Posted on January 12, 2022

Mary Free Bed awarded grant from NEA for music therapy

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. – Music therapy strikes a chord with patients, and it’s a key part of patient care at Mary Free Bed Rehabilitation Hospital. Thanks to a $10,000 grant from the National Endowment for the Arts, Mary Free Bed can help even more patients recover from serious injuries and illnesses through the magic of music.

Mary Free Bed is one of 168 organizations nationwide to receive one of nearly $1.7 million in Challenge America grants from the National Endowment for the Arts. Funds will help support the addition of a part-time music therapist to meet patient demand.

“We’re so happy and honored that the National Endowment for the Arts values how music therapy can help our patients,” said Maria Besta, Mary Free Bed’s manager of the recreational therapy and Wheelchair and Adaptive Sports.

Since Mary Free Bed started offering music therapy in 2018, the team’s lone full-time therapist has worked with hundreds of patients but so many others have requested it, Besta said.

“Now we can help even more patients heal with music therapy as part of their rehabilitation,” she said.

Board-certified music therapists work individually and in tandem with occupational, physical, recreational and speech therapists. Under the umbrella of recreational therapy, music therapists use various techniques during live music sessions with patients of all ages and various diagnoses.

Learn more about music therapy and its impact on Mary Free Bed patients by watching this video.