Intrigued by how prevalent music is to the human experience, Jennifer Townsend began studying the impact of music on health as a teenager and hasn’t stopped. After receiving a bachelor's degree in Music Therapy from Sam Houston State University, she began working with pediatric patients who had disorders of consciousness. Her experiences with this population and their families led her to further develop her understanding of how to use music for healing and pushed her to gain a Master’s degree in Music Therapy from Temple University.
After over a decade of working in pediatrics, Jennifer now works in adult medical care. As the Manager for Creative Arts Therapies at Houston Methodist, she pilots programming in order to grow the footprint of creative arts therapy throughout the hospital, participates and runs studies in research related to music therapy and music medicine, and provides clinical supervision to the creative arts therapy staff. Jennifer embraces an integrative philosophy that guides her practice and research. To this end, she has published articles relating to technology in music therapy, music therapy in epilepsy and neonatal treatment, and neurological constructs of music to guide practice and application.
Additionally, she has a chapter on Medically Fragile Children in the Guidelines for Music Therapy Practice in Pediatrics. She presents regularly at national and international conferences and forums to share research findings and best practices in the field. Jennifer’s passion for arts in healthcare pushes her to advocate continuously at local, state, and national levels. She serves on the Texas State Task Force for Recognition of the MT-BC and regularly attends the Americans for the Arts National hill day. Her service doesn’t end there as she continuously seeks opportunities to connect a serve arts and health organizations through board and committee positions.