Musical Healing: ORU Music Therapy Clinic Continues to Grow

music therapy in progressWhat began in 2015 as a small music therapy clinic in the Cityplex Towers has, in just two years, grown into a bustling little outreach with diverse offshoots.

"We're getting busier," says Dr. Hayoung A. Lim, Director of ORU's Music Therapy Clinic and Associate Professor of Music. "Things are going really well."

The clinic has added more clients in a variety of disciplines and age ranges, including older adults with dementia and children with autism, learning disability, cerebral palsy, and Down syndrome.

But the clinic is just the beginning; Dr. Lim's goals for the music therapy program are expansive and they include a performance series called "Healing Concerts." These feature ORU musicians—including Dr. Lim herself—as well as other artists from the community.

"The Healing Concert Series raises awareness of music therapy in the healthcare facilities," Dr. Lim says. "We service our clients and their residents, because I want to cherish those relationships."

Beyond performance, the program is also turning inward. "We use our clinic as a research facility as well, and it's been successful," says Dr. Lim. "Music therapy itself is really evidence-based practice, and naturally we do research so we can test our innovations for other populations."

Much like music itself, the program has many parts that all work in harmony to create a symphony.

"Long-term, we would like to have full-time music therapists," says Dr. Lim. "The ultimate goal is creating jobs for music therapists."