The music industry has become increasingly interested in music therapy with support and involvement from a variety of artists. Artists like Kelly Clarkson and Luke Bryan have become involved with music therapy through the nonprofit Musicians On Call, an organization that specializes in in-room performances for hospitalized children. Quincy Jones was introduced to music therapy when his son was hospitalized, and often speaks of the way music helped his son get better. Jack Black has also been involved with music therapy, performing for kids to make them laugh and enjoy themselves. Additionally, in memory of late Soundgarden frontman Chris Cornell, a nonprofit was recently established to bring music therapy to trauma-affected children at a Seattle hospital.
The weekend of the Academy of Country Music Awards had many touching moments, but perhaps most moving of all was the presentation of the Aflac ACM Lifting Lives Honor. Country superstar Chris Young presented the honor to Judith Pinkerton, one of the most renowned music therapists in the field. Music therapy is the practiced use of music to promote, maintain and restore physical, emotional and spiritual health. Judith’s hard work and passion on the subject has positioned her as an expert on the skillful application of music in therapy sessions. She sat down with Billboard to share the significance of this recognition and speak to the power of music.