Meet the Music Therapists
Elisabeth Norris has been a Music Therapist at SSAL since 2013. She is responsible for the development, management and evaluation of programming. She works closely with staff at partner facilities to implement and manage programs within each facility. She works with SSAL leadership to cultivate relationships with all partnering facilities and to promote the benefits of increased participation to meet seniors’ needs. She has effectively brought a heightened level of professionalism and organization to all areas of SSAL programming. She has established positive and supportive relationships with seniors, their families and staff/leadership at partnering facilities, thus positioning SSAL for greater impact on those it serves and a sustainable future serving the community.
Elisabeth received a Bachelor’s Degree in Music Therapy from Western Michigan University and interned with Spectrum Health Neuro Rehabilitation Services, working with adults with traumatic brain injury and older adults. She has been working clinically with older adults for the past four years.
Melissa Gleason was hired onto SSAL’s team of Board Certified Music Therapists in June 2019. Melissa graduated with her Associates Degree in Vocal Performance from Grand Rapids Community College and received her Bachelors Degree in Music Therapy from Western Michigan University. Upon completing an internship at Marwood Nursing and Rehab in Port Huron, MI, Melissa took a part time professional position with Marwood, where she planned and facilitated daily music therapy sessions and acted as supervisor for an intern. She has experience working with a rehabilitation team, long-term care residents, and in the memory care unit, and has focused her career and continuing education in working with memory care and seniors. Melissa experienced first-hand the qualitative, evidence-based impact that Music Therapy has with an ever-growing geriatric population and is excited to share and build on what she has learned.
Melissa’s love for music permeates her life. She performs regularly with Opera Grand Rapids, is a section leader at Mayflower Congregational Church, and has performed in various bands throughout the Grand Rapids area.