About Us
Mission  —  Vision  —  Values

The mission of Maya's Music Therapy Fund is to unlock the potential and enrich the lives of people with developmental disabilities through music therapy.

Maya's Music Therapy Fund empowers people with developmental disabilities to increase autonomy, build community, and expand artistic expression, while improving physical, social, and cognitive skills.


Our Board

Joanna Cooper, MD
Joanna Cooper, MD, along with Michael Cooper, MD, founded Maya's Music Therapy Fund after the death of their daughter Maya in 1988. The idea for the music therapy fund came from the visible joy Maya exhibited when listening to music and her transformation while participating, even in a very small way, in the creation of music.
Dr. Cooper has led the Maya's Music Therapy Fund Board of Directors since 2004. She also served on the Board of Directors of the Regional Center of the East Bay between 1985 and 1989 and chaired its Client Services Committee during that period. Dr. Cooper has been a member of a number of other community organizations. She is a practicing neurologist in Berkeley.
Maya's Music Therapy Fund has been a fitting memorial to Maya's spirit and, most importantly, has provided an avenue to give back to the community of people with severe developmental disabilities.
In June 2018, our Co-Founder and Chairperson of the Board Dr. Joanna Cooper was given the Jefferson Award by CBS San Francisco for outstanding volunteerism.

Opher Peled
Opher was raised in Israel, Tanzania and the United Kingdom. He has a Bachelors in Economics from The Hebrew University and a Masters Degree in Development Economics from Cambridge University. Opher has worked in the Utility and Financial sectors over the past 30 years as a consultant and software developer. Opher's connection with MMTF derives from his long friendship with Phyllis van Kranenburgh, and he is happy to lend his talents to this worthy endeavor. Opher is married with 2 adult children and a beloved dog.

Charles Pollack, MD
Charlie came to know Maya in l986 when he and Joanna Cooper became partners. It was clear to him at that time that Maya's mood and sociability changed noticeably when music of any kind was in the air, and how this affected the people around her.
After Maya's death, he participated in the fund-raising activities of Maya's Music Therapy Fund, and was involved in creating a visual record of the program and its very talented music therapist.
Charlie formally joined the Board in 2006 and has served as treasurer and most recently as interim executive director.
Charlie is a retired psychiatrist. In his 40-year career, he worked as staff psychiatrist, program chief and mental health director for Contra Costa County. He was also a founder, medical director and executive director of Berkeley Therapy Institute.

Stephen S. Pollack
Stephen met Maya in l986 when his father, Charlie Pollack, and Joanna Cooper became partners. Spending time with Maya, it was clear to him that music resonated with her in a more profound way than any other form of communication. After Maya's death, Stephen volunteered and donated regularly for activities of Maya's Music Therapy Fund, and he became a board member in 2012.
Stephen is a partner in a human resource consulting firm. His area of expertise is executive compensation in not-for-profit organizations particularly in healthcare. Stephen's previous background is in human resources more broadly.

Heather Rosnow
Heather Rosnow has been attending Maya's events for many years and was honored when asked to join the board. She is constantly amazed at all the wonderful progress and joy in the faces of the students in the program. She greatly admires the passion and dedication of the Board members and especially of Titia Martin, MT-BC. Heather has a degree in Music Therapy from the University of the Pacific and works in marketing for a hospice company in the Bay Area.

Joanna Smith
Joanna first met Maya in 1981 and became friends with Joanna Cooper and Charlie over the years. She served on the Maya's board previously and in 2005 took a leave to start her own healthcare advocacy business. Now retired, she is delighted to be back on the MMTF Board. The Spring Festival is her favorite MMTF program: she finds it exciting to see and hear the clients express themselves through music and watch the joy of their families. Joanna is a licensed clinical social worker with a Masters in Public Health and a Credential as an independent healthcare advocate.

Phyllis van Kranenburgh
Phyllis van Kranenburgh has been a neighbor and good friend of Titia Martin for many years. Her son, Alec, is a regular volunteer for Maya's Music Therapy Fund's annual music festival. One year, when he was away at college, Phyllis filled in helping out at the food concession. She observed, with delight, the positive effect that music therapy had in the lives of people with developmental disabilities. Phyllis joined the board in January 2016, shortly after retiring from her full time job as a paralegal for an Oakland law firm specializing in land use and public law.

Ellen Reinheimer Whitaker
Ellen has been on the board of Maya's Music Therapy Fund since 2002. She served as executive director of Maya's from 2004 until her retirement from that role at the end of 2014. Ellen's interest in the work of the organization stems from her daughter's participation in Maya's programs for many years and seeing at first-hand the power of music therapy to improve the quality of life for those with disabilities.
Ellen holds a Master's degree in Library and Information Science from the University of California, Berkeley, and worked in private, specialized libraries (Bechtel Corporation, Morrison & Foerster) for many years. She joined Information on Demand, a pioneering information brokerage, in 1980, and served as vice president of research and document delivery from 1982 to 1990.
After leaving IOD, she started her own research company, earned a Certificate in Landscape Architecture from the University of California, Berkeley, and was co-author of Great Kitchens: Design Ideas from America's Top Chefs, Taunton Press, 2001.

Our Music Therapist

Titia Martin-Nagel
Titia was born and raised in the Netherlands, and graduated there in 1982 with a major in music therapy. Her first job was at a psychiatric hospital for adults in Rotterdam, where she established a music therapy program for the 850-bed facility. She also taught music therapy at the Maastricht Conservatory of Music.
After immigrating to the United States in 1986, Titia transferred her degree and experience into the certifying system recognized by the American Music Therapy Association. She was granted the title of Registered Music Therapist (RMT) in 1986 and became an MT-BC, a Board Certified Music Therapist, in 1995. Titia has been a guest speaker and presenter of workshops on music therapy throughout the years and regularly attends music therapy conferences.
Since 2014, she has enjoyed sharing her knowledge and experience with interns from various universities with Music Therapy programs. They get fieldwork experience by working under her supervision during selected music therapy sessions.
In addition to her work with Maya’s Music Therapy Fund, Titia has worked with a great diversity of clients, including:

  • Infants 0-3 years old at the Easter Seal Therapy and Learning Center of San Francisco (1987)
  • Adults with schizophrenia at the Cordilleras Mental Health Center in Redwood City (1987-1989)
  • Children with physical and developmental disabilities ages 3-10 at the Children's Center for Movement Therapy in San Francisco (1987-1990)
  • Severely emotionally disturbed children ages 6-16 at both the Child and Family Treatment Center (1991) and Edgewood Children's Center (1992-1993) in San Francisco
  • Students of the Special Day Class at Albany High School (2007-2009).
  • Adults with developmental disabilities, at Alegria Community Living, an Oakland based program with group homes throughout the East Bay (2008 until present)
On June 8, 2011, the Developmental Disabilities Council of Contra Costa presented to Titia Martin-Nagel a Special Recognition Award for her continued involvement and commitment to the improvement of services for individuals with developmental disabilities and their families. She was nominated by the mother of a participant of one of her music therapy groups, who was impressed with Titia's work with her daughter at the annual Spring Music Festival. The award given by the Disabilities Council was accompanied by a Certificate of Recognition from the California State Assembly, a Certificate of Recognition from the California State Senate, and a Certificate of Special Recognition from the U.S. House of Representatives.
Titia has also taught private piano lessons to children and adults with and without disabilities. She and her American musician husband have three adult children - two daughters and a son.