Therapist and Instructors
Julie Thiels DeKeyzer, MT-BC, NMT, owner
Board-Certified Music Therapist
Neurologic Music Therapist
Julie was born in Alexandria and grew up in Boyce where she still presides today with her husband and two young children. She received her Bachelor’s of Arts in Pre-Music Therapy from Louisiana College in 2008 and went onto complete her Master’s coursework in Music Therapy at Loyola University, New Orleans, which she will hold upon completion of her thesis.
Her love for music began at an early age when she joined her mother singing in the church choir. She began taking piano lessons in elementary school and still takes various instrument lessons today to continue learning and growing. “I always assumed I would be a nurse because I loved to help people, but had received a rather large scholarship for music from Louisiana College. When I stepped foot onto LC’s campus and began talking to other students about my plans for nursing I overheard someone talking about Music Therapy. My mind was made up immediately. Music Therapy was the best of both worlds. I had found a way to help others through my love for music.”
In 2010 she became a registered Music Together® teacher and has since become the director of her own Music Together® program. She began her own private practice, Tuned Up Music Therapy, LLC in 2011. Through the years she has provided therapy services for facilities and institutions around town including John Eskew Training Center, a.k.a. The Arc Rapides, OLS Community Homes, Rapides Pediatric Day Health Care, and Louisiana Special Education Center, as well as treating clients in her clinic on McArthur Drive.
Whether in a therapy session or Music Together® class Julie’s love of music and therapeutic knowledge shines through. She believes in treating and teaching the whole person. “There are so many facets that come together to make us who we are as individuals. I believe that to really learn and grow we must be open to doing so with our entire being. Sadly, music which was once hailed as a powerful tool has been thrown to the wayside or treated as an extra-curricular activity. Music is a part of who we are on a deep and personal level. It connects us as no other form of art or communication can. Music is not an extra-curricular activity. It is an essential resource that must be nurtured and supported throughout our lives.”
“Music is a moral law. It gives soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination, and charm and gaiety to life and to everything.” – Plato
“Music has the power of producing a certain effect on the moral character of the soul, and if it has the power to do this, it is clear that the young must be directed to music and must be educated in it.” – Aristotle
“I would teach children music, physics, and philosophy; but most importantly music, for the patterns in music and all the arts are the keys to learning.” – Plato
“In my short career I have seen an elderly couple cry together because after hearing “their song” a husband with dementia spoke to his wife for the first time in two months. I have heard the first words of individuals who “were never going to speak”. I have read e-mails and texts from parents thanking me for helping their child function within a classroom setting. In my business success can be found in the most humble of places. To me, success is the eye contact from a child who usually recedes from others, the banging of a drum by a child who sits alone and does not interact, seeing the smiles on children’s faces when they see their mommies and daddies having fun and being silly within a Music Together class. These are the most precious gifts I’ve received for choosing this career. Each one a miracle. Each one a huge success.”
Julie is also a cantor at St. Rita Church in Alexandria. When not at work, Julie enjoys painting, crafting, sewing, re-purposing and spending time with her family. “Family has always been the most important thing to me. My brothers, sister and our families still eat Sunday supper with my parents every weekend. It is time with my family that fuels me for the week ahead.”