Music heals as group of students take on new music therapy course

Published: Feb. 4, 2020 at 11:10 AM EST
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Monday, Feb. 3, 2020

News 12 This Morning

AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) -- Listening to music is a bit like therapy, but the Augusta Symphony is taking that idea more seriously.

The Knox Music Institute is using music to meet the medical goals of some right here in our community. Music Therapist Veronica Andreassen-Barker is working with students to teach them something new.

"We all know as people that music is powerful. What music therapists try to do is harness that power of music to move people," Veronica said.

She has been harnessing that power with this group for three months now. Each student is dealing with an intellectual disability.

"The range of disability or ability varies across people, but luckily in music we're all on even footing."

Music is the tool that helps break down the walls.

"People are making eye contact with me, and participants are initiating conversation."

Just 12 weeks ago one person wouldn't even look at her. Now, the progress shows just how well this program is working.

"We started singing twist and shout," Veronica said. "His head lifted up. He looked at me multiple times, and not only that he started participating in the group."

He may not have twisted and shouted, but it's progress. For some people it may just be loud drums, or slightly off pitch singing. But it's an open door to these people.

"That means that together we can communicate and have moments of joy and meaningfulness."

A change that sometimes only music can bring.

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