On the Right Track

The Center for Music Therapy launches a new campaign to impact more lives through the power of music.

By Macy Moore
Web Exclusive

Twenty-five years in the making, the Center for Music Therapy has risen to incredible heights treating patients with disabilities and disorders. Hope Young, the owner and founder of the company, has a new idea to flourish the center even more.

This summer, Young is launching the Movement Tracks Project along with Stephen Bartlett, the project’s lead engineer. The campaign will enable the Center for Music Therapy to treat a greater number of patients and positively impact more lives through the power of music.

Young founded the Center for Music Therapy in 1990, and with 21 music therapists on the team, the center began treating people throughout Texas. The center’s website defines music therapy as “the enhancement of human capabilities through the planned use of musical influences on brain functioning.” It didn’t take long for the center to grow, and Young admits it grew too fast, as she didn’t realize how much of a need there would be.

“I could never seem to fill all of the demands,” Young says. “We don’t have enough musicians to be in the clinics. Those musicians want to be onstage. They want to be recording, not in the hospitals.”

This sparked the idea for the Movement Tracks Project. Young clarifies that live-music therapy provides the best results, but with such a high demand for music therapy and a shortage of music therapists, live-music therapy is not always accessible. The intended outcome of this project will be to provide music recordings for patients to use when a therapist is not physically available.

“To start, our project is centered on treating people with Parkinson’s disease and children with cerebral palsy, but after that, we’ll be working with people who have head injuries,” Young says. “The first phase of the project is recording the first two tracks so we can get them to the company who will be putting them in their gait-training equipment, and that will be out by January. Phase two will include partnering up with some nonprofits, as well as creating more genres to fit the music preferences of our patients.”

June 19, the Center for Music Therapy kicked off its campaign with an event at Central Market to spread awareness and to help fund the project. A packed patio listened intently to Young express the intentions of the project and danced to the tunes of El Tule, a local cumbia-salsa-reggae band that served as the event’s entertainment. Four days following the event, the project reached its goal of $17,000, and the donations continue to flow in.

When it comes to the power of music, Young provides three adjectives: help, heal and treat the world.

“We’re going to lead the way for the whole world to have access to music therapy,” Young says. “Music is a part of every country in the world and in every socioeconomic class. I want to bring the realization of how much we can impact with the music that’s already there.”

To learn more about the Movement Tracks Project and how you can help with the campaign, visit movementtracksproject.com

Photos courtesy of Center for Music Therapy


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