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"If you look deep enough you will see music; the heart of nature being everywhere music."
~ Thomas Carlyle


Our Team

Tara McConnell  Tara McConnell, MT-BC
  Owner/Clinical Director
  tara@mcconnellmts.com

 Tara McConnell brings with her 20 years of clinical experience working with people with autism, mental health concerns, cancer and physical impairments, developmental disabilities, and neurological disorders. Tara shares her passion for helping people reach their goals, whether they are clients, fellow community members or fellow music therapists. She actively supports education in her community by volunteering as the Music Docent Coordinator for her childrens' school and as the CA Music Therapy Task Force chair - advocating for state recognition for the MT-BC credential. Tara lives in Auburn, CA with her husband and two elementary age children and enjoys hosting family dinners, reading cookbooks, and songwriting. 
 

 Daniel Beseda, MT-BC
 Board Certified Music Therapist
 Music Therapy Supervisor
 daniel@mcconnellmts.com

 Daniel graduated from the Berklee College of  Music with a degree in Music Therapy. He  completed his internship at  the UC  Davis Medical Center where he had an opportunity to work in both pediatric and adult oncology settings. He  has since  worked  with special education programs, adult-day programs for clients diagnosed with mental illness, in  addition to developmental  disability, as well as a forensic psychiatric hospital with mentally-ill inmates. His  experience working in a variety of settings has helped Daniel to diversify his skills and abilities as a therapist,  musician, and person. He works onsite at Sophie's Place, a brand new music therapy clinic which opened April 2016 and is located at Sutter Children's Center in Sacramento, CA, as well as serves MMTS clients in special education, medical, and psychiatric hospital settings. He is also supervising the UOP University Affiliated Music Therapy Internship program at Sutter Medical Center which began in 2017.


 Becky Parker, MT-BC
 Board Certified Music Therapist
 NICU-Music Therapist
 becky@mcconnellmts.com

 Becky is a graduate of the University of the Pacific in Stockton CA, with a degree in Music Therapy and Piano Performance and a minor in French. She completed her music therapy internship at UCSF Benioff Children's Hospital, Oakland, CA. Becky serves a wide range of populations in a variety of settings. On most days, Becky is providing music therapy for patients in the NICU and Pediatric units at Sutter Children's Center, Sacramento, CA. Otherwise, she is also serving children in special education programs, residents at a skilled nursing facility, and children at a pediatric respite daycare. Becky lives in Placerville with her husband and their two Sierra newts, Romeo and Julietta. 



 Kristin King, MMT, MT-BC
 Board Certified Music Therapist
 Advanced BMGIM Trainee (The Bonny Method  of Guided Imagery and Music)
 kristin@mcconnellmts.com

 Kristin recently received her Master of Music Therapy degree with a specialty area in Expressive Arts from Appalachian State University in North Carolina. She received her bachelor's degree in Professional Music with an emphasis in songwriting and a Visual Culture and New Media Studies minor from the Berklee College of Music. Kristin completed her music therapy internship at Primary Children's Hospital in Salt Lake City where she worked with children with a variety of needs including those on the NICU and neurorehabilitation units. In addition she has experience in working with adult oncology, children and adults with developmental needs and healthy adults with emotional needs. She is currently an advanced trainee of The Bonny method of Guided Imagery and Music in which she works with individuals to promote mental wellness and personal exploration. Kristin is originally from the Bay Area and is excited to join the McConnell Music Therapy team in Sacramento!


 Tanner McDowell, MT-BC
 Board Certified Music Therapist
 tanner@mcconnellmts.com

 Tanner is a graduate of Utah State University with a Bachelor of Science in Music Therapy. He completed his six-month internship at Primary Children's Hospital working with patients with a variety of diagnoses in all units of the hospital. He has experience working with adults and adolescents with mental health needs, adults with developmental disabilities and children with autism. Tanner is a skilled guitarist with a passion for helping others express themselves both with and without a musical medium. Tanner is an Oregon native and is excited to explore the beauty of the CA sunshine state!
 

 Sarah Pavis, MT-BC
 Board Certified Music Therapist
 Oncology/Psychiatry
 sarah@mcconnellmts.com

 Sarah is a Board Certified Music Therapist  from the Central Coast of California. Sarah completed her  coursework  at California State University, Northridge and interned at UC Davis Children’s Hospital. She has a  passion for working  with people of different ages, backgrounds, and levels of ability. She has experience working with a wide range of individuals coping with developmental disabilities, mental illness, chemical dependency, grief and trauma. Sarah has an educational background in vocal jazz from Cuesta College in San Luis Obispo. Her background in improvisation provides for flexibility when meeting the individual needs of her clients. Sarah has a passion for wellness and evidence-based practice to continually improve quality of life. Sarah lives in Carmichael, CA with her husband and their dog, Louie Armstrong, and cat, Ella Fitzgerald. 


 Marika Smolensky, MBA, BM
 MMTS Business Consultant
 C.E.O - "Chief Encouragement Officer"
 marika@mcconnellmts.com

 Marika holds a Bachelors degree in Music Therapy from University of the Pacific and an MBA from Santa  Clara University. Her experience in business and music have offered her opportunities to work in a variety of diverse  settings that have ranged from small businesses to large Corporations and Performing Arts Centers. Her projects have taken her around the world and included collaborating on film soundtracks, publicity for music events, as well as extensive business and project management. She's passionate  about helping people and spreading the word about the healing power of music and the creative arts. Marika lives in Auburn, CA and enjoys spending time with friends, swimming in the Yuba and attending concerts, music camps and festivals.
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