The Augusta Symphony teaches music therapy

Thursday, Oct. 3, 2019
News 12 This Morning

AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) -- Music has a lot of benefits, especially when you learn to play an instrument. Now, the Augusta Symphony is starting to offer classes to people who may not normally have that opportunity.

This is a calling Veronica Andreassen-Barker had at a young age.

"I chose music therapy as a field in about fourth grade. I saw a 20/20 episode about music therapy."

From there, the love of music blossomed.

"I really like music therapy because it combines helping people and music. I love music and I enjoy performing in groups but I really love facilitating music with other people. That's kind of my jam," said Veronica.

Starting this fall, the Augusta Symphony is going beyond the stage and facilitating music therapy at the Knox Music Institute.

"Most times music therapy is in a hospital or an educational facility but here it's really in the heart of the Augusta community."

For the first year, they choose to serve an often under-served population - adults with disabilities or brain injuries.

"I'm addressing non-musical goals, but using music as the vessel really," said Veronia.

What's even better is the program is paid for for the next three years by University Health Care System.​ In the coming years they plan to make partnerships to reach more undeserved groups of people.

"We can go where there's a need in Augusta​."

The classes start next month. They're partnering with four organizations to get participants.

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