Staff Spotlight: Sam Burns

By April 30, 2020 Q&A

Currently, a full-time Music Therapist with the Snohomish County Music Project, Sam has always had a passion for making music with others. She primarily works with children ages 6mos – 12yrs and their families who have experienced trauma. As a music therapist, Sam believes in a relational systems-informed holistic approach. She is responsible for developing and implementing music therapy programming as well as participating in staff meetings and peer supervision.

A photo of Sam standing on big rocks with trees in the background (possibly a riverside). She is wearing Chacos, jeans and a light grey T-shirt. She's smiling at the camera and posing with a thumbs up.

Sam fell in love with the profession of music therapy after coming across the field in a research project for a speech class in high school. Sam loved the connections that were built through music-making and decided that she wanted to pursue training. She received her BA in Music Therapy from Seattle Pacific University, and now, she is in the middle stages of earning her Masters in Music Therapy from Slippery Rock University. Outside of work, Sam absolutely loves hiking in the north cascades and board game nights with friends.

Sam and her husband, Jason, taking a happy selfie together. There are white Christmas lights in the background.

Sam first became involved with the Music Project as a sophomore in college as a practicum student. She was enamored with the Music Project’s non-oppressive relational and holistic philosophy. She continued to fill up her practicum experience with Music Project sites and then completed her clinical internship with the Music Project. Sam is interested in how music can facilitate attachment and increase communication patterns in family systems following reunification. The most rewarding thing for her is creating the space for children and families to interact with one another in the music.

Sam taking a selfie of herself and her husband, Jason, as they sit on a cabin porch enjoying their coffee.

Where is your hometown? Otis, Oregon

Who inspires you? Children. They are such wholesome and loving beings.

What did you want to be when growing up? A kitten. I believed it was possible. My four-year-old self is disappointed.

Sam is smiling while holding a hot drink in her hand. All around her are white Christmas light strands hanging down. It's magical.

If you could plan a vacation anywhere in the world, where would you go? Iceland. So many amazing geographical places to visit!

What gives you joy? Hiking with friends and family, board game nights, and skim boarding.

If you were stuck on an island, what three (3) things would you bring? A working radio powered by solar energy so I could remain in contact with friends and family, fishing net, and a massive box of matches. I’m an introvert. The time alone will be great and by the time I was over it, I could just radio for help.

Share a fun fact about you. I’m a black belt in Shotokan.

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