METRO MUSIC THERAPY – SONGS OF HOPE

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ATLANTA, GA, USA

THE NEED

The death and dying process can be a stigmatized and uncomfortable journey for people of all ages. Terminal illness, loss of a loved one, injury, and various physical conditions and challenges can be overwhelming to anyone walking their path.

Famed neurologist Oliver Sacks wrote extensively of his research findings for the medical conditions music was able to address. “In the senile, music can help recall lost memories,” wrote Sacks. “In the speech-impaired, it can bring back words. Immobile patients may get up and dance or sing.” In his book Musicophilia, Sacks wrote, “I have seen patients weep or shiver as they listen to music they have never heard before. Once one has seen such responses, one knows that there is still a self to be called upon, even if music, and only music, can do the calling.”

At Metro Music Therapy, Board-Certified Music Therapists facilitate music experiences to help terminal patients and their families navigate their way through their tragedy, honoring the patient’s life and legacy until their very last breaths. Through their thoughtful programs, MMT provides a significant support service to individuals facing the end of their life, helping them to uncover something meaningful even through their tragedy. Family members find a means and support system to walk through the grief process in an intentional way, equipping them to continue to be present and find hope and significance in their life story.

THE OPPORTUNITY

Metro Music Therapy was founded in 2007 and exists to meet the spiritual, emotional and therapeutic needs of patients in all walks of life. Metro Music Therapy provides music therapy and community support services for the following populations: patients in healthcare settings (hospitals, hospices, outpatient treatment centers, inpatient and outpatient mental health facilities, substance abuse facilities, and wellness services for healthcare staff), bereavement music therapy services for children and youth, patients in nursing homes and memory care unites (Dementia, Alzheimer’s), veterans who have suffered TBIs and/or spinal cord injuries, young female refugees, at-risk foster youth, homeless youth and adults, pediatric clients with autism, Down Syndrome, developmental disabilities, hearing impairments, physical disabilities, emotional disabilities, and ADD/ADHD.

Beginning in 2016, MMT has created the initiative Songs of Hope, funded by Wellspring International. This effort will focus therapeutic services on three areas: child bereavement, refugee care, and hospice services.

Child bereavement services are provided through schools and community groups to provide a support system through the grief process after suffering tremendous loss, such as a parent or sibling. Therapy is accomplished through singing, songwriting, recording original songs or original arrangements, musical games, musical stories, and improvisation with instruments.

Refugee services will walk alongside female refugees in Atlanta who are far from home, including areas such as Somalia and Myanmar. Through techniques that include singing, songwriting, and individual expression through the instruments, MMT serves a community of individuals vulnerable to exploitation to improve self-image, improve sense of ethnic and personal identity, improve sense of independence, decrease anxiety/agitation, increase verbalization and communication, improve coping skills and leisure skills, enhance decision making, and improve emotional expression.

Hospice services walk alongside the patient and family through the end stage of their life, and continue to provide support services for the family for a year beyond their passing. This is an intentional and rich program, engaging with suffering, helping to find meaningful even through tragedy, and supporting family members through their grief process.

THE CHALLENGE

Metro Music Therapy has helped patients and their families address and alleviate anxiety, establish positive coping skills, process the emotions surrounding the diagnoses, and remain a supportive presence to family members by establishing a therapeutic bond with the patients and their families.

For this year, Wellspring International aims to provide a total grant of $69,912 USD to fund the MMT Songs of Hope program.

CONTACT

Please contact us for more information regarding this significant project.