Sarah Thompson: MM, MT-BC, CBIS

“Effective music therapy is about a number of things: experience, expertise, continual learning, and open innovation. It’s also about honoring the strengths of those you serve and actively listening to them during the process. When you combine those things, you can deliver a service that is enjoyable for the individual and also highly effective at reaching their goals”

Sarah Thompson strives to bring an effective blend of cutting-edge knowledge, compassion, and action to the her process in order to provide genuine therapeutic change to the families, individuals, and caregivers she serves. In 2003, she founded Rehabilitative Rhythms out of the belief that music therapy should be more than glorified entertainment. Sarah has seen first hand that combining evidence based techniques with authentic compassion leads to breakthroughs that last a lifetime.

Sarah is a Board Certified Music Therapist, Certified Brain Injury Specialist, and Neurologic Music Therapist. She has more than 15 years of experience in a variety of treatment settings addressing neurologic conditions such as Alzheimer's/ Dementia, Parkinson's, stroke, brain injury, and and developmental differences including Autism, cerebral palsy, and Down’s syndrome. She earned her undergraduate degree in music therapy University of Kansas,  her graduate degree at Colorado State University, and is a Fellow in the Robert F. Unkefer Academy of Neurologic Music Therapy.

Sharing The Science and Art of Evidence-Based Music Therapy

Sarah delivers presentations, keynotes, and training seminars that leave audiences inspired. She shares her experiences on the ground working with a broad base of patients while her giving participants actionable tools related to music therapy.

Her most-requested topics include:

  • What is Neurologic Music Therapy & How Can It Help Your Residents?
  • There’s Research About That?: The Evidence For Applying Music With Your Patients
  • Interactive Practicum: Neurologic Music Therapy
  • Music In Our Lives: Stories From Neurologic Music Therapy Practice


Sarah has developed programs for several hospitals, healthcare centers, and organizations in the Denver Metro area—including Craig Hospital, The Rocky Mountain Stroke Center, and Heartland Hospiceand is happy to draw on her experience to tailor a talk to meet the needs of your organization and specific uses of music for the population(s) you serve.


“Music therapy is fun! I look forward to coming each week, and with consistent practice at home, I have experienced significant improvement in my fine motor skills and my ability to mentally focus.”

— Workman’s Comp Patient

“RRMT has has gone above and beyond the scope of just my daughter's therapist. They’re warm and welcoming, and I can tell that music therapy triggers her brain. She loves it!”

— RRMT Parent

Download Sarah's Speaker Sheet

Sarah Thompson - One-Sheeter/Introduction

Previous Audiences Have Included:

Institute for Music and Neurologic Function
American Congress of Rehabilitation Medicine
American Music Therapy Association 2
Brain Injury Summit

Contributions To Research, Policy, & Music Therapy Innovations

Sarah believes that sharing her insights and passion with providers around the world unlocks a better quality of life for individuals with neurologic or developmental differences for more people than ever before. Her passion for continuing education and research has led her to contribute to bodies of evidence relied on by providers internationally.

Sarah’s recent and notable publications include:


Her Academic Experience Includes:

  • At Colorado State University, she designed and taught highest level music therapy methods course for undergraduate seniors and graduate students.
  • Fellow in the Robert F. Unkefer Academy of Neurologic Music Therapy at the Center for Biomedical Research in Music at Colorado State University
  • Sarah created and led the continuing ed courses for on Traumatic Brain Injury and Aphasia & Music Therapy


Other Contributions & Honors:

  • Sarah was a key player in getting music therapy written into the Medical Treatment Guidelines for all Workers’ Compensation related Traumatic Brain Injury.
  • In 2014, she was honored with the Service Award by the Midwestern Region of the American Music Therapy Association.
  • In 2013, she was recognized with the Change Maker Award in 2013 by the American Music Therapy Association.
  • From 2005-2007, Sarah was  Chair of the Colorado Association for Music Therapy board of directors.


Media Mentions

Changing Lives Through Music Therapy

Sarah operates with the mindset that individuals with neurologic and developmental differences add value to society, and her work is about supporting them in making their lives better. If you share her mission, or would like to learn more about the results you can create when applying music in an evidence-based way, you should reach out to Sarah today.