About Beyond HigH C

Our Mission

The belief that our mission is possible: to build confidence so people with Aphasia, Parkinson’s + Survivors of Stroke and Brain Injury will communicate more freely and expressively, is fueled by our experiences with our participants and the valuable collaborations with speech language pathologists, other clinicians and professionals we are fortunate to have. 

Kiersten Kanaster,
M.M.

Founder,
Facilitator + Coach

Kiersten uses her Master's degree in Voice Performance and Pedagogy from Westminster Choir College and her background as a musical theater performer to create programs and strategies to help Beyond High C participants work toward their speech, cognition and recovery goals in the most fun, upbeat way possible! Kiersten lives in Virginia where she is mom to her 9 year old son and foster mom to many, many golden retrievers. 

Nicole Wood, B.A.

Director, Self-Study Program
Facilitator + Coach

Nicole lends her experience as a passionate and professional performer and educator to participants at Beyond High C, helping them connect to the music, exercises and one another in order to make progress on their conversation goals. Nicole holds a BA in Communications and is an event producer, actor, and singer based in Minnesota.

Sierra Fisk,
B.A.

Facilitator + Coach

Sierra's joy in life is finding new ways to build community and connect with people. She is thrilled that her years as an educator and performer have led her to work with Beyond High C! She holds a BA in Theatre from UC San Diego, and is a theatre producer and acting coach in Los Angeles.

Courtney Moon, B.A.

Facilitator + Coach

Courtney holds a B.A. in Communication Studies from California State University, Long Beach. Lucky for us, she brings her education and her caring personality, along with her Disney and musical theater experience to entertain Beyond High C participants while encouraging them to reach for their communication goals. Courtney lives in Southern California where she also shares her talents with the School of Rock.

Lynn Chenoweth, MT-BC

Content Creator, Emeritus

Trained in Neurologic Music Therapy and Founder-Director of the Aphasia Community Friendship Center and Loud & Proud Singers, Lynn consulted with and supported the Beyond High C Team in it's early stages, offering an invaluable contribution to the program's content, structure and foundation.

How We Got Here

It all started when a brain injury survivor came to me (Kiersten) for singing lessons. He was kind and enthusiastic and could not follow along in his lesson. At first, I was worried that I would be of no use to him, but as I began to adjust my approach and the content of his lessons, he began to have a lot of success!

When a cross-country move forced us to try it online (before Covid), I was happily surprised to see meeting online worked great! I LOVED working with this survivor so much, I began leading musical activities at all of the brain injury support groups around my new state of Virginia, hoping to learn what survivors needed and how I might help.

They wanted 2 things, they told me: to be with other survivors, and to continue their recovery. They wanted to speak better, remember better, be more engaged in the world and lead their lives with more confidence.

I developed BEYOND HIGH C as a live online group program with video, so they could see one another and develop bonds together as we worked. Talking with speech language pathologists and other clinicians, I learned about the benefits of singing for survivors of stroke, and people with aphasia and Parkinson's Disease. These professionals attended sessions and lent me their expertise and guidance by suggesting certain practices and techniques we might use to make our sessions more helpful.

WE CARE VERY MUCH about each participant at Beyond High C, and it is our mission to listen to their needs and wants, in order to create and improve upon a program that will really help them achieve their speech, cognition and recovery goals.