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Expressive Arts Faculty-Maria Battista-Hancock

Instrument/ Department: Music Therapy; Expressive Arts Department Chair & Internship Director

Joined Hochstein in: 2008 - June 2019


Visionary and innovative, award winning, international songwriter, music therapist, speaker and worship leader. Maria joined Hochstein’s faculty in 2008 and is currently the Expressive Arts Department Chair & Internship Director. She was born in San Nicandro Garganico (Foggia), Italy, and studied at the Università di Bologna. Her original song “In Paradiso” has 8,000 downloads and counting.  

Maria completed her Music Therapy training at Temple University, Philadelphia, PA, and now resides in Rochester, NY with her husband Joe and their three children, Paul, Melody, and Sarah. A soprano leggiero, she studied voice, opera, history of music, solfeggio and composition at the Italian Conservatorio di Musica di Rodi (Foggia). Among other techniques, Maria uses guided improvisation, movement and dance, music and imagery, therapeutic drumming and clinical songwriting when working with individuals and groups.  Among her mentors are, Dr. Cheryl Dileo, Dr. Kenneth Bruscia, Dr. Danielle Fraenkel, and Dr. Lisa Summer.  

Maria's extensive clinical experience has enabled her to develop creative strategies to relate to and treat her clients, by tuning into their interests and abilities. She believes in a person-centered approach, in which each individual explores and enhances creative personal strengths to reach musical and non-musical goals. Maria is especially interested in neuroscience research and how it shows the way music and music-making engages the brain and the heart, with practical applications to foster mind, body and spirit integration in all individuals. Maria serves as Historian on the Mid-Atlantic Region Executive Board of the American Music Therapy Association.  You can follow her on Twitter & Instagram @MariaBHancock.