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Therapeutic Musicians of Coastal Carolina

Therapeutic Musicians of Coastal Carolina is using their time, talents, and the CMP Reinvestment Program to enhance the quality of life for residents living in long-term care in North Carolina. Julie Rehder, a Certified Therapeutic Music Practitioner and head of the CMP-funded program, uses music to promote healing and alleviate physical, emotional and mental concerns experienced by those living in these settings.

Rehder recalls in an article written in The Coastal Buzz, a Brunswick County newsletter, that she played at bedside for her father while he was dying. Music was their common bond and it was one last opportunity for her to share a duet with her dad.

Studies show that there are medical benefits associated with therapeutic music, such as reduction in blood pressure, respiration rates and a decrease in the need for pain medication, as well as an increase in endorphin production. Music therapy is often used with individuals suffering from dementia and other cognitive issues, in drug and alcohol detox settings, and with individuals with learning disabilities. The therapeutic benefits of music have roots in science and history dating back to biblical stories of David soothing King Saul with music from his harp. Programs such as Music & Memory have become popular in long-term care, with staff using tailored playlists to soothe residents in memory care units as well as evoke comforting, familiar memories.

Therapeutic Musicians was awarded a three-year grant in March 2021 after extensive research and data collection on the benefits of music to residents in long-term care facilities. The grant provides music at bedside and in group settings in thirteen nursing homes in New Hanover, Brunswick, and Pender Counties. The group of seven certified therapeutic musicians includes flautists and harpists. They address issues of anxiety, dementia, restlessness, mental health, and end-of-life issues.

Therapeutic Musicians is a wonderful example of how beneficial CMP funded projects are to our residents in long-term care in North Carolina.

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