its dedication to a downed pilot. The man in the front of the audience became so disturbed that he had to leave the auditorium. I honestly figured that we would not see him again, but he did come backstage afterwards, tears and all, to explain himself.

What he told us was this: “During World War II, I was a pilot, and I was in an aerial combat situation where one of my team’s planes was hit. I watched my friend bail out, and watched his parachute open, but the Japanese planes which had engaged us returned and machine gunned across the parachute cords so as to separate the parachute from the pilot, and I watched my friend drop away into the ocean, realizing that he was lost. I have not thought about this for many years, but during that first piece of music you played, this memory returned to me so vividly that it was as though I was reliving it. I didn’t understand why this was happening, why now, but then when you came out to explain that this piece of music was written to commemorate a lost pilot, it was a little more than I could handle. How does the music do that? How did it find those feelings and those memories in me?”

Remember the Greeks: music is the study of invisible relationships between internal objects. The concert in the nursing home was the most important work I have ever done. For me to play for this old soldier and help him connect, somehow, with Aaron Copland, and to connect their memories of their lost friends, to help him remember and mourn his friend, this is my work. This is why music matters.

What follows is part of the talk I will give to this year’s freshman class when I welcome them a few days from now. The responsibility I will charge your sons and daughters with is this:

“If we were a medical school, and you were here as a med student practicing appendectomies, you’d take your work very seriously because you would imagine that some night at two AM someone is going to waltz into your emergency room and you’re going to have to save their life. Well, my friends, someday at 8 PM someone is going to walk into your concert hall and bring you a mind that is confused, a heart that is overwhelmed, a soul that is weary. Whether they go out whole again will depend partly on how well you do your craft.

You’re not here to become an entertainer, and you don’t have to sell yourself. The truth is you don’t have anything to sell; being a musician isn’t about dispensing a product, like selling used cars. I’m not an entertainer; I’m a lot closer to a paramedic, a firefighter, a rescue worker. You’re here to become a sort of therapist for the human soul, a spiritual version of a chiropractor, physical therapist, someone who works with our insides to see if they get things to line up, to see if we can come into harmony with ourselves and be healthy and happy and well.

Frankly, ladies and gentlemen, I expect you not only to master music; I expect you to save the planet. If there is a future wave of wellness on this planet, of harmony, of peace, of an end to war, of mutual understanding, of equality, of fairness, I don’t expect it will come from a government, a military force or a corporation. I no longer even expect it to come from the religions of the world, which together seem to have brought us as much war as they have peace. If there is a future of peace for humankind, if there is to be an understanding of how these invisible, internal things should fit together, I expect it will come from the artists, because that’s what we do. As in the Nazi camps and the evening of 9/11, the artists are the ones who might be able to help us with our internal, invisible lives.”

Rhythms to Live By: A Music Group for Parents

Free Yourself from Stress, Move into Wellness

You’ve always known that making music was good for your children, now come experience it for yourself!

Our new Rhythms to Live By group will free you by incorporating

  • improvisation
  • inspirational mantras
  • healing rhythms
  • affirming quotes
  • drumming, instruments, voice
  • freedom of expression

Come, restore, revive. Rediscover you.

Melt into the music. Let your cares roll away.

Remember what it was like to take time for you.

Come Join Us!

  • March 16, 2011 8:00-9:00PM
  • April 13, 2011 8:00-9:00PM
  • May 18, 2011 8:00-9:00PM

While registration is not required an RSVP is requested.
RSVP now to

Join us for this drop in program once or often. You choose the frequency.

Cost: Pay what you can to support our programs.
Suggested donation is $15 pp.


Announcing New Birthday Party Packages!

You’re Invited!


Saturdays and Sundays
Weekdays at Schools and Daycares also available!


Our place or yours!

What happens at Roman Music Therapy Services?

1 hour of fun and interactive music making!
Pizza and cake downstairs at Papa Gino’s

Papa Gino'sRoman Music Therapy Services is announcing that we have teamed up with Papa Gino’s to offer a brand new option for Birthday Parties for children. Here’s a fun way to celebrate your child’s birthday in developmentally and age appropriate ways in which the kids and grown ups all have a blast!

Forget those crazy places that spin you around for an hour and a half and you come out feeling dizzy! Come on in to our comfortable music therapy center for a Music and Movement Birthday Party for children 1-5 or a Let’s Rock! Birthday Party for children 6-12. We’ll make music, play instruments, sing songs, and have a great time for your child’s birthday.

Then downstairs to Papa Gino’s for Pizza and Cake! Everything is included!!

I’m so excited about this! If you’re interested in having a birthday party with us, give us a call!

For More Information, check out:
Music Therapy Birthday Party Flyer
Music Therapy Birthday Party Agreement

Contact Meredith R. Pizzi, MT-BC at 781-665-0700 or