Washington: Music-Therapy Helps At-Risk and Troubled Teens
In Snohomish County, Washington, troubled teens attend music classes and transform from "youth offenders" to "musicians." This is part of a partnership between the Snohomish County Music Project and Reclaiming Futures Snohomish County.
The Music Project is a nonprofit organization that came into being after the Everetty Symphony fell on hard times. The Symphony board decided to change its mission from an arts organization to a human service organization with music-therapy programs.
From the Daily Herald:
The purpose of Tuesday's meeting was to introduce a new goal, a Music Therapy Initiative.
With the idea of music as medicine, the music project wants to extend its reach to three groups: veterans struggling with post-traumatic stress disorder, at-risk teens and kids involved in the juvenile justice system, and elderly people suffering from dementia and depression...
Margaret Howard also spoke Tuesday. A community education specialist at Denney Juvenile Justice Center, she brings teens involved in the court system to the Music Hall for drum sessions. The effort is part of the court's Reclaiming Futures program.
"I've seen drum circles, suddenly these kids are no longer marginalized. They're not criminals. They're not drug addicts. They become musicians," Howard said.
This is another example of the importance of community involvement and positive youth development programs in the juvenile justice system. Congratulations to Margaret Howard and the Reclaiming Futures Snohomish County team on this exciting partnership!
Liz Wu is a Digital Accounts Manager at Prichard Communications, where she oversees digital outreach for Reclaiming Futures and edits Reclaiming Futures Every Day. Before joining the Prichard team, Liz established the West Coast communications presence for the New America Foundation, where she managed all media relations, event planning and social media outreach for their 6 domestic policy programs. Liz received a B.A. in both Peace and Conflict Studies and German from the University of California at Berkeley. She tweets from @LizSF.
*Photo at top by Flickr user emredjan