From growing up in a musical family, singing and playing piano, the importance of music was instilled in Tracie at a very young age. Throughout her young life, she spent considerable time with her grandmother bound by the difficulties of dementia, watching how music directly affected her well-being. She quickly realized that live music allowed for intimate and meaningful connections when communication often felt impossible. After a chance meeting in 2005, Tracie was introduced to the field of music therapy, which only fueled her love for helping people through music.
Post her clinical internship at St. Luke’s Hospital (adult inpatient rehab) and BJC Hospice (hospice and palliative care), Tracie graduated from Maryville University with her bachelor of science degree in music therapy May 2008. While continuing her passion in hospice, Tracie started her own private practice (Through Melody) near her hometown in southern Illinois, providing direct service, spreading awareness/advocating for board certified music therapy services.
In 2009, Tracie pioneered a unique clinical approach to therapeutic songwriting, supported by Maryville University’s Kids Rock Cancer (KRC), working with patients and families affected by cancer and blood disorders. As the program needs grew, Jaime Kennington, was brought on as an additional KRC music therapist in 2017. Together, they’ve worked with over 2,000 families, published research, and wrote a chapter in a trauma-informed practice music therapy book in relation to their specific approach to therapeutic songwriting.
In addition, Tracie graduated from Lindenwood University, with a master’s of science degree in professional counseling in 2018. She enjoys integrating her music therapy skills and techniques to a clinical counseling, person-centered approach to coping and well-being. She specializes in supporting clients who are seeking support in grief and loss, survivors of sexual assault, trauma, and general mental health support.
When Jaime and Tracie met back in 2017, a creative spark ignited, which led to the combining of both Tracie and Jaime’s private practices. Their private practice, Music Therapy St. Louis was launched in July 2018, with an exceptional team of music therapists serving all types of clinical populations from birth to end-of-life. Tracie says, “It’s a constant honor to work with a team of dedicated music therapists who are passionate about what they do. Music touches us all in different ways, but it’s even sweeter to share it with people who truly understand the physical and emotional power of music.”
Over the last 15 years, Tracie has observed a significant gap in services for children and families affected by rare types of chronic illnesses, life-altering medical conditions, and cancer (late effects). She has seen, firsthand, the lasting impact of therapeutic songwriting. She has even seen how these sessions instill sure fire signs of resilience for families in need. Therefore, Tracie and Jaime put their heads together for the ultimate passion project. In April 2023, The Song Society was born, with the hopes of bringing more access to care and creative opportunities for children and families who don’t get the chance to share their story. “When expression can be so difficult, so painful, music and songwriting help create a pathway. With the help of a supportive, compassionate music therapist, they don’t have to walk alone. The music eases the pain and does the hard work for them. It’s their story to share, we are just the lucky ones who get to help them hold the microphone.”