While earning a BA in Psychology from Queens College CUNY, I was fortunate to have access to an excellent music department, and felt inspired to renew my study of piano and music theory. After graduating, I participated in a course at SUNY New Paltz offered by music therapist Vera Moretti in which the work of Paul Nordoff and Clive Robbins came alive in classroom and clinical settings. Motivated to pursue a career in Music Therapy, I first completed a second major in music at Queens College and then earned my Masters Degree in Music Therapy at New York University. 

Two of my first professional experiences deepened my clinical skills and understanding of the unique benefits of music therapy for children with special needs: a position at the Kings County Psychiatric Hospital and later, in various special education settings for the Westchester Conservatory of Music.  In 1990,  I  joined the clinical staff of the Nordoff-Robbins Center for Music Therapy at New York University, undertaking the first post-graduate Level 1 Advanced Certification course offered by Clive and Carol Robbins. 

I joyfully focused my music therapy career at the Nordoff-Robbins Center, at NYU, and went on to serve as coordinator of training, instructor, supervisor and Continuing Education Director overseeing CMTE courses. Later, I had the opportunity to act as coordinating music therapist in an outreach program treating elderly clients with dementia at the Chelsea Adult Day Health Center in New York City. These experiences continually challenged and enriched me. Over time I was awarded Level 2 and Level 3 Certification in Nordoff-Robbins Music Therapy.  

Professional activities have included membership on the Credentialing Committee of the American Association for Music Therapy (AAMT), transition Representative on the Clinical Training Committee of AAMT, and member of the Board of Directors of the Certification Board for Music Therapy (CBMT).  I am currently a Trustee of Nordoff-Robbins International (NRI), which protects the intellectual property, ethos and moral code of the work of Nordoff and Robbins.

More recently, I expanded my academic experience, serving as Adjunct Instructor and Coordinator of Nordoff-Robbins Certification training at Molloy College in Rockville Centre, NY. Having retired from NYU in August 2016, I I am currently Adjunct Instructor at SUNY New Paltz teaching "Piano for Music Therapists"; working as a music therapist at In Flight, Inc. in Ghent, NY, maintaining a small private practice, and developing Continuing Education and Supervision opportunities through MAKE THERAPY MUSICAL.

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About Michele...

michele-schnur-ritholz-nordoff-robbins-music-therapist
As music therapists, we offer a unique and precious means of engagement—music—an art which we can continually develop to support the well-being and creative life of our clients. My intention is to offer opportunities for musical and clinical development through MAKE THERAPY MUSICAL-Creative Arts Therapy PLLC.