The Music Therapy Project began just after World War II with gifts of such items as tape recorders, record players, clinic organs, portable pianos, autoharps, and other small instruments to Veterans' hospitals. This was followed by personal work with veterans on the part of chapter members and soon the activity was expanded to include other hospitals, rehabilitation centers, and schools for handicapped children. This has continued throughout the years to help in healing, rehabilitation and enrichment through music.
Members of college and alumnae chapters have spent countless hours giving concerts in hospitals, rehabilitation centers and special schools; helping people in such institutions learn and enjoy music; and working as volunteers in music therapy activities. Examples of past projects are:
- caroling or singing at nursing homes
- assembling large-print songbooks or flashcards for the visually impaired
- transposing music to singable keys for the elderly
- providing on-going musical programs to schools, care facilities
- donating or making rhythm instruments for children's hospitals
- presenting workshops on singing/signing for the hearing impaired
- sponsoring presentations by Music Therapists
Sigma Alpha Iota Philanthropies, Inc. makes available to chapters Chapter Outreach Grants of up to $500 to assist in the development of worthwhile Music Therapy projects. One Annual Music Therapy Scholarship is also awarded to an SAI member (graduate or undergraduate) working on a degree in this field.
Opportunities for Chapter or Individual Involvement
The SAI membership can participate in the Music Therapy Project by
- Contacting hospitals, schools and other organizations in their communities which have rehabilitation and therapy programs, to explore possibilities for service in this field. (Note the availability of Chapter Outreach Grants, above.)
- Seeking out experts in the field of Music Therapy (local institutions as indicated above could be a good source) to speak to the chapter members and other campus groups about the value of Music Therapy.