Did you know that Masonic Villages supports one of the most unique Music Therapy programs among Continuing Care Retirement Communities (CCRC) across the country?

Twenty years ago, I was finishing a year-long pilot project – four hours of music therapy each Thursday on Lafayette West and Washington 3 neighborhoods – a program funded by resident Perry Snyder in memory of his wife. As 1998 came to a close, Masonic Village committed to funding a full-time Music Therapy program, separate from Therapeutic Recreation. I am honored to have had the opportunity to start that program, and blessed to have been part of its evolution.

Over the past 20 years, one board-certified music therapist (MT-BC) is now surrounded by four more. A dozen post-graduate interns and master of music therapy degree students have completed their clinical requirements, and hundreds of Elizabethtown College music therapy students have completed their undergraduate clinical practicum experiences here, while a wide variety of students have “shadowed” our work. Our volunteers and donors have shared their gifts with us, making possible a firm foundation of resources and assistance.

Over the next few months, our music therapists and intern will share blog posts about the many ways music therapy benefits CCRCs, with the hope that readers will learn more about the intentional ways we provide the right music at the right time in the right way.

Our 20th anniversary celebration will include opportunities for staff, residents and the community to experience music therapy through Drum Circles, Music-Assisted Relaxation, Chime Choir, Music and Memories and Music Therapy groups offered in January and early February 2019.  The celebration will culminate with two concerts by nationally-known pianist Robin Spielberg, an artist and spokesperson for the American Music Therapy Association.

These concerts are scheduled for Friday, Feb. 15, at 2 p.m., in the Roosevelt Assembly Room, Masonic Health Care Center, and at 7 p.m. in the Deike Auditorium, Freemasons Cultural Center. Our relationship with our donors, volunteers, Elizabethtown College and former and present music therapy students will be highlighted.

We music therapists are very excited to share our passion and professionalism with all of you. Stay tuned and save the date!

About the Author: Ann Dinsmore is the director of music therapy at the Masonic Village at Elizabethtown.

About the author: Ann Dinsmore, a graduate of Elizabethtown College and Pennsylvania State University, has worked in a continuing care community for 38 years, 20 years of that time as Masonic Village at Elizabethtown’s Supervisor of Music Therapy.