University of Southern Maine School of Music alumna Kate Beever '07 was featured by the Maine Public Broadcasting Network (MPBN) for her strides in the field of creative arts therapy. Creative arts therapy helps those dealing with physical and mental challenges heal through music, arts and dance.
Beever, a board-certified music therapist, appeared on a recent edition of the MPBN radio program "Maine Calling" for a discussion on creative arts therapy. She was also the subject of an MPBN video feature on her work in Maine.
For those recovering from a brain injury, including music in the treatment plan can speed up the recovery process, said Beever. Those that have conditions such as Autism, Down syndrome and cancer can be treated with music therapy, mentioned Beever, the owner of Maine Music & Health, which provides group and individual music therapy treatment in medical settings.
"Music is using up more of your brain," remarked Beever. "Some people think it's just left versus right, but it's actually just accessing more of your brain and firing off neurons in different sections."
It's not uncommon for people who have lost the ability speak to still be able to sing, added Beever.
Shiloh Legere, the manager of a group home in Biddeford, Maine, was skeptical towards the alternative form of treatment. But after hearing one of her own patients speak a full sentence after only a few sessions with Beever, that skepticism faded away.
"I mean it was almost instant," Legere said. "(Beever) did a couple of sessions with him, and he came into my office and just said a whole sentence ... it threw me back." an exuberant Legere added.
According to the MPBN piece, there are only five licensed music therapists in Maine. The group has created a taskforce in the hopes of creating a state licensing process as well as growing the ranks of music therapists in the state.
For the past two years, Beever and Maine Music & Health have partnered with USM's School of Music to put on the Creative Health Conference. The conference brings together creative arts therapists from a variety of different disciplines to share their work, research and philosophies.
Check out the video below, courtesy of MPBN, to learn more about Beever's work in music therapy.