Today we celebrated thirty years of music therapy at Hunterdon Developmental Center. I’ve been there for a little over nineteen of those years. It was wonderful to have some of my former colleagues and two of the earliest music therapists share in our party. We started with a drum circle, lead by my friends fromKardon Institute for the Arts and Drexel University’s Hahnemann Creative Arts in Therapy Program. After a couple of speeches we had performances from the HDC Singers (our resident chorus) and the Matheny Medical and Educational Center Midi Choir.
I was thrilled with all of it, but the best part for me was that a number of the men and women I’ve worked with over the years as a music therapist came to celebrate. Without their being there...well, there wouldn’t have been much point in having a big thing. I’m grateful to my clients for allowing me to show up every week and making the effort to do the same. Therapy is hard work. Don’t let the “music” part fool you. It’s hard to look at your issues, and it’s harder to avoid them when you’re playing them in the music. I have always told my clients that it takes a lot of courage to do the work we do together. So, hooray for our facility for supporting music therapy, and hooray for the men and women who let us be their music therapists!