Meet our Team

Music Therapy Intern Jacqueline Sertell

Julyn Shirley

Music Therapy Intern


Julyn Shirley joined the NeuroRhythm team in July 2020. During her time at William Carey University, she worked with a variety of populations including but not limited to children with behavioral disorders, adults with intellectual disabilities, patients in the oncology unit, elementary school children, and dementia care. She also did supervised music therapy contract work with Pine Belt Mental Health for two years.


Julyn's primary instrument is voice. She studied Italian, French, and German pieces as well as English art songs and musical theatre repertoire. During her undergraduate time, she also learned to utilize guitar, piano, voice, and percussion in music therapy sessions. Julyn has always been fascinated with the brain and is excited to learn more about music connects with neurological processes. She is very interested in ABA and hopes to pursue certification in the future.

Why I Want to Become a Music Therapist

When she was in middle school, Julyn's maternal grandfather developed Alzheimer's, which rapidly developed. Within two years, her grandmother had to move him to a nursing home where he could receive twenty-four hour care. At this time, he was nonverbal, did not recognize the family, and was almost catatonic. After her grandfather moved to the nursing home, the family would sing whenever they visited him, and if they sung certain songs ("Just a Little Talk with Jesus," "I'll Fly Away," or "Victory in Jesus"), he would sing along. He knew every word and would, in a sense, become "alive" again. However, as soon as the music stopped, he would return to his previous state. This experience made a lasting impression on Julyn and helped her realize that music could be used as a method of communication. She chose music therapy because she wanted to use her musical abilities to make a difference in other people's lives, and as she has taken various classes and attended practica, Julyn believes becoming a music therapist will allow her to make a huge impact on the people around her.


Julyn completed her course work for a bachelor's degree in music therapy from William Carey University in May 2020 and is currently completing her six month internship at NeuroRhythm Music Therapy Services. She looks forward to receiving her certification as a Board Certified Music Therapist (MT-BC) from the Certification Board for Music Therapists (CBMT) and completing the Neurologic Music Therapy (NMT) training from the Academy of Neurologic Music Therapy. After receiving certification, she hopes to further her education in a graduate program before pursuing ABA certification. 

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Julyn Shirley

Music Therapy Intern