October Veteran Music Therapy Retreats: New Educational Opportunities and Partnerships
“The songwriting helped me realize a lot of things about myself I ignored over the last 26 years. It has saved my life.”
This fall marked a busy season of music and healing through our Veteran Music Therapy Retreats in both Cleveland and Nashville. We were excited to return to Cleveland for our second annual Music Therapy Retreat with the support of our good friends at NEOPAT and the Cleveland VA. In Nashville, we hosted our first training clinic for certified music therapists, which coincided with a Veteran Music Therapy Retreat.
Veteran Music Therapy Retreat in Cleveland, Ohio. October 4-6, 2018
The Cleveland event added a new dimension to our ongoing partnership with The Music Settlement, which was kind enough to host our event in its amazing facility just blocks from the 3rd largest VA hospital in the country. With the generous support of The Northeast Ohio Foundation for Patriotism (NEOPAT), our participants capped two magical days by attending not one but two events: the cutting-edge performance of Modern Warrior Live at Cleveland Playhouse Square and an equally amazing performance by the Cleveland Browns in their victory over Baltimore. If our experience in Cleveland taught us anything, it’s that Cleveland truly rocks!
Veteran Music Therapy Retreat in Nashville, Tennessee. October 11-14, 2018
Just days after our Cleveland odyssey, the Challenge America team traveled to Nashville where we hosted what was undoubtedly our most successful music therapy retreat to date. This event kicked off with our very first training clinic for certified music therapists, who joined us for two days of classroom training followed by two days of hands-on observation of our program in action. By adding this new dimension to the program, we hope to have these practicing therapists spread our music therapy model to underserved veteran communities across the country.
Of course, it was the work with our amazing veteran participants that truly made this a memorable event. Several of our past participants joined us for a very moving final concert, where our amazing songwriters and participants delivered heartfelt performances that had the packed audience of family and friends laughing and crying, time and time again. It was a honor to have the one and only Amy Grant in attendance as well. Our new friends from The Hallmark Channel were also on hand to film the event and final performances for Amy’s holiday special on December 10. Like our past events, the veterans at this retreat confirmed our belief in the efficacy of this work and inspired us to continue our mission to leverage the healing power of music and the creative arts to address the most significant challenges facing the brave men and women who sacrificed so much on our behalf.