Portland, OR – For many of us, music is therapy. It’s the soundtrack to our lives: it helps us relax; it excites us; it moves us; it heals us.
But the purpose of music is to communicate. Sadly, there are many individuals for whom communication is their greatest challenge. For these individuals, music therapy can serve as the bridge to connection because music is so universal.
Music therapists work as musicians and clinicians with almost every imaginable clientele, from premature babies and children on the autism spectrum to veterans and seniors struggling with dementia. And their results have been nothing short of miraculous.
“Music therapy is the elegant marriage between music as art and music as science,” says music therapist Christine Korb. “We utilize the power of music to accomplish non-musical goals.
While most music therapists begin as musicians and transition into the clinical social work, Korb began as a young social worker in Chicago. She says she came to music therapy through the back door as a songwriter and went back to school for a degree in music composition.
“I needed to do something with the healing powers of music,” recalls Korb. “It led me in the direction of the depths of what music is all about: the elements of how it affects us.”
Though Korb still works as a clinician, she is currently director of the music therapy program at Pacific University, where she teaches the next generation of music therapists.
“Many musicians in their hearts are actually music therapists and they don’t even realize it,” says Korb. “Not everyone who is especially talented at music is going to be successful as a professional musician. But there are alternative avenues to pursue with your great talent: meaningful, noble work. Word is getting out that music therapy can really help.”