Dear Residents, Families, and Friends,
My name is Julia McCarren, and I feel so grateful to be joining the team at Kensington Park as Director of Creative Arts Therapies. Thank you all for being so warm and welcoming to me. Now that I’ve gotten to know you all a little bit, I wanted to help you get to know me better!
I grew up in the Chicago area in a music-loving family. My mom played piano, my sister played clarinet, and my dad listened to everything from motown and classic rock to country and the blues. Singing was my greatest joy growing up and I sang in every choir at church or school that I could join. I got my first guitar from a toy store and tried to teach myself how to play (which didn’t go very well).
I chose to study music professionally and got my Bachelor of Music from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. At this time, I became more interested in jazz music and sang with a few jazz ensembles at the University. I began hearing about the amazing field of music therapy, which combined my passion for music and helping others, so I completed a Master’s Program in Music Therapy at Western Michigan University. I’m a Licensed Professional Music Therapist (LPMT) and Board-Certified Music Therapist (MT-BC). I’ve had the opportunity of working with people of all ages in a variety of settings including Memory Care, Assisted Living, hospice, special education, and early childhood education.
When I’m not singing or playing music, I love to go hiking, partake in indoor rock climbing, or spend time outdoors. I feel so grateful to be part of the Kensington Park Community, where making music together is so loved and appreciated. I can’t wait to continue to share my joy for music and connecting with people here at KP!
For more information on music therapy or brain wellness, contact Julia McCarren at JMcCarren@kensingtonsl.com.