Kana Kamitsubo-Markovic, Founder/Director, Pianist, Music Therapist


A pianist as well as a board-certified music therapist born in Kobe, Japan, Ms. Kana Kamitsubo, MT-BC, has received a strong and unique music education both in Japan and the U.S., with concentrations in classical, jazz, and music therapy. Kana graduated Summa Cum Laude from Berklee College of Music in Boston, in which she was recognized and received a number of awards and scholarships including the highest award granted in the music therapy department. In Japan, Kana graduated from Koyo Conservatory where she studied contemporary music and jazz piano, and Osaka Music College where she studied classical piano.

As a music educator, Kana has been teaching piano to students of any ages and abilities. She customizes her teaching approaches to meet her students’ needs and requirements and motivate students in learning piano. With her expertise in music therapy, she has numerous experiences in teaching music to diverse populations with special needs, including autism spectrum disorder (ASD), ADHD, and ADD. In 2013, she founded and created Hug Melody® curriculums for groups and solo/duo lessons.

As a music therapist, Kana has actively worked with a variety of populations and is especially recognized as an expertise in two areas. Her first specialty is in “clinical improvisation”, an essential and effective approach in music therapy. Possessing strong ability and knowledge in clinical improvisation, she has served as a course author for “Clinical Music Improvisation” class in Master’s degree curriculum at Berklee College of Music. In addition, her work with children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) has received attention from the field of music therapy and music education. In 2008, Kana began establishing her own music therapy method, Musicreative™, which combines music therapy and music education and enables children with learning disabilities learn music. She has worked with countless number of children with special needs and not only successfully taught them music and piano instruction, but also helped them improve their non-musical skills such as pre-academic and cognitive skills. This approach is referred to as a“highly significant in the field of music therapy, music education, and special education” and regarding the outcomes of her students, “they have far exceeded the outcomes typically attained by clients on the spectrum,” according to Dr. Darcy Walworth, Chair of Certification Board of Music Therapists and Co-chair of the Autism Task Force for the American Music Therapy Association. Kana has been asked to give workshops, lectures, and presentations nationally and internationally as well as to write articles about her approach.

As a pianist, Kana has been performing with a variety of professional musicians in wide range of genres. Kana and her husband, Sasha, also perform as a piano & guitar acoustic duo, Yagull which has received international acclaims from many countries. She has composed numerous pieces of music for therapy and healing music- some of which have been recorded on the piano solo album, “Poignant Piano”(2011) and the relaxation CD, “Optimal Wellness For Every Body” (2008).

License: Music Therapist Board Certified (MT-BC)

Ms.Kana currently offers Hug Melody Group classes only while supervising and training Hug Music’s instructors and therapists.