Maya Charlton, MA, MT-BC is a Board-Certified music therapist based in the San Francisco Bay Area. Maya received her Master’s in Music Therapy from NYU and has additional training in medical music therapy, trauma-informed practice, play therapy and mindfulness meditation.

With over 20 years clinical experience working with children, teens and adults, Maya has developed and implemented successful new music therapy programs in medical, educational and mental health settings. Maya currently leads the Music Therapy program at UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital Oakland (Jared Kurtin Music Therapy Program) since 2008.

Maya Charlton, MA, MT-BC

Maya Charlton, MA, MT-BC

Music Therapist

Maya has experience helping clients cope with mental health issues, depression, grief, trauma, illness, disability, pregnancy and parenting.

She has been guest lecturer at the University of The Pacific, Sonoma State University, New School for Social Research and The Chaplaincy Institute, and presents nationally and internationally. She is author of “Hear My Song: Giving Voice to Adolescents with Sickle Cell Disease”, published in Music and Medicine : Integrative Models in the Treatment of Pain (Mondanaro, J & Sara, G. 2013).

As a client-centered, trauma-informed therapist Maya specializes in the use of music therapy in addressing:


  • chronic illness
  • pain management
  • neurological injury
  • grief and loss
  • anxiety & depression

  • trauma
  • pregnancy/parenting
  • children with special needs
  • family support
  • palliative care


Maya brings to her work a background in mindfulness meditation and jazz improvisation. She holds a strong belief in the power of creative expression within a supportive therapeutic relationship to unlock a client’s full potential and promote healing and growth.

“My music is evidence of my soul’s will to live” ~ Charles Mingus