Board-Certified Music Therapist
Shelby is a passionate advocate for using the creative arts as a tool for self-expression and wellness for children, teens, and adults. Her friendly and bright personality cultivates a space for clients and families to come as they are and to creatively explore how music can support positive outcomes.
Shelby Smith joined the Alliance Music Therapy team in August 2022 as part of our contracting team to further our team's reach across the Twin Cities Metro. Originally from Mound, Minnesota, Shelby learned about the profession of Music Therapy while volunteering in a musical ensemble at a long-term care facility. She believed it was the perfect combination of her two biggest passions - using music and helping others. Shelby attended the University of Minnesota - Twin Cities where she achieved her Bachelor of Arts in Music Therapy and a double Major in Theatre Arts. Additionally, she has served as the Musical Director for the University of Minnesota's Theatre Arts and Dance Department's mainstage production Collidescope 4.0.
Upon completing her coursework, Shelby went on to complete her 1,200 hour internship and began her Music Therapy career in private practice. She has worked with clients of all ages and abilities including clients with: Developmental coordination disorder, emotional behavior disorder, ASD, Down Syndrome, Cerebral Palsy, Septo-Optic Dysplasia, Schizencephaly, Microcephaly, Cerebellar Atrophy, sensory processing disorders, developmental disorders, and rare genetic conditions. Shelby uses a holistic, strengths-based, and client-centered approach to best meet clients' current needs and support wellness in all facets of life.
Shelby's primary instrument is voice; however, she has received university level training in guitar, piano, ukulele, and percussion. She provides adaptive lessons and has had the privilege to lead teen and adult choirs over telehealth in partnership with the Down Syndrome Association of Minnesota. Additionally, she has volunteered with the Gillette Children's Speciality Healthcare Music Therapy team in providing group jam sessions in rehab and neurology units.
Outside of work, Shelby enjoys all things outdoors (e.g. hiking, camping, climbing), traveling, playing video games, and spending time with friends and family, preferably near a lake. She LOVES dogs and grew up with multiple Great Danes - one of her largest dogs was named Sigmund who weighed over 150 lbs!
Shelby is just wonderful and [client] is enjoying his sessions so much! It's such a blessing! I get so much joy watching him try new things and interact with Shelby. And he genuinely loves it. She is so attentive and aware of his subtle and not so subtle body language, and she adapts beautifully!
She's such a terrific therapist - so talented.
- Client's Parent