It was a lovely October night as our team enjoyed delicious Italian food, indulged in musically decorated cookies, and divvied up a large cake in the shape of the number 10. Why, you may be wondering, did we become temporary gluttons? To celebrate 10 years of Metro Music Therapy, of course! Most of us have only had the privilege of working or interning with MMT for a few months out of those 10 years, and even we were getting teary-eyed seeing all of our colleagues and community partners together, hearing stories of how Metro Music Therapy has impacted the Atlanta area in profound ways. Speakers from organizations including The Alchemy Sky Foundation, Neuro Community Care, Wellspring International, Northside Hospital, Helping Mamas, and Life’s End Logistics each shared their unique and moving experiences of partnering with Metro Music Therapy, and more specifically, with our fearless leader: owner and director, Mallory Even. If that night was special for us, it’s safe to say that we can’t imagine how meaningful it must have been for the woman who started it all. So we’ll let her do the talking!
How did it feel seeing family, friends, partners, colleagues, employees and interns all together in one room? What was it like to know they were all there to celebrate something you started?
“The phrase ‘an embarrassment of riches’ comes to mind. It was a humbling, joyful experience to see people that have supported me and Metro Music Therapy’s mission from the very beginning, be in the same room to celebrate 10 years of heartfelt, raw work. I keep picturing all of the beautiful faces that filled the room that night, and can feel nothing but gratitude for having each of them as a part of my story and my song.”
When you first began Metro Music Therapy, what did you imagine it might look like in 10 years? Looking back, how has it been different than you expected?
“To be honest, back then I didn’t know that Metro Music Therapy had a future that would last 10 years! We started in such a humble way, with only me traveling to people’s homes providing music therapy services and music lessons, and I wasn’t looking forward – I was just living in the moment. Looking back on that now, I wish I would have had better insight as to where this journey was going to take me, but I think there’s something beautiful in the not knowing. I often tell people I did not grow this company, but this company grew me. I was along for the ride, and what a beautiful ride it has been so far!”
What is one of your favorite (proudest, funniest, most rewarding) memories from the past 10 years?
“Wow, this is very difficult to narrow down! I’ve been grateful for each and every day that I’ve had with Metro music therapy, but I think one of the ones that stands out the most is the day that we signed a contract to be in partnership with Wellspring International. For a big part of my life, I’ve been a supporter and follower of RZIM and the ministries within and supported by their organization. To be able to be a part of their mission by bringing music therapy services to those who would not ordinarily be able to participate in such services, has impacted me in such a deep and meaningful way. Creating the Songs of Hope program, which is fully funded by Wellspring, has caused me to pause several times in order to just be able to wrap my head around where MMT has come over the past 10 years. I feel lucky and blessed that this is my job!”
If you could give one piece of advice to music therapists beginning their own private practices, or small business owners who are wondering how to make it 10 years – what would it be?
“Have vision for the future, but remember to take each day as it comes. Celebrate the highs, grieve the lows and learn from them. Surround yourself with amazingly loving and supportive people. And most importantly, never forget why you chose this field in the first place.”
Mallory, we are all so proud of you, and humbled to be a part of your journey! It is an honor to be named among the ranks of such a special company, bringing joy and healing through music.
To you, and to everyone who has been a part of Metro Music Therapy – employees, clients, families, friends, partners, encouragers: thank you for 10 amazing years, and here’s to many more!
Written by Kevin Middlebrooks, LPMT, MT-BC