The Music Therapy Impact Fund implements music therapy programs in Chico and the surrounding areas. The Mission of the Music Therapy Impact Fund is to establish music therapy as a standard in health care, beginning with our local community.
Intuitively, most people believe music is therapeutic and use it in some form for their own well-being – through music listening, playing, drum circles, with meditation, etc. Music therapy looks even deeper into this innate connection to music to discover the ways that music and rhythm are the mechanisms for healing, rehabilitation and overall quality of life and health. Music therapy wasn’t offered as a therapeutic option in Chico until 2015, and the benefits and outcomes of music therapy weren’t known to the health care community at large. Therefore, music therapy was not a high priority for funding or implementation in the medical, educational, and rehabilitation fields. In an effort to bridge the gap in knowledge and awareness of the efficacy of music therapy, the Music Therapy Impact Fund (MTIF) was formed. The first program that was funded by the MTIF was Music Therapy for Hospice and Palliative care. In collaboration with Enloe Hospice, Feather River Hospice, and Butte Home Health and Hospice, the MTIF has served over 75 patients over the last 2.5 years. Music therapy continues to be a highly requested and impactful program in hospice care. When the Camp Fire happened, the MTIF connected with the Boys and Girls Club of Chico to begin Group Empowerment Drumming for children and youth affected by the fire. We are now working with approximately 100 children at 4 different sites each week and are a part of the Camp Fire Long Term Recovery Group to find ways to reach more people who could benefit from music therapy. With more funding, the MTIF is looking forward to starting programs to work with Veterans, foster families, juvenile detention programs, and to continue its work with trauma care.
Erin Haley, MA, MT-BC, Neurologic Music Therapist