Music Therapists

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Board-certified music therapists at Norton Healthcare use their compassion and joy for music to help patients in Louisville and Southern Indiana cope with a broad range of illnesses.

Katie Cowan, MT-BC, NICU-MT, is a board-certified music therapist working downtown at Norton Children’s Hospital and Norton Hospital. She is a graduate of the University of Louisville with a bachelor’s degree in music therapy. She is certified as a neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) music therapist through the Florida State University College of Music, Tallahassee.

Katie works with children and adults in the behavioral health setting, providing group and individual consultations daily. She has a passion for creating and sharing music with others as they work through times of pain and healing. In her spare time, Katie enjoys playing bassoon, gardening and cooking new recipes.

Kyle Hubert, MT-BC, received his Bachelor of Arts in music from the University of Kentucky, Lexington, followed by post-baccalaureate equivalency in music therapy. He completed his music therapy internship at Oak Park School in Sarasota, Florida, where he worked with students with varying intellectual disabilities.

From 2015 to 2017 he worked in Sarasota at Beyond the Spectrum Education Center as a teaching assistant and at Gulf Coast Music Therapy, providing music therapy services for geriatric groups and children with intellectual disabilities.

He has been with Norton Healthcare since August 2017, facilitating full-time inpatient music therapy services at Norton Audubon Hospital. Outside of work he loves to make music, run trails at Cherokee Park and spend time with his friends and family.

Brett Northrup, MT-BC, is originally from upstate New York and has lived in Louisville since 2006. He is an alumnus of the University of Louisville School of Music and has been a board-certified music therapist since 2012.

Since 2013, Brett has served pediatric and adult oncology patients and their families as part of the expressive therapy teams at Norton Cancer Institute and Norton Children’s Cancer Institute, affiliated with the UofL School of Medicine.

In addition to his role as a music therapist, Brett is a facilitator of the Teen Warrior and Cancer Beats programs, which are focused on meeting the unique needs of young adults affected by cancer. Brett loves all music and is passionate about music’s ability to meet us where we are in life, helping us connect with our emotions and relate to others.

Alexis Ruffner, MT-BC, NICU-MT, earned her bachelor’s degree in music and creative writing from Centre College in Danville, Kentucky, and a bachelor’s equivalency in music therapy from the University of Louisville. She currently serves as the music therapist at the Norton Women’s & Children’s Hospital neonatal intensive care unit, working with premature infants and their families and leading early infant and parent developmental music groups.

Alex also has experience providing services for adults with chronic illnesses. She is currently pursuing a Master of Science degree in early childhood and family development, and hopes to expand early childhood and pediatric music therapy services at Norton Healthcare.

Brian Schreck, M.A., MT-BC, is a board-certified music therapist who has been serving chronically ill patients since 2004. Brian has a Bachelor of Arts in music therapy from Berklee College of Music, Boston, Massachusetts, and a master’s degree in music therapy from New York University in New York City. Brian has been on the executive committee of the International Association for Music and Medicine (IAMM)for the past five years.

Palliative care, end-of-life care and bereavement are areas of passion for Brian. He has presented locally, nationally and internationally on his innovative work in medical music therapy. Brian pioneered the use of heartbeat recordings as a way to rhythmically connect with patients and their families through ongoing recording projects. Visit for more information.

Brian’s main aim as a medical music therapist is to be as creative as possible to serve the needs of patients as well as their families. Brian facilitates ongoing inpatient and outpatient music therapy with cancer patients through Norton Cancer Institute.

Erin Shina, MT-BC, is a board-certified music therapist at Norton Audubon Hospital. She attended the University of Louisville, graduating with a Bachelor of Arts in music in 2016 and a bachelor’s degree in music therapy in 2018. She has additional training in neurologic music therapy and music therapy in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU).

While actively engaged in research, Erin works primarily with adults, focusing on rehabilitation, pain management and palliative care, and has worked to develop new programming throughout the hospital.

In addition to her role as a music therapist with Norton Healthcare, Erin is also an adjunct faculty member with the music therapy department at the University of Louisville and serves on the editorial board of Imagine, an annual early childhood music therapy publication. Erin has a passion for teaching and serves as director of the Norton Healthcare music therapy internship program, supervising interns and practicum students year-round. For more information about the internship, email

Susan Upchurch, MT-BC, is a board-certified music therapist at Norton Audubon Hospital and other Norton Healthcare facilities. She has experience serving individuals from all backgrounds with varying diagnoses, including children and adults with cancer, and individuals experiencing anxiety, depression and acute or chronic pain. Susan earned a Bachelor of Arts in music from Northern Kentucky University in Highland Heights and a bachelor’s degree in music therapy from the University of Louisville. She enjoys using music and creativity in her clinical practice and plans to continue learning best practices to better serve the patients in her care.

Kerry Willis, MT-BC, is a board-certified music therapist for Norton Brownsboro Hospital and has been with Norton Healthcare since 2006. She has pursued additional music therapy training related to neurological disease and disorders of consciousness. In addition to her work with inpatients at Norton Brownsboro Hospital, Kerry also provides support to the Norton Neuroscience Institute Resource Center through leadership in a variety of community groups including a music and wellness group and “NeuroTones,” which is a choir for individuals with a variety of neurologic diagnoses including multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease and stroke.

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