Resounding Joy's Semper Sound Military Music Therapy program provides direct music therapy to military service members and veterans diagnosed with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI), substance abuse and other stress- and trauma-related physical and psychological diagnoses. With feedback gathered from participants in 2017, the program has been able to track changes in pain, depression, anger and/or stress/anxiety. This new data revealed that 72% of participating service members reported an improvement in at least one of these four metrics during each session, and 17% report a decrease of three points or more on a 10-point scale.
To deliver the program, Resounding Joy partnered with:
During 2016, 396 service members and veterans received music therapy, with total attendance at 3,513, a 30% increase over the previous year. Half of these clients received music therapy at no cost, which would not have been possible without the support of numerous individuals, corporations, foundations, and local government. The Semper Sound Band, composed of nine clients, performed for over 2,500 audience members around San Diego.
One program participant of Semper Sound said, “Of all the programs that are in place for military service members and veteran’s health, the music therapy program should keep it’s place in the toolbox of treatment, and be provided continued support and funding.”
The greatest strengths of the Semper Sound program are its portability, accessibility, and potential. With just gas in the tank and a cart full of instruments, the Semper Sound music therapist can provide services at any location. Music therapists can work with any individual or group, regardless of age or ability. Music therapists even work with deaf and hearing-impaired populations, using interventions based on vibration and movement. There is still much to discover regarding the potential of music to heal; the past 50 years of research on music therapy have only begun to scratch the surface of what the profession is capable of. New findings, such as the fact that music is the only therapy that can reach the brain stem, allows music therapists to specialize in fields such as Neurologic Music Therapy or Neonatal Intensive Care.