Steve Sullivan received his Bachelor of Science in Music Production at McNally Smith College of Music in Saint Paul, MN and his Music Therapy Equivalency from Augsburg University in Minneapolis, MN. Steve is currently working at Augsburg on his master’s thesis project, composing nondenominational and naturalist songs for end of life. He worked at Methodist hospital in inpatient, oncology, and home hospice settings and at Struthers Parkinson’s Center as part of his 1,000-hour music therapy internship training with Park Nicollet Health Services in Minneapolis, MN.
Steve has spent the last twenty-five years as a composer, recording engineer and performer. His award-winning music has been featured in television, commercials, and films all over the world. In 2016 Steve wanted to use music in a more meaningful way to help others. He decided to change careers and study music therapy. Now a board-certified music therapist, Steve utilizes his musicianship, an ability to play a diversity of instruments: (acoustic, electric, and classical guitar, piano, drums, bass, mandolin, ukulele, dobro, banjo, trumpet, dulcimer, harmonica, and many traditional and ethnic percussion instruments) as well as a deep knowledge of recording technology with a new therapeutic lens to empower clients to reach their musical and non-musical goals. Steve’s experiences as a professional musician before discovering music therapy give him unique advantages in ability to adapt music to meet therapeutic needs. Combining collaborative songwriting with the ability to record and produce gives Steve the tools to work with clients at end of life on new songs which can be professionally recorded and archived as legacy projects for clients to leave behind a message or a story that family and future generations can hold onto.
Steve has had the opportunity to work with all ages of people, from children with special needs, to trans youth, to adults in healthcare settings, and seniors in memory care and hospice. In all of these cases, Steve aims to empower people to explore their own natural creativity, share their story, and use the powerful medium of music to holistically work towards their therapeutic goals. He particularly enjoys working with children because no matter what challenges they face, music is something that they can do that belongs to them and reinforces that they are not alone, that they are valuable, and that music can be a source of freedom and strength.