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Lifestyle // Proof Positive
MidWeek Staff

Improving Quality Of Life Through Music

By Allyson Turner, outreach coordinator, SJMT

Throughout the year, local nonprofit Sounding Joy Music Therapy (SJMT) will serve more than 200 people ranging from young children to seniors, many with various disabilities and mental health conditions. It is the only nonprofit organization that provides music therapy by board-certified music therapists in Hawaii, and this year it is celebrating its 10th anniversary. SJMT’s mission is to enhance public awareness of the benefits of music therapy, increase accessibility to music therapy services and advance music therapy research, in order to improve quality of life through music therapy.

Over the past decade, SJMT’s work has been known to transform the lives of its clients.

“You opened a whole new door to our daughter. You also opened a whole new world to our family,” shares Mr. Lee, the father of a child with autism who has been positively affected by music therapy.

For SJMT, the biggest challenge is increasing accessibility to music therapy.

SJMT has gone before state government officials to present a bill that will license music therapists and provide greater access to those who need music therapy. This bill proposes that music therapy be recognized as a form of medical services, which will allow music therapy to be covered by insurance providers in Hawaii. While the bill has not yet been passed, SJMT and its supporters continue to spread the word about its proposed legislation.

SJMT will celebrate its 10th anniversary with a two-part music concert series as part of the Kani Ka ‘Oli project, granted by Hawaii Tourism Authority, Council for Native Hawaiian Advancement. These two concerts will emphasize the project’s goal to use Hawaiian music as a healing agent in order to preserve Hawaiian culture through music therapy. The concerts are open to the public and will take place Sept. 9, 2012, and Feb. 8, 2013, at Mamiya Theatre.

Tickets to the Kani Ka ‘Oli concert series and more information on music therapy can be found at soundingjoymt.org. For questions regarding SJMT’s services, contact Keiko Kajiwara, president and founder, at postmaster@soundingjoymt.org or call 593-2620.

Hawaii charitable organizations may send requests for space in either Proof Positive or the free advertisement below to dchapman@midweek.com.

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