Faces of Loudoun: Tom — A Sanctuary Where Children and Families Find Hope Through Music

March 19, 2019

Music saved my life as a kid. Fleeing a terminally destructive household, I found church and church music. I learned how to sing and play the piano. More important, I learned how music could fundamentally transform a human being. From that time forward, music has been my focus, my why, the core of everything I do.

Music is a portal that brings people to authenticity. It connects you to your emotions and to other people and their emotions. For people who are working through issues, music can be a powerful and safe way to start a conversation. It has been proven to be just as powerful as other types of therapy but not as intimidating. Music therapy is an evidence-based clinical therapy that can be unthreatening, accessible, connecting, and most of all fun.

I knew I had a pull to use music purposefully. And, I knew my responsibility was to use music to make a dent in this confusing world. So, I founded the nonprofit organization, A Place to Be, in 2010.  At A Place To Be, we use music therapy (and other expressive arts therapies) to help hundreds of people face, navigate, and overcome life’s challenges and disabilities, be they physical, emotional, or cognitive. Anyone— whether they are 3 years old or 90 years old—who is looking for a way forward is welcome to join us.

But kids are central to our existence—children with disabilities, those who might have tried to take their own lives, or are suffering from mental distress. The basis of our philosophy here is that every single kid needs to be listened to. We offer a retreat, a sanctuary, where teens can escape the pressures of life and find hope and validation.

Read the full article here.


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