Thousands of Veterans across the United States use music therapy to help treat unseen wounds from conflicts and deployments in the post 9/11 era. I could never list all of the programs and non-profits that provide support and services. Although, I would like to highlight some that I have come across recently that are making a difference through music in veterans’ lives everyday.
Guitars4Vets is a music therapy organization that has been serving veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan conflicts since 2007. With over 70 operating chapters in over a dozen states, the organization has taught thousands of veterans how to play guitar for free. The program provides acoustic guitars for veterans to use, and organized group lessons for veterans to learn together. Founders Patrick Nettesheim and Dan Van Buskirk believe learning guitar provides veterans with “self-expression” and “positive human interaction”. The non-profit has provided over 25,000 guitar lessons and gifted over 2,500 guitars to veterans. If you like to learn more information about Guitars4Vets, please feel free to check out their website.
556 Records is a non-profit record studio/ label out of Tenessee started by Noah Trevor. While studying sound production and running a chapter of Guitars4vets, Noah realized the talent within the veteran community. Noah worked with some vets at the local VA that wanted to record a song. After using his personal studio to help the vets out, this particular song eventually became “Breakdown” off of Saliva’s album Love, Lies, and Therapy...thus 556 records was born. Last I talked with Noah, 556 was still acquiring 501c non profit status…but Noah has made it clear that he is not looking for any financial gain with the label. Noah stated that 556 records is a “stepping stone” for artists to get to bigger labels and bigger albums. 556 records provides vets with the ability to record at free or low cost. Noah likes to reiterate that the studio and label are 100% veteran owned and operated. If you would like to learn more information about 556 Records, please feel free to check out their website. If you have questions for them, Noah is very active on the organizations Facebook page.
Musicorps is a conservatory level rehabilitative program for veterans that have physical injuries that wish to begin or continue playing music after their injury. Started in 2007 by pianist Arthur Bloom, the performing Musicorps Wounded Warrier Band has played for millions since it’s inception. The band has performed “with Roger Waters, Yo-Yo Ma, and Sheryl Crow, at the Kennedy Center, Grand Ole Opry, and Madison Square Garden, and on PBS, The Colbert Report, and NCIS.” Bloom was recognized for the amazing adaptive work of musicorps by CNN, who named Arthur a Top 10 Hero of 2014. I am currently attempting to reach Arthur for a potential interview to learn more about the future plans of Musicorps.
Three. These are only three of the dozens of organizations doing incredible work for veterans around the country. All these organizations are non-profit organizations that do what they do simply for the cause. I encourage anyone to please think about donating or at least subscibing (following) to these organizations.
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