Music therapy program receives national grant

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Courtesy Mary Free Bed

The National Endowment for the Arts chose Mary Free Bed Rehabilitation Hospital (MFB) as one of 168 hospitals nationwide to receive a grant for its music therapy program.

The $10,000 grant will allow MFB to provide more patients with on-site music therapy as they recover from serious injuries or illness and help support the addition of a part-time music therapist. According to MFB, music therapy “strikes a chord with patients” and is a key part of patient care at the hospital.

Maria Besta, MFB’s manager of recreational therapy, wheelchair and adaptive sports, said the hospital started offering music therapy to patients in 2018, and the team’s one full-time therapist has worked with hundreds of patients, but many others have requested it.

“We’re so happy and honored that the National Endowment for the Arts values how much music therapy can help our patients,” Besta said. “Now we can help even more patients heal with music therapy as part of their rehabilitation.”

The National Endowment for the Arts distributed nearly $1.7 million in Challenge America grants, which primarily support small and midsized organizations for projects that extend the arts to populations that have limited access due to geography, ethnicity, economics or disability.

Music therapists are board-certified and work individually and in tandem with occupational, physical, recreational and speech therapists. Therapists use a variety of techniques during live music sessions with patients of all ages and various diagnoses.

More information about the program is available here.

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