Cathy Bollinger is a board certified music therapist, children’s songwriter and performer. For the last twenty-five years she has worked with children of all ages and abilities in a variety of settings. Her music therapy experience includes work with children and adults with developmental and neurological disabilities including brain injuries, intellectual disabilities, and autism. She currently provides individual and group music therapy sessions at Innisfree Village, Albemarle County Schools, the Alzheimer’s Association, and Building a Bridge. Cathy also teaches music and provides music enrichment classes at ACAC pre-school and the ACAC Kid-zone.
Cathy has performed countless music workshops and school assemblies across the country. Her parent/teacher workshops demonstrate how to use music to teach essential skills to young children. Cathy has produced eleven children’s CD’s which have been nationally recognized by Parent’s Choice Awards, the American Library Association, and Parenting Magazine. Her music encompasses a range of educational topics such as early reading skills, healthy habits, and social skills. Cathy is fueled by a strong belief in the power of music to nurture, teach, and inspire!
Cathy received a master’s degree in music therapy from Drexel University (formerly Hahnemann University) and completed her internship at the Virginia Treatment Center for Children in Richmond, VA.
Cathy lives in Charlottesville, Virginia, with her husband, Bob and children Will and Kate. Older son Ross is married and living in Philadelphia. Son Will is in school at Virginia Commonwealth University. Daughter Kate is in high school in Charlottesville.
Email Cathy at
Elly has worked with children her entire adult life, She received her Masters in School Counseling from The University of Virginia. She served as County Extension Agent with the 4-H Program and then as an Elementary School Counselor and most recently as a Career Counselor at University of Virginia.
Elly now serves as Marketing Director for Rivanna Music and is committed to providing customers with great children’s music and easy access to information about the company’s products and services. Elly loves performing in local musical productions and community choirs.
Elly and her husband, Bill, live in Albemarle County VA with their son, Josh. Their daughter Dory is just completing her Masters of Education at UVA and will begin teaching elementary school.
Email Elly at
Elly and Cathy began working together in 2004, on MY TURN YOUR TURN when Cathy contacted Elly for consultation on children’s developmental issues and social skills issues. They both really enjoy collaborating, and their work is infused with good humor as well as the understanding of the importance of using music to facilitate children’s learning of important concepts.
Cathy’s knowledge of music therapy mixed with Elly’s background in developmental issues with children, allowed them to recognize the importance of incorporating certain goals, in using music to help children learn various skills:
- Songs and rhymes are written in a friendly upbeat way,
- That they use repetition of sounds (alliteration) and words for supporting maximum reinforcement of concepts
- Use Multisensory Interactivites for learning in variety of ways.
- Utilize variety of styles and instrumentation for student with learning disabilities and for traditional learners.
- They provide clear images of concepts.
- That we make available written lyrics to visually reinforce key points.
- That the songs ask questions in a way that helps the child gain confidence.
- Repeat or re-word concepts and issues.
- Frequently offer variety of examples from real-life situations.
- Use music to teach and reinforce important ideas.
- Have practice exercises available for lessons, in case the student has problems with cerain concepts.
- Have students with learning disabilities vary their approach to learning using music
- Pace instruction carefully to ensure clarity, using variety of rhythms and instrumentation
- Provides and teaches memory associations (mnemonic strategies).
- Supports one modality of presentation by following it with instruction and then use another modality.
- Sings and speaks distinctly and at rates that a student with learning and processing difficulties can follow.
- Uses plenty of examples, musical and movement, in order to make topics more applicable.
- Presents concepts logically, one at a time
- Encourages students to work with others , if possible to increase social reinforcement
- Incorporates cross-age presentations and voices for modeling purposes
Contacting Rivanna Music:
Charlottesville, VA 22906