Music therapy graduate helps patients heal with hope and harmony

Music therapy student Kathleen Montes with a guitar

Kathleen Montes began her career as a music teacher, but when her father passed away from cancer, she realized music therapy was her true calling.

While in hospice care, her father’s ability to speak declined, but his love of music persisted. During his final days, when language evaded him, he was still humming along to anything with a tune 一 from ringtones to TV show theme songs.

While pursuing her Master of Music Therapy degree at TWU, Kathleen advocated for her own clinical training path in hospice care. She spent her last few semesters completing an internship at Faith Presbyterian Hospice in Dallas, and she has since been offered a full-time job there as a music therapist.

The pandemic wasn’t the only challenge Kathleen faced this year. In the midst of patient facility closures and financial hardship, she was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. 

Music therapy student Kathleen Montes wearing her mask while working at a hospice

“For a while, it felt like my world was crumbling apart, but with the support of my family, friends, faculty and my absolutely incredible husband, I have been able to move forward with this new chapter of my life. With so many things that seemed to go wrong this year, I am so proud of pushing through and getting to where I am today.”

Kathleen Montes (MMT '20)

When she graduates this December, Kathleen will begin her new career as a source of comfort, joy and positive memories for her patients and their families. In times of great need, we all hope to have someone like Kathleen and the power of music by our side.

Kathleen and Kevin Montes in an airplane cockpit
Kathleen Montes and her husband, Kevin, a commercial pilot. Kathleen and Kevin met as undergraduate music majors and now count joyriding in small planes among their favorite hobbies. All photos courtesy Kathleen Montes.

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Anna Ryan

Page last updated 6:23 PM, December 7, 2020