Anonymous Donation Makes Online Music Therapy Session Free for Loudoun Co. Students

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An anonymous donor gave music therapy nonprofit A Place To Be enough money to make music therapy sessions available to any family in Loudoun County Public Schools for free.

For families of children with special needs, being stuck indoors and adhering to social distancing policies can be a challenge.

Tom Sweitzer, director of A Place To Be, said music therapy can be calming and helpful to those who are anxious or high energy during these times. The nonprofit normally holds in-person sessions but has since adapted to hosting sessions online because of the novel coronavirus outbreak.

“You can take them to a new place, and that is the real magic behind using live music clinically," Sweitzer said.

One of Sweitzer’s clients is 16-year-old Scott Meeker, who has autism.

"We sing a lot of songs and do a lot of acting and performing," Meeker said.

Meeker’s father, Doug, said families with children who are on the spectrum can often feel isolated. This feeling increased now that the pandemic has closed schools around the country.

“Right, so having that social interaction and being in the hallways and missing that is a big challenge," Doug Meeker said.

The anonymous donation makes it easier for Sweitzer’s sessions to be available to those who may need them.

“And through music you can guide them into something much more beautiful," Sweitzer said.

A Place To Be also offers group music therapy sessions on its Facebook page that anyone can join.

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