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Music Therapy Documentary Premieres at the Kennedy Center

January 16, 2018 10:47 AM

Documentary Features the Power of Music Therapy as an Evidence-Based Tool


“Music Got Me Here,” is a film that chronicles the recovery of a young man, Forrest Allen, who sustained a traumatic brain injury from a snowboarding accident. The film provides an intimate look at the pivotal role clinical music therapy played in helping Forrest find his voice as described by Forrest’s music therapist, Tom Sweitzer.

“Music Got Me Here” premiered at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts on January 10, 2018, to a packed crowd of medical personnel, music therapists, educators, administrators, and friends. Based on the resounding applause and standing ovations, the film touched audience members and promises to educate the general public and administrators alike about the power of music therapy as an evidence-based tool.

Following the film, AMTA Spokesperson, Renée Fleming moderated a panel discussion that included Dr. Francis Collins, Director of the National Institutes of Health; Susan Koch, the Director of the film; and film “stars,” Forrest Allen and Tom Sweitzer. Fleming marveled at the complexity and creativity involved in Tom’s music therapy work with Forrest and how “the ability to improvise makes the brain fire on all of its circuits.” Dr. Collins remarked that “music arrives in your brain in a different way from speech. It’s like there’s a ‘music room’ in your brain.” Panelists agreed that music therapists are accessing new pathways for healing for those with a wide variety of disabling conditions across the lifespan by capitalizing on the unique ways in which the brain processes music.


AMTA extends our gratitude to Forrest and his family, and to the film’s Director, Susan Koch, and producers, for their commitment to demonstrating how music therapy can aid recovery. Kudos to our very own Tom Sweitzer, MA, MT-BC, for the time and energy he devoted to the film and to explaining how music therapy works. Be sure to watch and share Tom’s recent TEDx talk, “Music’s Ability to Make You Feel Big on Earth”

For more information about what is next with “Music Got Me Here,” sign up for updates on To learn more about Tom Sweitzer’s program, check out More details also will be available on the AMTA website: