Meet the Administrative Team: Jennifer Ray

Welcome back to Roman Music Therapy Services’ Meet the Team interviews! Through this series, we will be introducing you to each member of our team, from Music Therapist to Programmatic Specialist, from Administrative Team to our Faculty Supervisor. This is for you to get to know our team, inside and out! Today, we have Jennifer Ray.

What is your role on the team and how long have you been with RMTS?

I am the Senior Support Specialist and I’ve been with RMTS for seven years.

What university or college did you go to?

I went to UMass Amherst and I got my BA in English!

How did your undergraduate experience help to shape you into who you are today?

The process of having to closely read things, interpret them, then critically discuss them has helped me develop a muscle for dialogue with people. My degree has certainly helped me to frame other people’s interpretations of things and has provided me with a basis of how to have healthy debate with people who have different opinions than my own. I also took some technical writing courses, so I have a lot of skills that people may take for granted, like writing a cover letter or resume, constructing a business memo, things like that.

What are your StrengthsFinder strengths and how do they play a part in the work you do?

Empathy, Individualization, Input, Intellection, and Learner.

It’s not really denoted by my title, but I do a lot of the HR (Human Resources) things here. I’ve been to a lot of HR conferences where people talk about how they’re kind of the “necessary villain” in every organization. But I’m always like, What about the good stuff? You get to pay people every week, you’re the facilitator of benefits, all the good, nitty gritty parts about being an employee. Empathy definitely comes into play when you are in the Human Resources sector of a company. I can imagine and put myself in other people’s shoes when working with their specific situation. Also, I have Learner as a top strength, which has really helped me do this work because HR is not something I had experience with prior to this job. Being the person who really enjoys finding new information and collecting knowledge has definitely been helpful.

What drew you to RMTS?

I was working in full-time in Boston as an intake manager for a large psychology firm when I got pregnant with my second child and decided I would take time off after he was born. I left my position with the psychology firm and had extra time to spend with my daughter, who was only two at the time. I started taking Sprouting Melodies classes with her here in the Wakefield office and loved it! I was also on the RMTS newsletter at the time and they announced that the front desk coordinator at the time was leaving. My friend, who also took Sprouting Melodies with myself and my daughter, was like, “Did you see the job posting, it’s part-time!”. I applied, interviewed with Meredith and the office manager at the time, and the rest was history!

What is the most rewarding part of the work?

I really enjoy the times that I get to connect with the team and help them through some of the “grown up stuff” they’re doing for the first time, such as signing up for a retirement plan, navigating health insurance, and being on team interviews. Helping newer professionals develop these skills that they will need as they grow and mentoring them on their leadership journeys is really rewarding.

Do you have any professional development stories you’d like to share?

Taking on this role has been a huge professional development for me! This is the first time I’ve taken a position that hasn’t really existed before, so building a framework for what this job looks like was a huge undertaking. It’s been a lot of overcoming my imposter syndrome and saying to myself, “I can figure this out. And not only can I figure this out, I can actually do it and do it successfully!”

How have you surprised yourself since joining this team?

Branching out, for sure. I don’t think I ever intended to do what I’m doing right now, so just being open to all the shifting and changing and opportunities as they become available has been a surprise. Also, it’s been surprising to realize that I really like this part of the business and I like all the responsibilities that fall under human resources.

What are your roles and responsibilities as Senior Support Staff?

What do I do? That’s a good question (laughs). Well, I write job descriptions as we hire new positions and I take those descriptions and make them into job postings and put them out into the world! I then watch those postings, field any resumes or applications we may get, then screen the applicants. I also do the initial job interviews over the phone, set up group interviews, and I am a part of said group interviews. Once applicants join our team, I am their first point of contact for onboarding. I schedule our 360 Reviews, write performance appraisals, enroll employees in benefits (such as health insurance). I also process payroll every week, log our team’s hours, and lots of trainings. I think there’s more, but that’s also a lot (laughs).

What is your proudest moment within the company so far?

I have a weird proudest moment (laughs). It wasn’t anything that I actively did for RMTS, but weathering the storm that was the beginning of the pandemic without completely losing my sanity. I was working while also teaching elementary school things to my second grader while also occupying my preschooler busy! But also coming out of that period of time with a renewed sense of purpose and acknowledging where and how I want to use my energy.

Favorite books, shows, movies, or podcasts?

Okay, let’s start off with podcasts! I love Serial and Greeking Out from National Geographic Kids. I listen to the Greek mythology podcast with my kids on long car trips. I loved X-Files back in the day and I’m also currently watching White Lotus on HBO. I love Disney movies, I watch them with the kids, too. I’ve got too many favorites to count!

What do you do outside of work?

I just joined an adult field hockey team! I used to play in high school and I haven’t played since, so I’m excited to start it up again. I also read and write and I’m going for my Master’s degree in teaching!

Which Mr. Men/Little Miss character are you?

Little Miss Busy!


What’s your coffee order?

Well, in the fall it’s a Pumpkin Cream Cold Brew from Starbucks. When there’s no pumpkin spice to be had, it’s sometimes an iced London Fog tea or an iced coffee with a splash of cream.

What would be the title of your memoir?

I Don’t Think I’ll Ever Have It Figured Out.

Three words to describe your job?

Essential, Interesting, Uplifting.

Meet the Clinician: Billie Junget, MT-BC

Welcome back to Roman Music Therapy Services’ Meet the Team interviews! Through this series, we will be introducing you to each member of our team, from Music Therapist to Programmatic Specialist, from Administrative Team to our Faculty Supervisor. This is for you to get to know our team, inside and out! Next, we have Billie Junget, MT-BC.

What is your role on the team and how long have you been with RMTS?

I’m a Staff Music Therapist and the Programmatic Services Trainer. I started my time with RMTS during internship and I’ve been with the team for about three years.

What university or college did you go to? What was your primary instrument?

I went to Charleston Southern University in South Carolina as a euphonium and percussion primary.

How did your undergraduate experience help to shape you into the therapist you are today?

The clinical work I experienced and then the application of that clinical work in my music therapy coursework has definitely contributed to my therapeutic skills now. I was also big into marching band and drumline, so being a part of those ensembles really encouraged my flexibility and adaptability within group settings.

What are your StrengthsFinder strengths and how do they play a part in the work you do?

Empathy, Intellection, Adaptability, Positivity, and Developer. Empathy plays a huge role in the work I do, and also in the greater scheme of my life. I always try to meet people where they are and put myself in other’s shoes. I also find that these strengths play into my listening skills – I like being able to hold space for others in my professional work and in my personal life.

What drew you to music therapy?

I knew I wanted to go into music, but I didn’t want to teach and I didn’t want to perform. But then I learned about music therapy and the way the field uses music to reach goals and make non-musical connections, and that’s what really stuck out to me. Just knowing I can facilitate music and work with it in a way that other professions don’t get to do. Music therapy helps us find our voice and access music in a different way – it’s not just music for personal use, but for everyone.

What is the most rewarding part of the work?

The beautiful connections we have with the people we serve. There aren’t a lot of other professions that get to experience music in the way we do and it’s so profound! It’s funny because I see some of my clients more than I see my friends and family (laughs) but that speaks to the impact of the work we do. The smiles on our community’s faces when they enter the musical space – that’s the most rewarding part.

What are your favorite song(s) to play in sessions?

I love playing anything by The Beatles. I also love Rockin’ Robin and Dancing Kids (a favorite song here at RMTS)!

Do you have any professional development stories you’d like to share?

Professional development is such a big part of our team culture that I can’t pick just one story! I think that an area of my professional development that is cool to share is my journey of stepping into the Interim Internship Director role. Going from being an intern with this company to being able to support a current intern was so unexpected, but again – that speaks to my Adaptability strength! Also, now that I am a trainer on the team, it’s been amazing to help facilitate others’ growth within our team.

Any personal growth stories?

In my recent switch to being a full-time clinician, I’ve had to create new organizational systems that work for me and the roles that I’m in. I’ve definitely grown in my ability to find ways to maximize my workflow and organize my time.

How have you surprised yourself since joining this team?

This is a hard one! I think I’ve surprised myself by just – throwing myself into things. For example, I was never a singer, but now I sing all day, every day! Also wanting to do new things and strengthening areas of growth within myself has also been very surprising.

What is your proudest moment within the company so far?

I’m really proud of the Weekly Wins board I started! It’s a space for the team to celebrate our wins and ourselves. I’m also proud of the presentations I’ve been able to share with the team, which fits into my Intellection strength! Being able to share my knowledge and teach others something new is something I’m definitely proud of.

Favorite books, shows, movies, or podcasts?

I’m a big “Game of Thrones” fan. I watched the show first and got hooked, then I read the books (and are re-reading them!). Watching the show first definitely helped me keep track of all the characters in the book. I’m also watching Legendary, it’s a vogue/ballroom dance show that’s so fun.

Favorite quote?

“If nothing ever moves, put that needle to the groove and sing.” – Dr. Dog, The Breeze

What do you do outside of work?

I just like being a Taurus (laughs). I like relaxing, hammocking in different parks, and long-boarding.

Which Mr. Men/Little Miss character are you?

Little Miss Can’t Parallel Park. It’s not a real Mr. Men/Little Miss character, but it’s the one I most identify as (laughs).

What’s your coffee order?

So I don’t really drink coffee/caffeine, but when I’m at Dunkin’, I love a good iced tea lemonade. Raspberry, specifically.

What would be the title of your memoir?

Shamrock and Roll. or… Rhythm and Blues.

Three words to describe your job?

Lead. Connect. Grow.

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!”

Roman Music Therapy Services Facilitates Drum Circle for C-4 Analytics, one of the National Best and Brightest Companies to Work For™

Drum Circles Are Becoming an Increasingly Popular Tool for Innovative Companies

Saugus, Mass., Dec. 17, 2014 – C-4 Analytics has had plenty of reasons to be upbeat lately, thanks to its impressive growth and recognition for employee appeal. On Wednesday, December 17, the digital marketing agency continued to drum up success, enlisting the help of Roman Music Therapy Services to organize a drum circle for its employees.

Drum circles are a modern application of an ancient practice. They are comprised of groups of people who drum and create rhythm together to achieve more than music. Group cohesion and synergy, as well as stress reduction and enhanced wellbeing for individual participants, are common objectives. These effects are achieved by the power of music and rhythm, as well as the democratic nature of drum circles. Each player is a vital part in the emergent sound and, as legendary drummer Mickey Hart puts it, “a new voice, a collective voice, emerges from the group as they drum together.”

Meredith Pizzi, executive director of Roman Music Therapy Services, along with colleagues Steven Clarke and Sarah Tree, board-certified music therapists, facilitated the drum circle for the employees of C-4 Analytics. This was the second such occasion held for the digital marketing agency headquartered in Saugus, Massachusetts.

Named by the National Association for Business Resources as a 2014 National Best and Brightest Companies to Work For™, C-4 Analytics has clearly fostered a culture that employees are happy and productive in. It is no surprise, then, that C-4 Analytics uses drum circles as one way to empower individual contributors and teams.

Not yet a mainstream employee enrichment tactic, drum circles are beginning to gain traction for early adopters as a fun way to build community and enhance wellbeing and group impact. Offered in a variety of settings, this practice is gaining some popularity, more recently as a catalyst for businesses to harness the team and promote collaborative creativity.

About C-4 Analytics, LLC
Headquartered in Saugus, Mass., C-4 Analytics is a top-10 company on Deloitte’s 2014 Technology Fast 500, a fastest-growing private company on the Inc. 5000, a certified Google Partner and the first agency to bring accountability to online marketing with a thoughtful, measurable approach to services like search-engine marketing, paid-search management, online-reputation management, behavioral retargeting and social-media campaigns. C-4 Analytics delivers real, measurable results to its clients by using analytics to identify and track customer-acquisition channels — and the related costs — so that they can determine which marketing streams are most profitable. Find C-4 Analytics online at, on Google+ and on LinkedIn. They can also be reached by phone at 617-250-8888.

About Roman Music Therapy Services, LLC
Roman Music Therapy Services, LLC is a leading music therapy business in Massachusetts, offering individual and group music therapy as well as music programming for early childhood development and adult enrichment. Founded and led by entrepreneur, thought leader, board-certified music therapist, and LEND Fellow, Meredith Pizzi, Roman Music Therapy Services exists to expand the reach of music making to all spheres of society. “Using music to unlock closed doors, exposing potential, possibilities and opportunities,” Roman Music Therapy is bringing the power of music to a growing number of families, communities, and businesses. To learn more about Roman Music Therapy, visit, call 781-665-0700, or email

Supporting Healthy Sibling Development with Music

Meredith Pizzi offers hints on how to support sibling and family development with music in a podcast and article published by imagine.magazine. Imagine.magazine  is “an annual online magazine sharing evidence-based information and trends related to early childhood music therapy through various media.”
supporting healthy sibling development with music

Article excerpt

…Starting at the very beginning, we can look at how music and singing can be used to promote a healthy start before delivery. We know that babies recognize familiar music when they are born and introducing music that is repeated while in utero can help babies as they transition in their first few months. This priming of familiar music will make music an even more effective tool when the baby is born.

By encouraging siblings to talk to the baby prenatally and sing their favorite songs, you are also starting to develop a healthy shared connection between the siblings. The older child or children will already have an idea of what to “do” with the baby when the little one is born.

Recommended resources

  1. Leman, K., & Leman, K. (2009). The new birth order book: Why you are the way you are? Grand Rapids, MI: F.H. Revell.
  2. Salmon, C., & Schumann, K. (2011). The secret power of middle children: How mid-dleborns can harness their unexpected and remarkable abilities. New York, NY: Hudson Street Press.
  3. Schwartz, E. (2012). You and Me Makes…We: A growing together songbook. Retrieved from


Family Caregivers Unite! Podcast

[Download the MP3] [iTunes]

Our Director, Meredith Pizzi was featured in a story with Laura Rutherford, the founder of Kate’s Voice. We are very excited to share the story with you here!

This is from the Family Caregivers Unite! Website:

Laura Rutherford and Meredith Pizzi are linked by music therapy. Laura is the mother of Kate, who has multiple developmental and physical disabilities and who inspired Kate’s Voice, a non-profit group that grants music therapy programs to special-needs classrooms. Meredith, a professional music therapist, is the Founder and Director of Roman Music Therapy Services, a music therapy agency which serves children and adults with social, emotional, cognitive, behavioral, physical, and educational needs. They talk about their work in and for music therapy and how they came to be involved. They explain the ways in which music therapy helps children with special needs. They describe their success stories. They offer advice to family caregivers who are wondering if music therapy will help their special-needs children, and to family caregivers just starting down the road travelled by Laura, Kate and the family. And then they say how they would like to see music therapy programs develop.

Click HERE to visit the Voice of America website.

“No Momma. No Dadda. No Sing.”

By: Meredith Pizzi, MT-BC

Does this sound familiar?

“Don’t sing, Momma, me sing.” Or maybe it’s not quite so verbal. Maybe your child stares you down until you stop singing. Or maybe they walk over and hold their hand over your mouth. Or maybe they scream and cover their ears until you stop singing.

So what is this behavior about, anyway?

First of all, it’s not you having a terrible singing voice. And, it has nothing to do with your child disliking your voice. There are many other important developmental issues at play here. As a child goes through the stages of development, they are grappling with many different skills and concepts.

In Music, Therapy, and Early Childhood: A Developmental Approach, author Beth Schwartz (Board Certified Music Therapist in NY) writes about the musical development of young children and how that can be applied to help young children and older children who are moving through the developmental levels of Awareness, Trust, Independence, Control, and Responsibility. This book has led me reflect further on a lot of the behaviors that I observe in children of all ages and the developmental reasons behind the behaviors.

As a child develops new skills, they like to practice them and demonstrate independence. For instance, a young child learning to dress him or herself wants only to dress independently. Any efforts to help will quickly be refused. A child’s musical skills are also developing. As a child begins to recall music and songs, they understand the lyrics, melody, and rhythm and then they begin to reproduce them.

When they don’t want to hear you singing, it may be a sign that they want and need to practice the music themselves to better understand and master this new skill.

But don’t quit singing yet!

After this stage of development will come a new area for growth in which the child will learn how to engage in music making with others and will be ready to participate in group music making.

Here are some ideas for engaging your child in music making at this developmental stage. Many of these ideas come from Music, Therapy, and Early Childhood: A Developmental Approach.

    • Encourage developing motor skills through music by doing a lot of songs with repeating patterns of body movements. Clapping hands, patting knees, and stamping feet are engaging and fun, and give the child a chance to demonstrate her skills.
    • Use instruments that the child can play independently including maracas, eggs, drums, and tambourines. Also include two handed instruments, like a triangle, finger cymbals, or a wood block.
    • Give children many opportunities to make choices in the music. Choices can include what instrument to play, singing loud or soft, fast or slow, or what movement to do to the music.
    • Allow for developing language skills in songs by leaving out the last word of a phrase and waiting for the child to fill it in.
    • Sing or make up songs with very simple language that is repeated. Children learn the words to songs before they remember the rhythm and melody. As Beth Schwartz says in her book, “Less talk is more.”

I hope this provides for some fun music making opportunities for you and your child. And next time your child covers his or her ears when you start to sing, remind yourself, “It’s developmental, not the quality of your voice.”

Keep making music!

If you have questions or would like to find out more about how music therapy can help address your child’s developmental needs, please explore our Sprouting Melodies® program or contact us.

Roman Music Therapy on Ablevision

Roman Music Therapy Services is excited to have worked on a project with Ablevision of Malden to create a television segment about music therapy. As their website says:

Ablevision is a show produced entirely by people with disabilities. We are a group of video producers dedicated to educating and promoting awareness of the disabled community.

We are really excited to share the work of Roman Music Therapy Services with this great organization and the 44 communities in Massachusetts that receive their television program.

Ablevision was recorded in Roman Music Therapy Services’ first studio located in Malden, as well as on site at Charlestown High School during a class music therapy session and at the Melrose Public Library in March. Thank you to all of those who participated and were interviewed for this special music therapy feature.

The taping was completed in April of 2009 and the show aired in late summer of 2009. To learn more about this great organization, check out their website at They also have a youtube channel at Please check it out!