“I Write the Songs”

“I am music and I write the songs.”
– Barry Manilow

This November, our team had the distinct honor of leading a Music Therapy and Songwriting Retreat for Veterans with PTSD. This program was created by Music Therapy of the Rockies, a 501c3 who leads music therapy retreats nationwide for those healing from trauma.

Each retreat includes a weekend of music therapy, songwriter breakout sessions, and ends with a concert, in which the participants and their songwriters present the original song they wrote together. When the hardest parts of ones story are made into something creative and beautiful, like a song, the participants get to share their story – finally – from a place of control over it. Time and time again, it remains a powerful and beautiful thing.

We have known Music Therapy of the Rockies for four years now, and we remain honored to continue advancing their organizational mission. You can check out all of the great things they are doing here.

2022-11-17T15:07:56+00:00November 17th, 2022|Atlanta, Mental Health, MT Advocacy, Veterans, We Can Help, Wellness|

Welcome, Katherine!

Here at MMT, we have had a busy summer full of group and individual sessions, and many camps! We also brought in a new team member, Katherine Dukes!

Katherine grew up in Clarkesville, GA, and attended the University of Georgia where she received her Bachelor’s degree in Music Therapy. She values the intentionality of music experiences to enhance connections and encourage individual growth and expression. Katherine is excited to be back in Georgia as a member of the Metro Music Therapy team and looks forward to working with her clients and their families.

We are so thrilled that Katherine has joined our team! Be sure to say hi if you see her around the office or while she is out in the city providing services!

Welcome, Kiele!

We are so excited to announce that Kiele Kaupe, formerly our music therapy intern, is now here to stay with MMT! Kiele recently passed her board certification exam and is our newest MT-BC on the the team. If you haven’t had a chance to meet Kiele yet, we promise you will want to soon! She is a ray of sunshine and we are all so happy to have her on the the MMT team!

You can read more about Kiele here.

Meet Clark!

Meet our new intern, Clark Castle!

Clark was born and raised in Hattiesburg, Mississippi, and went to school at William Carey University, studying Music Therapy. Clark’s primary instrument is guitar, but he has also played bass since he was in the high school jazz band. In Clark’s free time, he enjoys playing bass and guitar and making music.

We are excited to watch Clark grow in the coming months during his internship here at MMT!

Veterans Day 2021

Here at Metro Music Therapy, we truly believe that our Veterans should be honored every day!

We are proud to tell you more about our newest partnership with Emory Healthcare.

Emory Healthcare Veterans Program

It has been our honor to recently come alongside the Emory Healthcare Veterans Program (EHVP) to provide music therapy services to the veterans and service members in their care. EHVP is a part of the Wounded Warrior Project’s Warrior Care Network, a nationwide program which recognizes the stress of military service and the challenges of returning to civilian life. Post-9/11 veterans and service members struggling with invisible wounds such as PTSD, TBI, MST, Anxiety or Depression, may benefit from this free and confidential Intensive Outpatient Program.

During our sessions at the Emory Healthcare Veterans Program, veterans collaborate with each other to relax, express themselves, share coping skills, and build confidence and self-esteem. Each veteran brings a unique perspective and experience, and it is my honor to facilitate these groups.
– Hayley Oliver, LPMT, MT-BC

We hope you enjoy the special edition of the MMT Newsletter, wherein we highlight our work specific to Veterans. You can read the entire newsletter here.

MMT’s September Highlights!

Extra! Extra! Read all about it! Our latest newsletter is out and features the newest updates from MMT.

Septembers edition includes…

  • A newly hired Metro team member
  • An update from our up and running North Carolina branch led by Bailey Hunt, MT-BC
  • Updated information regarding MMT’s funding source and how you can help
  • A highlight on MMT’s newest music therapy intern
  • New instruments featured
  • A recap of our recent online Veteran Wellness Session

Be sure to visit our website for more information. Click down below to access the entire write-up and be on the lookout for our upcoming newsletter in the near future! 

Click here to read!

The Impact of Songwriting for Veterans

Metro Music Therapy has the privilege of working with numerous impactful organizations who strive to make a difference in the lives of others. One organization that MMT has a long standing relationship with is Music Therapy of the Rockies located in Colorado. Music Therapy of the Rockies mission is to provide quality services and life-changing opportunities for veterans across the country. As part of this initiative, Music Therapy of the Rockies began songwriting retreats for veterans who suffer from PTSD and other service-related injuries. The retreats originated in Nashville, TN on Amy Grant’s farm where they remain each year. 

Mallory Even, Owner and Founder of MMT, and Laura Lenz, Assistant Director, have been fortunate enough to attend multiple veteran songwriting retreats in both Nashville and Atlanta. Each retreat is a two and a half day experience consisting of music therapy groups and songwriting sessions with a professional songwriter telling the veteran’s original story. Mallory Even shared that “veterans learn to play guitar and receive a guitar to keep” once the retreat finishes. “The entire weekend ends with a concert in which each veteran’s song is showcased” says Even. 

So, how does music therapy play a direct role in each songwriting retreat? “Music therapy is integral to the entire weekend and to the schedule and set up of the retreats” shared Even. Laura Lenz shared that “Board-certified music therapists are trained to recognize and support the veterans’ experiences in such a way that their safety and well-being is always at the forefront.” Music therapists apply their training in recognizing and understanding the neurological aspects of PTSD, anxiety, depression, and Traumatic Brain Injuries to structure the musical experience for the benefit of the veteran. Application of counseling skills and facilitating the veteran’s experience in a comfortable, safe environment ensures a successful songwriting session.  

When asked why this experience is so beneficial to veterans, Mallory stated that “when veterans share their story through song, they own a piece of it that they may never have been able to before, and tell it in a way that is their choice.” Those involved in the weekend activities offer a safe, non-judgmental environment to offer the ability to share some of their darkest and hardest stories to tell. “This process can be very healing not only in the moment, but long-term” says Even. When looking at the long-term benefits, there have been countless accounts from attendees of praise and gratitude for the veterans songwriting retreats. “Music Therapy of the Rockies is engaging in research to take brain images before a retreat and then the same images of the same veteran six months after a retreat…their preliminary results are showing increased blood flow in the brain and Music Therapy of the Rockies truly believes this is the physiological benefit of the retreat experience” Mallory shared. In addition, Laura mentioned that she has spoken to many of the veterans post-retreat and there is a “universal expression of appreciation for the tools they are taught during these retreats such as using their guitars to help them through stressful times and utilizing the techniques of music and relaxation throughout their day.” 

Freely sharing and letting the music write difficult stories is a beautiful, heartfelt process to watch for all involved. It’s hard to pinpoint one specific highlight of each retreat, but Mallory states that “it’s the people, hands down! The music therapists, the veterans, and the songwriters.” While Laura agrees, she adds that “it is one of the highest honors of my life to be allowed the opportunity to be a tiny part of being in the presence of these remarkable people whose stories are told in such a glorious way through the songwriters’ talent and compassion along with the music therapists who are so dedicated to the entirety of the people and process.” 

We are forever grateful to work alongside Music Therapy of the Rockies and be a part of their amazing work for our veterans. Metro is also fortunate to host our own retreats in the Atlanta area which are graciously funded, planned, and led by Music Therapy of the Rockies. We, at Metro Music Therapy, continue to live by our mission statement of, “We Can Help.” Our team members are dedicated to making a positive impact in the lives of those who sacrificed so much. We try to accurately express our thoughts and emotions upon attending veteran songwriting retreats, but as Laura beautifully said, “words truly don’t capture the experience.”

 

Interdisciplinary Care is Key

Music therapists are able to work in a variety of settings. School systems, hospitals, private practice, correctional facilities, nursing homes/assisted living centers, hospice facilities, psychiatric hospitals, and veteran-care centers are some of the most common locations music therapists provide services. Did you know that music therapists co-treat with numerous professionals on a treatment team? This collaboration between professionals allows for the client to receive the best services possible. 

What does co-treating look like for a music therapist? It’s a music therapists job to share their knowledge on the profession for the benefit of the client. This can include sharing client progress at a treatment team meeting or receiving updated patient information to adapt the intended music therapy session to best meet the clients needs. Music therapists understand and respect that each member of the treatment team plays an important role in the delivery of services to the client. 

Music therapists often work alongside other therapists (Speech, Occupational, Physical, Activity, etc.), nurses, social workers, chaplains, counselors, and doctors to ensure the client’s care is at the forefront. In collaborating with these professionals, music therapists are able to remain up to date with the proper documentation and notes necessary to provide high-quality services. A treatment team is a necessity for excellent patient care and provides well-rounded expertise from multiple domains. 

Online Wellness Session for Veterans

Veterans are Hurting.

With the recent news of the events in Afghanistan, we know that Veterans are hurting, feeling overwhelmed, and may be triggered by what they see and hear on the news and social media. Our team is inviting Veterans to join us online on Tuesday, August 24th @ 8:00pm for a free Music & Wellness session.

The Metro Music Therapy team will be speaking for a few minutes, sharing ways to decompress, de-stress, and to set yourself and your loved ones up for success when life feels out of control.

After the speaking portion, one of our team members will lead the participants in a live music and relaxation exercise, wherein each attendee can participate in the way that they feel most comfortable.

Veterans of all ages are welcome to attend – please share this information within your personal and professional circles!

Registration is FREE and must be completed to gain access to the Zoom call — Registration closes at 1pm eastern on August 24th!

REGISTER NOW

MMT Intern Introduction!

Metro Music Therapy is pleased to introduce our newest music therapy intern, Kiele Kaupe! 

Kiele, a Georgia native, is currently finishing up her Music Therapy degree from Georgia College and State University. Her primary instruments are the euphonium and trombone, but she enjoys playing the guitar and ukulele as well! Kiele has experience working with a variety of populations throughout her schooling including older adults in assisted living and memory care, adults with intellectual disabilities, and children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD).  

When asked what she is most excited for during her MMT internship, Kiele stated that she is looking forward to working with the numerous populations MMT has the privilege of serving weekly! The ability to share music therapy with the metro Atlanta area and surrounding communities drew Kiele to MMT. Kiele said that she “loves the overall energy, excitement, and caring nature the MMT company has” which solidified her choice in becoming part of our team.

In her free time, Kiele enjoys reading books, watching movies, and practicing yoga. She loves road trips and discovering new places with friends. One fun fact about Kiele…she loves watching Bob Ross videos even though she doesn’t know how to paint! 

We are so happy to have Kiele with us the next six months! Stay tuned for updates!

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