The 12 Songs of Christmas


Each December, we offer an opportunity to our clients to share their joy on our “Sounds of the Season” Christmas CD as well as through our “12 Songs of Christmas” video series.  This year, we had three hours of songs shared by our clients!

We hope the sounds heard at LIH brighten your spirit!
(All videos are shared with the permission of the client/parent/guardian).



Click here to see the videos from 2015!

4th Annual Recital – “Music Is Life”

Music Is Life Grey

We hope you can join us for our 4th Annual Recital!

This recital will be highlighting the process of making music, not the product itself. For many, the “process” or skills needed to perform might be articulating the lyrics, remembering to bring his/her music, grasping the mallets to play a drum, making eye contact with the audience, or sustaining attention for the performance. Performances will be polished and protected but in a different way than the average music recital.  We can’t wait to see what our clients will perform this year!  A variety of instruments and music therapy techniques will be used throughout each show which will keep every performance “one of a kind” and sure to inspire!

Due to an anticipated 75+ performers, our recital has grown from two shows to FOUR shows!  Each show will feature a different lineup of performers.  We anticipate each show to be 60 – 75 minutes long.  We are excited to have special guests from the Coulee Region Humane Society’s Pet Therapy Program to greet audience members before or between shows.  Doors to the recital hall will open 15 minutes prior to each show and seating is general admission.  Feel free to stay for one show or attend all four!

Show #1:
Saturday, February 20th, 2016
7:00 – 8:15 PM
*This show will feature more of a “coffee shop feel” with some of our teens and adults.
Heider Center doors open at 6:30 PM
Recital hall opens at 6:45 PM

Show #2:
Sunday, February 21st, 2016
11:30 AM – 12:45 PM
Heider Center doors open at 11:00 AM
Recital hall opens at 11:15 AM

Show #3:
Sunday, February 21st, 2016
1:30 – 2:45 PM
Heider Center lobby will be open between shows #2 and #3
Recital hall opens at 1:15 AM

Show #4:
Sunday, February 21st, 2016
3:30 – 4:45 PM
Heider Center lobby will be open between shows #3 and #4
Recital hall opens at 3:15 AM

This event is dear to our hearts and we are committed to keeping this a cost free event for our clients and those who are able to come see them shine!  Thus, this event is FREE of charge and is open to the general public.  Audience members will have an opportunity to support this show when we “pass the drum” at the end of each show.  These free will donations will help to offset the cost of this event and allow LIH to continue this event in the future.

T-shirts and other Merchandise will be for sale before and after each show.  Please bring cash, check, or credit card if you wish to purchase a LIH T-shirt with this year’s logo!  Shirts are $10.00 + tax.  We’ll also plan to have other small items for sale as well like car magnets, key chains, zipper pulls, and more!  To pre-order a shirt, please visit our Square Store HERE and order by February 10th or purchase a shirt at the recital (subject to size availability).  Please remember, all individuals performing at the show will receive a shirt at NO cost so please do not purchase shirts for performers.

To volunteer for our event please contact or 608-799-4860.

We can’t wait to share why “MUSIC IS LIFE”! #musicislife #songtobeheard

New to 2016, we are offering area businesses an opportunity to support this event through a sponsorship of $25 or more in exchange for their organization or company logo to be printed in our program. Our program will be distributed to over 300+ guests who will be very appreciative of your support to our program.  Every amount, small or large, helps us to keep this event going and raise awareness for music therapy in our community!  Area businesses interested in sponsoring this event are encouraged to complete the Recital Sponsorship Form by February 17th, 2016.  For questions about the recital or how to sponsor this event please contact LIH at 608-799-4860 or email


12 Songs of Christmas & The “Sounds of the Season”

Each year, we offer an opportunity to our clients to share their joy on our “Sounds of the Season” Christmas CD or through our “12 Songs of Christmas” video series.  This year, we have over 60 songs, each performed by our amazing clients.  We’ll also be featuring 12 videos of clients whose joy may be seen and heard through their beautiful music making and active participation (and some singing as well) 🙂

We will begin by posting a few videos of our “12 Songs of Christmas”!  Each day we’ll add a new video leading up to Christmas.  We hope the sounds heard at LIH brighten your spirit!
(All videos are shared with the permission of the client/parent/guardian).

#12 Bonus (a bit blurry): “Jingle Bells” featuring Alex G. and Amy S., MT-BC

#12: “Rudolph, the Red-Nosed Reindeer” featuring Brody B. and Andrea H., MA, MT-BC

#11: “Angels We Have Heard On High” featuring Mackenzie P. and Amy S., MT-BC

#10: “Silent Night” featuring Erik O. and Sarah K., MT-BC

#9: “Up On The Housetop” featuring Ethan L. and Andrea H., MA, MT-BC

#8: “Away In A Manger” featuring Adrianna R. and Amy S., MT-BC

#7: “Silver Bells” featuring Jack S. and Sarah K., MT-BC.

#6: “Little Drummer Boy” featuring Carmen S. and Katherine S., MT-BC

#5: “Shake Those Maracas/Feliz Navidad” featuring Sabina B. and Sarah K., MT-BC

#4: “Let It Snow” featuring Kayden F. and Katherine S., MT-BC

#3: “Santa Claus is Coming to Town” featuring Yee Leng L. and Katherine S., MT-BC

#2: “Silver Bells” featuring Nathan K. and Amy S., MT-BC

#1: “O, Come All Ye Faithful” featuring Garrett L. and Andrea H., MA, MT-BC


It’s the most Wonderful Time of the Year!

We have an exciting month ahead!  We want to be sure you don’t miss out on the events that are coming up in the weeks as we prepare for Christmas!

1) LIH’s First Annual GIVING TREE!
Giving Tree.jpg

2) Family Fun at the Rotary Lights!Caroling Flier 2015

3)  Our FREE holiday mini-series for Little Voices, Big Minds!  Register HERE!  Little Voices, Big Spirits 2015 Flier

4) Get ready to watch/listen for LIH’s “12 Days of Christmas” video series and our “Sounds of the Season” CD!  Clients, please be sure to submit your design for the CD label by December 10th!  To enter, please draw a design you think would be good for our CD label this year!  Give this to your therapist at your next appointment and your picture may be chosen for our CD label!

5) Be sure to save the date for our 4th Annual Recital!  February 20th and February 21st!  More information to come soon!

Happy 7th Birthday, LIH!

(A little belated due to getting our pictures together)

As I prepared for our first birthday celebration event since we opened in 2008, I found myself thinking “Do I have my math right?  Has it really been seven years?!”.  The thought process immediately took me back to sitting at my kitchen table, in my one bedroom apartment, pondering what to name my infant… business, that is.  I remember testing each potential business name out loud by saying, “Hi, this is Amy from ______”, only to laugh at some of the wild ideas my boyfriend (now husband) and I were coming up with.  I wish we saved a list of all of the potentials!  It seemed like such an impossible task and at the time, it didn’t even seem necessary!

I remember thinking “Do I really need a business name?  I only have one client and one contract.”… “What is an LLC?  I better find a lawyer.”… “What about a logo?  I’ll just make it on my own on Microsoft Word.”… “I did the service but now how do I make an invoice?”… “Oh, you want a brochure?!?  Great!  Let me put one in the mail for you (right after I make it!).”

In a way, seven years seems like yesterday when remembering back to all of those “firsts”; however, in other ways, it seems like a really long time!  We have some clients who’ve been with us for the entire journey and it is amazing to review the goals they have conquered during this time!  Luckily, they provide a visual reality check of how old LIH really is as I’ve seen one client transform from a two-year-old toddler to an almost nine-year-old boy!  What’s funny is I still have many tasks I’ve been meaning to do since day one!  Maybe they’ll be accomplished in the next seven years!

At the birthday party, one of the social workers who knew LIH in its infant state saw my red Kia Spectra 5 (hatchback/instrument hauler) and told her husband, “That’s where it all started!  She would drive that car to everyone’s house with tons of instruments inside”!  I loved hearing this comment because it instantly took me back to those beginning times.  When LIH was just starting out on the road to discovering the great need for music therapy in our area.  When we were just starting to dream BIG!  It reminded me of moving from being a home-based service to working out of a small office (which seemed huge at the time).  Then thinking of our most recent move to our bigger space which has now started to feel a little crammed as our team has expanded to five music therapists, an administrative assistant, and soon to be adding an office assistant.

Looking around at the birthday party, it was impossible to not think about the importance relationships have played over these seven years. Seeing that families took time out of their day to celebrate US made me realize how strong the therapeutic relationships are between music therapists and their clients (family members, too!).  I could hear what community sounded like in the laughter, chatting, and music being made.  I saw teamwork as I watched the LIH staff and volunteers going above and beyond to organize and execute the plans for the afternoon.  I saw my own family (and the family members of other staff members) there to support and help (as always)!

I saw my husband and immediate family there and thought of how strong LIH is because of their support. I saw my kids running around and realized how badly I want them to grow up respecting diversity and recognizing that “every bird has a song to be heard” (our theme for 2015).

One regret from the party is that I didn’t have time to get to know more of the individuals who I don’t work with directly.  I think the hardest realization over the past seven years has been accepting that my role has changed and not trying to fight this inevitable (and great but uncomfortable) transformation.  I have found it is very hard to balance the passion to do clinical work and the desire (and need) to lead the LIH team.  I do know that it is so much easier when you see your staff pour their heart and soul into their work where you feel excited to share with a new referral that their assigned therapist is not you, but instead an AMAZING music therapist who you know they will LOVE!  The past seven years has been a complete transformation from being a fresh graduate right out of my music therapy internship looking for my first job to being a board certified music therapist, a business owner, a wife, a mom, a director, and I guess you could say “the boss”.  So much has changed in the past seven years that it’s hard to identify how each role has impacted the others.  It is equally as hard to think of the change LIH has experienced and try to separate how each client, organization, social worker, parent, advocate, new staff member, etc. has impacted this change, however, I know each person has left a huge foot print.

While the past seven years has not necessarily resembled a newly paved road (like the hill on Hwy 33), it has been filled with abundant joy and blessings.  The struggles seem to have made LIH stronger and provided myself and the entire team an opportunity to focus on why we do what we do and how can we be sure to continue to serve others using the gifts we’ve been given to share.

I think I could reflect on the past seven years for another seven hours or more so I’ll wrap up with a short list of thank yous! (which could also go on and on and on!)

To the individuals and organizations who support and utilize the work we do, THANK YOU!  To the community organizations who provide grant funds that can be used towards music therapy… THANK YOU!  To the individuals who travel near and far to receive our services, THANK YOU!  To everyone who has shared their music therapy success story with others, THANK YOU!  To the social workers, medical providers, case managers, educators, parents, and other individuals who send us amazing referrals, THANK YOU!  To the social workers and case managers who go above and beyond to help us coordinate services, THANK YOU!  To the individuals who have volunteer their time at LIH, THANK YOU!  To the network of music therapists across the US and World who give their all every day to grow awareness for our profession, THANK YOU!  To the talented team of music therapists who moved to the Coulee Region to join the LIH Family, THANK YOU! To our immediate family members who believe in us and encourage us to chase our dreams, THANK YOU! And last but not least… to everyone celebrated with us, THANK YOU!!!!!

With great appreciation,
Amy Schaack

“Sing” – 2015 Recital Slideshow

Thank you to all of the performers who participated in the 3rd Annual Recital!  Our theme this year was “Every Bird Has A Song To Be Heard”.  We had two shows, each two hours long!  What an amazing way to showcase music therapy!  Thank you to our very respectful and patient audience as well!  Every performer had an opportunity to shine, to sing out, and to be proud!  We had some amazing volunteers and two proud parents volunteered to emcee the event!  An extra special thank you goes out to Bradley Schaack for running the sound and setting up the stage for the show and also to Julie Wallace who volunteered her time and talents to take photos of our event.  You can learn more about Julie at her website!

If you would like to order a photo you see in the slide show we will have order forms available at LIH.  Please ask a LIH staff member during your next appointment to see the photo album and order form!

Our team voted on the song “Sing” to use for the background of the video because we feel all of the performers had an opportunity to “Sing/play it for the word” to see and hear.

We cannot wait to see everyone on stage again next year!  Date is TBD.

“I Am” – Changing the world one song at a time!

At Life In Harmony, we believe that success-based music therapy experiences bring SO many opportunities for individuals to complete the phrase “I am ____________”.

“I am confident”, “I am able to express myself”, “I am independent”, “I am expressive”…

We love the “I am” phrases that accompany the smiles in the video!

The lyrics of the song “I Am” were inspired by families from the Down Syndrome of Wisconsin – Children of the Heart – Greater La Crosse Area (DSAW – COTH – GLA) organization.  We gathered thoughts thoughts on paper through a series of interview questions about the strengths of their child with Down syndrome, challenges, what they would want the world to know, and their hope for the future.  We love this song because their words can be applied to all individuals who face challenges with feeling limited and not accepted for who they are.

I feel so lucky to be able to combine my skills as a songwriter and music therapist to help an organization like DSAW-COTH-GLA strengthen community, advocacy, and awareness.  Organizations or individuals with a mission – Email LIH at to get started communicating your message, mission, and passion through song!

Comment below or tweet us at @LifeinharmonyMT to celebrate all that we can be!  We want to know how you SHINE!  “I am ____________”.  #songtobeheard #musictherapy #IAm

~ Amy Schaack, MT-BC

2015 Recital Information – “Every Bird Has A Song To Be Heard”

With only two weeks to go before our 3rd Annual Recital we want to be sure you know the details!  

LIH Recital Shirt 2015

Our recital will take place on Sunday, February 15th at the Heider Center in West Salem, WI.

Heider Center (West Salem High School Performing Arts Center)
405 E. Garland Street

West Salem, WI 54669
Directions from I-90
Directions from Hwy 16

Due to the large number of clients wanting to showcase their hard work, we will have two shows this year.  Each show will have different participants and is sure to be unique!  We will be featuring our younger clients at the beginning of each show and we will have our teens and adults following.  

Show #1 will be from 1:00 – 2:30/2:45 PM
Show #2 will be from 3:00 – 4:45 PM

Participants are asked to be at the event 15 minutes prior to the show they are participating in.

The event is open to the public and this is a free event.  We will be collecting a free-will donation for those who wish to help offset the cost of the event.  

Shirts will be available for purchase for $10.00 – sizes may be limited but additional shirts can be ordered and picked up at LIH after the event.  The design above will be featured on the shirt this year and they will be lime green with blue and brown font!

The purpose of our annual recital is to allow our clients an opportunity to shine and show what they are working on in music therapy!  Each performance will highlight a favorite song or instrument/intervention of the participant and audience members can follow along with the program to see what goals/objectives the participant is targeting with his/her song.  This year, we are encouraging each client to perform a FAVORITE song!  We love that this event helps the general public see the joy we experience each day!