Each issue in this section, the editorial staff of Military Embedded Systems will highlight a different charity that benefits military veterans and their families. We are honored to cover the technology that protects those who protect us every day. To back that up, our parent company – OpenSystems Media – will make a donation to every charity we showcase on this page.
This issue we are featuring MusiCorps, a conservatory-level music-rehabilitation program based at Walter Reed Army Medical Center that helps wounded warriors play music and regain confidence. Musician and composer Arthur Bloom formed MusiCorps in 2007 after visiting returning service members at Walter Reed who had been injured in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Through MusiCorps, Bloom and his group have helped hundreds of injured troops learn or relearn how to play an instrument as a core part of their rehabilitation. MusiCorps – although not a music-therapy program per se – does aim to reduce participants’ anxiety and even help heal injured brains. Program participants are able to practice technique, write and record music, or simply come together for a jam session.
It has also become a pioneer in the field of adaptive music. According to Bloom, some parts of the program could be called adaptive music making: “The folks who are missing limbs or have damaged hands and arms sometimes require specialized instruments, which we provide.”
The MusiCorps Wounded Warrior Band, the performance component of MusiCorps, is made up of injured veterans who became musicians or retrained on their instruments through the program. The band has performed with Roger Waters, Yo-Yo Ma, and Sheryl Crow at such venues as the Kennedy Center, Grand Ole Opry, and Madison Square Garden, and on television on PBS, “The Colbert Report,” and the 300th episode of “NCIS.”
For more information, visit www.musicorps.net.