Gifted Music Therapists and Their New Instruments

Good things start with a warm cup of coffee.

In this case, meeting up with Brian Schreck, MA, MT-BC and Kathryn Bruno, MT-BC on Monday at Rookwood Commons Starbucks. Cold morning, icy streets. Kathryn walked over in between sessions at Eating Recovery Center Cincinnati. Brian braved a drive from Louisville, where he now serves adult patients at Norton Cancer Institute (NCI).

Brian Schreck, Kathryn Bruno - Rookwood Starbucks - 2018 01 08

We’ve met up routinely over the past decade. Usually to equip them with more FLEA ukuleles for music therapy at Cincinnati Children’s. And I always learn something new about the realm of music therapy (non-confidential info only!). Helps me help them.

FIFTEEN instruments were presented. Six were honorary donations to these gifted music therapists for personal and professional use. The remaining nine fulfill a special order funded by NCI’s new “Cancer Beats” program. Kathryn is posing with a Mango soprano FLEA ukulele. Brian is holding his new Rainsong graphite A/E guitar thanks to the generosity of Rainsong Graphite Guitars in Woodinville, Washington.

But beyond coffee, conversation and poses, the best is yet to come. Instruments of this caliber – in the hands of gifted music therapists – summon expression, hope and even joy despite a life threatening illness or condition.

The warmth of that coffee moment keeps pouring into the hearts of hundreds of patients, their family members, friends and caregivers.

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THANK YOU Rainsong Graphite Guitars

THANK YOU to Rainsong Graphite Guitars for donating their newest model (CH-OM), fully equipped with LR Baggs electronics and hard shell case.

Special thanks to Dave who viewed and shared the innovative music therapy role of Brian Schreck, MA, MT-BC within Rainsong. He secured fast, special case agreement to donate this guitar to Brian and his work at Norton Cancer Institute in Louisville – shipping it cross country with my latest guitar adventure. Love Rainsong guitars!

Rainsong is an innovative USA designer and manufacturer of carbon fiber guitars. Located in Woodinville, WA (Seattle area) which has logging roots, densely wooded neighborhoods, sweeping winery grounds. But not a speck of wood in their guitars!

What is “carbon fiber”? How is it formed into superior acoustic instruments?

Carbon fiber is composed mostly of carbon atoms bonded together at high temperature (up to 2,800°C). Lightweight yet extremely strong, chemically resistant and woven into fabrics. Rainsong blends and layers these fabrics with ingenuity – creating a guitar with stunning tonal properties, classy appearance and lightness. Very comfortable to play. Resilient to swings in temperature and humidity. Musical notes form and flow freely from the guitar’s soundboard and smooth interior since no bracing is required.

In other words: take a premium wood acoustic guitar. Design IN the visual elegance, articulation, tonal balance and sustain of a concert hall piano. Design OUT natural instabilities of glued wood construction (swells, contractions, warps, looseness). Now CROSS IT with the lightweight sleekness of an Indy race car. Voilà!

Why is this guitar well suited for Music Therapy? If you play all day, every day and subject a guitar to rigorous sanitization protocols, the advantages listed above are obvious. A not-so-obvious benefit is a Rainsong guitar’s superb tuning stability since the instrument is not expanding/contracting with changes in room conditions (which causes tuning to drift). Time is spent making live music, not tuning and retuning.

What’s special here is this guitar’s matchup with an innovative Music Therapist. The pioneering work of Brian Schreck is featured in this preview of a heart stirring documentary entitled “The Beat of the Heart”:

 

For more information about Rainsong Graphite Guitars, please visit: www.rainsong.com. You can also see an exceptional review of Rainsong’s CH-OM guitar by Teja Gerken of www.pegheadnation.com:

Play guitar. Play ukulele. And please consider making a contribution to our “Ukuleles for Hospital Music Therapy” campaign on GoFundMe. Reaching and soaring past the goal will bring more holistic music therapy to those in critical care settings.

https://www.gofundme.com/ukuleleshospitalMT

 

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