Spectrum Creative Arts is excited to welcome our newest music therapy intern Andrea Schaertel to our team! A native of Webster, NY, Andrea grew up with a firsthand look at developmental disability. Andrea’s older brother has down syndrome, which contributed to her decision to pursue a career working closely with individuals with developmental disabilities.
Before coming to Spectrum, Andrea completed her bachelor’s degree at Duquesne University in Pittsburgh, PA. There she had several volunteer opportunities to work with individuals with developmental disabilities which further contributed to her decision to pursue music therapy as a career. At Duquesne, Andrea served as a volunteer for the Best Buddies program where she collaborated with her “buddy,” an older gentleman with down syndrome, to write original songs.
“Seeing how happy that made him affirmed that I am doing the right thing,” she says, reflecting on the experience of witnessing the therapeutic impact of music.
During her undergraduate career, Andrea also had the opportunity to work on a fundraising project which helped enable young adults with developmental disabilities to complete post-secondary programs at Duquesne and connect them with meaningful employment opportunities.
Andrea’s primary instrument is her voice, though she is proficient in piano and continues to build her fluency in guitar. Here at Spectrum she’ll be observing, assisting, and working directly with clients in school districts, groups, and individual settings.
In the future, she dreams of operating a private music therapy practice where ethics and empowerment will be first in mind (much like Spectrum!). As the younger sister of a brother with a disability, she witnessed how challenging it can sometimes be for families to receive the therapeutic services they need for their loved ones, and she hopes to one day make those services more easily and readily accessible to all who seek them.
“I couldn’t feel luckier to be here,” she says of Spectrum Creative Arts. We feel the same way, Andrea! Welcome to the team – we’re excited to be part of your music therapy journey.