Kimberly Sena Moore, MM, NMT-F, MT-BC, a board-certified musical therapist and neurologic music therapist, writes a great article about why musical therapy works. Among other reasons, she notes that our “brain is primed early on to respond to and process music,” and that “Children (even infants) respond readily to music.” Of course, at the Song of the Heart studio, we see this daily. (You can find her article here if you’re interested.)
Music therapy benefits a variety of people. For instance, cancer patients may use music therapy to help ease the symptoms of their treatment. Music therapists work with kids who have Autism Spectrum Disorder, and military personnel who have PTSD. And research into the benefits abounds. For instance, Gold, C., Voracek, M., & Wigram, T in 2004 found that “music therapy has a medium to large positive effect” on children and adolescents with a range of mental or behavioral disorders such as depression and addiction. Even in recent news, we see that Gabby Giffords’ progress proves the success of music therapy.
While most Kindermusik instructors are not clinically trained or licensed music therapists (there are some!), they facilitate a researched-based music program that parallels many aspects of music therapy, including musical movement, improvisation and creating imagery through music.
It is no surprise, then, that Kindermusik educators hope to connect their program to all children, not just neurotypical children with a particular economic background. For this reason, Kindermusik International established the Ruth D. Anderson Kindermusik Children’s Fund. It “provides assistance to children who are physically or emotionally challenged, who are financially or educationally disadvantaged or who have lost a parent.” The fund cooperates with Kindermusik educators who provide free tuition so that qualifying families have equal access to quality at-home materials.
Last week at the Song of the Heart studio, we celebrated We Love Kindermusik Week. My daughter was unfortunately sick, so we didn’t get her t-shirt until this week. Nevertheless, she’s been wearing it non-stop since. You may have heard your instructor note that proceeds from the shirt sales went to the Ruth D. Anderson Kindermusik Children’s Fund, and we were able to contribute more than $300. Thank you!
So who has received those scholarships? Here are two:
As a baby, this girl’s epileptic seizures were extreme enough that her parents and medical team decided to remove half of her brain–with the thought that the remaining half would, over time, adapt. She has a lifetime scholarship with the help of Kerri Sox’s Kindermusik program at Playtime Music Studios in Florida.
Here is a video of her journey, and you can check out her blog here.
Several years ago, Alexis received a scholarship. She was born at an unusually small size and weight (1.5 pounds, 12 inches), though doctors were unable to explain why. Although she didn’t speak, she was able to communicate with sign language, and loved listening to Rhythm of My Day, from Kindermusik.
 American Cancer Society website, accessed 2/20/15
 Kindermusik Minds on Music blog, accessed 2/20/15