Category Archives: Program Updates

Group therapy for seniors during a Music YoU HEAL session.

Music YoU HEAL Overview

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Music YoU HEAL is a key program at the Snohomish County Music Project.

Music YoU HEAL uses music as a tool to help improve behavioral and emotional health outcomes for elderly populations suffering from Alzheimer’s, dementia, Parkinson’s, and other age related diseases. It also addresses mature adults and veterans with mood disorders. However, the focus here is on aging and memory.  The musical tools and techniques of which stem from 50 years of evidence based clinical practice and research is known as Music Therapy.   One reason Music YoU HEAL is aimed at seniors is because music is processed in all parts of the brain thus assisting cognition and emotional processing. Read More


Veteran Art Exhibit to be hosted by the Music Project

By | Music YoU JAM, News, Program Updates | No Comments

The Snohomish County Music Project welcomes visual artist Steven Markussen for a month-long veteran art exhibit from November 6 – November 30. This will culminate in an artist reception on November 20 from 6 PM to 8 PM at the Northwest Music Hall, located inside the Everett Mall. The event will also feature a veteran jam band led by the Music Project’s music therapy director Karla Hawley. The event is free and open to the public. Donations are welcome.

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This haunting exhibit, “Veteran”, will feature paintings and sculpture on the veteran experience returning home from war. A veteran himself, Steven Markussen brings his own unique insight into conflict, trauma, and recovery.

“The experience of war affects you forever,” Steven Markussen says of the exhibit. “[The Exhibit] looks at the lasting impact of war from a veteran’s perspective. Drawing from personal experience, [these] works add introspective layers to the broader conversation of veteran specific treatment and published documentation of the challenges veterans face after returning home.”

During the artist reception, a veteran jam band, part of a Music Project music therapy program for mature adults 55 and over will play. The band features guitar, bass, drums, violin, and keyboard and will play classic rock of the 60s and 70s. Speaking of the jam band, Karla Hawley, MT-BC, M.Ed., said: “This is a perfect example of community supporting community.” The group is free to join and open to all interested veterans. Rehearsals take place every Tuesday and Thursday at 10:00 am at the Northwest Music Hall.


Music Project work with Tulalip Tribes featured in Everett Herald

By | In the Press, Music YoU PLAY, News, Program Updates | No Comments

The Snohomish County Music Project’s work with the Tulalip Tribes was featured in the Everett Herald on Wednesday, October 21.

What appeared to be a simple singalong was actually a program in music therapy, run by the Snohomish County Music Project, a local nonprofit, and paid for by the Tulalip Tribes.

It’s also one of several initiatives the tribes have undertaken in the past year to enhance the mental well-being of its members.

It all falls under the category of “trauma-informed care,” a theory and practice that allows communities that have been exposed to extreme trauma to find a way to recover and heal, and which often extends beyond the initial triggering incident.

Read More

Casino Road Keyboard Orchestra youth celebrate with recital

By | Music YoU PLAY, News, Program Updates | One Comment

The Casino Road Keyboard Orchestra, comprised of youth from Everett’s Casino Road neighborhood, performed at their recital Saturday, August 29th. Over one hundred youth, family, and friends attended.

During the recital, youth sang original songs, played piano, and beat drums. Afterward, friends and family viewed each youth’s artwork and enjoyed refreshments. Artwork included their own homemade shakers, decorated CDs, and “stained glass” windows.

The Casino Road Keyboard Orchestra was created by the Snohomish County Music Project (SCMP) to encourage pro-social behavior development and build self-esteem. Led by Karla Hawley, Music Therapy Director at the SCMP, this programs utilizes three music therapists with clinical training as well as one music educator at the South Everett Boys and Girls Club. Students learn to play piano, record their music, and sing.

Each child completes a questionnaire about their emotional health and interest in the program. Parents are polled anonymously but less frequently. This data is then use to both improve the program as well as to identify challenges these youth might be facing.


KING5 Coverage of Snohomish county Music Project's Music Therapy Program, Music as Medicine

KING5 features report on Alzheimer’s treatment and the SCMP

By | In the Press, Music YoU HEAL, News, Program Updates, Video | One Comment

KING5 News released a story Monday regarding the Snohomish County Music Project and Quail park’s partnership in delivering Alzheimer’s and aging-related disorder treatment to seniors. This pilot study began on June 3, 2014. Participants, on average, experienced positive outcomes on a range symptoms: memory recall, vocalization, mobility, and mood. The study consisted of two groups, each moving through different phases of individual music therapy sessions to group music therapy in common areas of the facility. See if you or a loved one would benefit from the Music as Medicine program, which was based on this work.

KOMO 4 News features our Music Therapy program

By | In the Press, Music YoU HEAL, News, Program Updates, Video | No Comments

The Snohomish County Music Project was featured on KOMO 4 News:

From the KOMO 4 news article:

Music therapist Karley Hawley dug deep into the patients’ pasts to pick 20 songs that bring up the best memories […] Each of the participants gets a song book catered to them and an iPod with their playlist. The technology becomes a tool for the team when simply talking people down doesn’t work.

When residents try to leave because they’re agitated or anxious, staff can now just play their iPod and console or comfort them and maybe even bring them joy.

The study found that participants had increased memory recall, decreased agitation, less need for some of their medicine, and some patients even spoke for the first time since their diagnosis.