From Innovative Services NW’s April 2014 Newsletter:

Upbeat Music Therapy and Marylhurst interns bring music to life for clients and kids

Anne Vitort knows the power of music for healing and improving quality of life. After bringing the Music for Everyone project to Innovative last year, Vitort has remained committed to supporting our programs. This year, she brought two music therapy interns to Innovative to work with children in our Childcare and adults in our Adult Day Health Center (ADHC).


Anne has been an amazing asset to both Innovative and the interns she has mentored throughout this term through Marylhurst. According to Anne, “The delightful thing about having interns at Innovative was to carry on with the foundation laid last year with the Music for Everyone project.  It was wonderful to know that the clients at Innovative continued to receive music therapy services and responded with such enthusiasm and joy to the musical experiences Dana and Kaitlyn provided.”


What is music therapy? Simply put: music therapy improves quality of life and accomplishes non-musical goals, like addressing emotional, physical, cognitive, and sensory needs, through the use of musical activities. The human brain LOVES music, and responds to rhythm and melody in very distinct ways. Incorporating music into educational or recreational activities is more than a fun activity. Learning and engagement increase, positive endorphins flood the brain, and in the Adult Day Health Center, everybody gets moving. All types of people benefit from music therapy; interns Dana and Kaitlyn used the research-based practices with clients ranging from under 1 year old to 100 years old.


Dana described the experiences

that struck her most. “The unexpected reactions and responses from clients were a delight! I would receive the sweetest and endearing comments at the most unanticipated times. I was most surprised by the clients being so willing to try new things constantly. They were always up for hearing a new instrument, singing something new, or trying a new activity. This was extremely helpful at a site like ADHC where clients had a variety of musical preferences, ranging from Katy Perry to Dolly Parton.”


Anne sums up the value of the program. “Music is a universal language we can all relate to and when used therapeutically, music is not only fun, relaxing, and energizing, but it can be an incredibly powerful treatment tool.  Why?  Because music has a profound impact on our brains and our bodies.”


We couldn’t agree more. At Innovative, it is really exciting to see the progress made by clients with various clinical needs. Through the music sessions, clients danced, sang, played instruments, and were able to share their thoughts and ideas in ways they may not have been able to otherwise.


Anne and her team used the gifts and talents they’ve developed to help others feel better and function better through music therapy. We can’t thank them enough!