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Wilson Trust Music Therapy Grant Awarded to Childhaven

Barbara A. Else
Wilson Trust Music Therapy Project
National Coordinator
American Music Therapy Association

Patti Catalano
Local Media Contact
Wilson Trust Music Therapy Project
Regional Manager
American Music Therapy Association


American Music Therapy Association Announces Wilson Trust Music Therapy Grant Award to Childhaven

SILVER SPRING, MD – August 23, 2018.  The Wilson Trust Music Therapy Project, a project of the American Music Therapy Association (AMTA), is pleased to announce the awarding of a $45,000 matching grant to Childhaven for its music therapy initiative to increase music therapy services to vulnerable and at-risk babies, toddlers, and preschoolers.  This award will significantly increase the effort provided by the Board Certified Music Therapist over the next two years to 32 hours weekly to serve both children and their families. This grant is matched thanks to a generous donation to Childhaven from the Vicky and Chris Cornell Foundation and other donors.

According to Alyssa Monas, the Board Certified Music Therapist at Childhaven, evidence-informed music therapy interventions will play an integral role in Childhaven’s overall mission through providing strength-based, heart-centered interventions to promote healthy social, emotional, and cognitive development.  The music therapist will have increased opportunities to work directly in classrooms, addressing both group and individual treatment goals and collaborating with teachers, case managers and clinical therapists.  Many children attending Childhaven have difficulty with sensory integration and processing due to adverse childhood experiences.  Through structured, multisensory experiences that can be adapted in the moment to meet the unique needs of each child, music therapy interventions are expected to have favorable outcomes for these children.  Additionally, the music therapy program will work towards promoting secure attachments within family systems.  Many of the children who attend Childhaven have attachment disorders due to various instabilities within their homes or family systems.  As part of Childhaven’s music therapy program, the music therapist will work within group settings as well as within individual family systems to establish trust, building the groundwork for secure attachment and bonding.

Music therapy at Childhaven is an age-appropriate service provided by a credentialed and experienced clinician that will greatly contribute to the overall mission of the organization and integrate into the many programs and services already being offered to families. By creating a welcoming and inclusive environment, music therapy sessions are designed to build community and improve group and family cohesion among all who participate. As the program continues to develop, music therapy services are expected to grow as part of the collaborative service array offerings at Childhaven.


Music therapy is the clinical and evidence-based use of music interventions to accomplish individualized goals within a therapeutic relationship by a credentialed professional who has completed an approved music therapy program.  Music therapy has been used effectively across the age span and in healthcare and education settings. Music therapists are vital members of treatment teams serving both clients and families.

The Wilson Trust Music Therapy Project is a project that evolved from a generous donation made by Seattle-area benefactors to AMTA in 2010.  AMTA received this donation as a legacy gift from the Eleanor and Raymond Wilson Charitable Trust to advance access to quality music therapy services to those in need in the Puget Sound area. Mrs. Eleanor Wilson was a passionate advocate for music and the environment. The Wilsons lived in the area and supported numerous music and arts programs in the greater Seattle Area.  To date, the Wilson Trust Music Therapy Project has funded professional development grants and technical assistance for music therapists; provided student practicum support at Seattle Pacific University, location of the first music therapy degree program in Washington State; and supported matching grants for music therapy services at Seattle Children’s, Snohomish County Music Project, University of Washington Medical Center, and Swedish Medical Center Foundation.

About Childhaven

Since 1909, Childhaven has been a safe and caring place for babies, toddlers, and preschoolers in King County. Today, the organization’s early learning, early intervention, and counseling programs support positive outcomes for the most vulnerable children and families in the Puget Sound region. Childhaven builds upon the inherent and unique strengths of families to help them overcome adversity and thrive.

About the American Music Therapy Association

Headquartered in Silver Spring, MD, the American Music Therapy Association is a nonprofit educational organization representing music therapists.  AMTA’s purpose is the progressive development of the therapeutic use of music in rehabilitation, special education, and community settings. The mission of the American Music Therapy Association is to advance public awareness of the benefits of music therapy and increase access to quality music therapy services in a rapidly changing world.


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