Category Archives: Music Therapy

“I Guess They Don’t Need a Harmonica Player in Heaven Yet”

The amazing story of Andy Mackie, a retired horse trainer who threw away his heart meds to buy musical instruments for children. Still going strong…

Link to CBS News Story


Music Therapy Misconceptions Clarified

One of the difficulties of the Music Therapy profession is educating an often misinformed public on the exact nature of the profession. The American Music Therapy Association (AMTA) has a FAQ section on their website that offers a nice plain language guide to give you a sense of the nature of music therapy, it’s applications, and how it is applied – including the certification programs.

AMTA Frequently Asked Questions web page

Also, in my interview with Karen Nisenson, Executive Director of Arts for Healing, an integrated creative arts therapy center, she discusses an example that explains the nature of music therapy and the effect that it can have on autistic patients. Listen on iTunes ( podcast) or follow this link.

The Lifelong Impact of One Year of Music Education

Research indicates that even one year of music training can impact the ability of the brain to function at a higher level. The impact is even more pronounced for those with dyslexia and other learning disabilities.
Article link.

15 Heart Medications or Music – Which is More Powerful?

CBS News’ Assignment America did an amazing story Friday on Andy Mackie, a 70-year old man who believes in the power of music. After 9 heart surgeries, doctors had prescribed 15 medications. One day he tired of the medications and decided to buy 300 harmonicas and lessons for school children with the money he would have spent on medicine. He thought it was the last thing he’d ever do.

Eleven years and 13,000 harmonicas later, Andy is still going strong. “I guess they don’t need a harmonica player in heaven yet,” says Mackie, a retired horse trainer who lives a modest life in a trailer in upstate Washington.

To find out more about Andy’s work:
Visit the Andy Mackie Music Foundation Website

Buy Your Pet an Ipod? Yes, says this GRAMMY nominee

Stanley Jordan is a GRAMMY-nominated and groundbreaking jazz guitarist. His unique tapping technique gave the instrument new possibilities, allowing the freedom to generate independent sounds with both hands. Stanley is also a tireless proponent of the power of music, including the field of music therapy.

Here’s an audio excerpt from our conversation regarding the amazing ability of animals to decifer the intracacies of music:

Stanley Jordan’s official website

Stanley live: