Posts Tagged ‘board-certified music therapist’

3 Board Certified Music Therapists Share Their Amazing New Book

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Three Board Certified Music Therapists join us to discuss

their new book “Music, Memory and Meaning.”

Tuesday, December 19th at 2pm EST, 1pm CST,12pm MST,11am PST and 7pm London

Dementia – Music, Memory and Meaning

Our radio host, Lori La Bey of Alzheimer’s Speaks will be interviewing three board certified music therapists: Tara Jenkins, Meredith Hamons and Cathy Befi-Hensel; who are the authors of the new amazing book “Music, Memory and Meaning.”

Join the conversation by calling in (323) 870-4602, or use the chat box to talk with us.

Contact Our Guests:

You can purchase our book on Amazon. 

If you have questions, feedback, or would like to stay connected with “Music, Memory, and Meaning” and our upcoming events connect with us on Facebook. 

If you are local to the Austin, TX area and are interested in music therapy services contact us.

Phone: 512-422-9694

I can’t put into words how humbled and honored I am to be named one of fourteen people, picked by Oprah and her team as a 2018, “Health Hero.” Being mentioned twice in one year in the “O” magazine is just down right amazing.

Click here for the Article.

We are honored by your response to our offering of the Dementia Friendly Cruise.

There will be much to share in the near future!

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Dementia Conference and Cruise Brings Hope, Fun and Education to Families

Dementia Conference and Cruise Brings

Hope, Fun and Education to Families

Caribbean vacation for those living with early memory loss accompanied by families and friends

St Paul/Minneapolis, MN – 04/27/2017PR_Graphic_wCruise__forsocial_media_042417_


Participants will find this week-long Caribbean cruise an empowering retreat rich in hope and filled with fun, all while learning tips to live graciously with their “new normal” in life.

Lori La Bey, Radio Host and founder of Alzheimer’s Speaks is the brain child behind the event.  Her own mother lived with dementia for 30 years.  La Bey said, “Our conference is designed to encourage open conversations, raise awareness, and build a sense of comradery while rejuvenating souls.  We want to help people expand the depths of their relationships while functioning as caregivers and care receivers.  Our goal is to show people how to live graciously with dementia, not become it.”

Kathy Shoaf, RN, Accessible Travel Advocate became La Bey’s perfect partner.  Shoaf owner of Elite Cruises and Vacations, LLC, is helping La Bey bring people together to share insights, reduce fears and eliminate feelings of isolation often caused by dementia. Shoaf has been overwhelmed by the gratitude expressed by those inquiring about the conference. “People are excited and simply surprised that this opportunity to get support actually exists,” she said.

Most people don’t realize how many families are affected by Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia.  According to Alzheimer’s Disease International, a person develops dementia every 3 seconds in the world.  It’s rare to find someone who has not been touched by the dementia.

La Bey’s unique team includes both professionals in the field as well as what she calls the “True Experts.” Four international advocates living with a dementia diagnosis will play a large role in the conference sharing their profound insights and coping strategies.  They are: Michael Ellenbogen, Mary Read, Laurie Scherrer and Harry Urban.

As Harry Urban, a man living with dementia for 13 years said, “I’m finally going to meet my family.  The one I’ve never met.”  Harry refers to his “social media family” as a major source of support to him. Like so many living with dementia and those caring for them, these social media platforms can be lifelines.

Professionals Cyndy Luzinski and Becky Watson bring their passion and superior skill sets to the conference.  Luzinski is an advanced practice nurse and dementia practitioner, along with being the founder of Dementia-Friendly Communities of Northern Colorado. Watson is a Board-Certified Music Therapist and Founder of Music for Wellness, a company that provides engaging, energizing and empowering music wellness programs and services to enrich the mind, body, and spirit.

La Bey, reminisces with us about a family cruise with her mom with dementia and her dad with brain cancer.  “What a beautiful experience it was for my parents, all siblings and our children.” She goes on to say, “To be able to offer a supportive atmosphere where others understand the dementia experience and are in the trenches side by side with one another — well it’s just beyond words.”

This conference will provide a fun and hopeful environment to share life stories and lessons learned which in turn builds a strong sense of comradery.  Participants will be given resources, tips and tools to help them live better with and alongside dementia. Alzheimer’s Speaks is seeking sponsorships and donations to provide scholarships for those who can’t afford to attend.

Johns Hopkins University Press has donated a couple of their best-selling books on dementia for the conference, “The 36 Hour Day” and “A Loving Approach to Dementia Care.” La Bey encourages individuals and organizations to donate services, products or tools to enhance this experience.  La Bey is also seeking sponsors through cash or frequent flier miles… at any level to provide scholarships for those who can’t afford to attend on their own.

The group will set sail November 11th, for the Eastern Caribbean and return to Fort Lauderdale, on November 18th, 2017.  All interested in this amazing conference and cruise must book their cruise through Kathy Shoaf who can be reached at 219-608-2002 or via email kathy.shoaf@cruiseplanners.com

For More Information Contact:

Alzheimer’s Speaks is an advocacy group making an international impact providing education for those dealing with dementia.  Dr. Oz and Sharecare recognized Alzheimer’s Speaks as the “#1 Influencer online for Alzheimer’s.”  Maria Shriver recognized La Bey as an “Architect of Change for Humanity.”

Media Contact:
Lori La Bey                                                 Lori@AlzheimersSpeaks.com
651-216-5413                                              https://alzheimersspeaks.com/cruise-with-us

Join Our Cruise filled with Hope and Fun!

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The Gift Of Music – Creating Joyful Moments through Rhythm

Alzheimer’s Speaks Radio

Music is a Gift –

Creating Joyful Moments through Rhythm


Today we are lucky to have Becky Watson, a Board Certified Music Therapist and is the Founder and Owner, Music for Wellness.  She is former Navy Captain who served our country for over 25 years.  Becky has always been passionate about supporting the health and wellness through music. After her Navy retirement, she completed multiple training programs including Teepa Snow’s Positive Approach to Care.  Today we will have a fascinating conversation about the gift of music and how to create joy through rhythm.  Here is s FREE PDF

Contact Info

Becky Watson, MBA, MT-BC
Owner, Music for Wellness, LLC

Veteran Owned, Family Operated
Enriching the Mind, Body and Spirit with MUSIC!
(757) 563-3488


Twitter: Music4SWell


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My good friend Nancy Chakrin sent me this wonderful surprise in my email yesterday.  The photo above is of me and my Mom two years ago.  It’s hard to believe Mom was in her end stages back then and still is now.  This moment in time will always be precious to me, as it was June 12th, 2009 when we captured about 30 minutes of video with Mom interacting with Barbara Lee Friedman, a musician who sang and played the guitar for her with her.  Whenever I’m having a tough day all I have to is watch one of these video perks me right up and puts a smile on my face.  Each video brings me back to an incredibly simple moment of joy. One wish I was lucky enough to have captured on tap.

Originally we had planned on tapping a full hour of music for Mom but she just couldn’t hang in there with us that long. I have broken the 30 minute video Nancy took into several short clips on my Youtube Channel  Alzheimer’s Speaks  I’ve been shocked by the response of viewers.  Some music video clips have over 4,000 views.  The comments I have received have been overwhelming as people have shared their tears and laughter, as well as their hopes and memories with me.

If you have never witnessed someone with memory loss being drawn out of the fog and back to life you must watch at least one of these videos.

Below are a couple of my favorites.  There are several more on Youtube Channel.

This next video was one year later in June of 2010

Melissa Hirokawa, a Certified Music Therapist who owns Living Spirit Therapy Services


I have not attempted to capture a video this year, as Mom’s ability to connect, has significantly decreased.  Now even writing this sentence makes me mad at myself.  Mom does still respond to music, just not as much as before.  It’s different.  The words are fewer.   The tapping of the hands is less, but yet it is still evident that she is connecting.  I know, as I have trained myself to look for different things.  A slight smile and maybe even a giggle. Her eyes opening ever so slight or if I’m lucky I’ll capture them wide open and maybe even see them dance.  Her hands might tap but with less strength and control.  I now know I need to try again to capture Mom’s joy. I know I will have to be more patient and that it may take a few visits to capture her reactions, as she doesn’t react every time.

The funny thing is, just last week we had to meet with a photographer to take photos for an AARP Article that Mom and I will be featured in and she came alive!  She gave the photographer direct eye contact and responded with a couple of strong and direct “Yeps” when asked a question.  Now days Mom doesn’t always acknowledge me, be it via my voice, or touch… but that day it was like she knew it was a big moment. She was going to be in a national magazine and she wasn’t about to miss out on that!

I believe it’s important for us not to predetermine what their reactions are going to be. 

I’ve learned over my 30 year journey with my Mom’s memory loss, we really just never know.


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I am so excited to share with you another ditty of my Mother in her end stages of Alzheimer’s and the possibilities of connections. I was blessed to have come into my life a woman by the name of Melissa Hirokawa, the owner of Living Spirit Therapy and a board-certified music therapist. Melissa took time to show me her wears as a professional, and even with my Mother in her end stages of Alzheimer’s, she was able to bring Mom out of her shell and bring my her Joy.  I hope you enjoy this video as much as I do.  There are several other sample videos on Alzheimer’s Speaks On YoutTube.  Feel free to check them out and don’t forget to subscribe so you know when new videos are posted.

Here is some information on Living Spirit Therapy

Living Spirit Therapy Services, LLC provides music therapy services specializing in work with the elderly; hospice and palliative care; and those with physical, cognitive, and/or medical issues such as dementia, cancers, stroke, Parkinsons, MS, ALS, Huntington’,s fibromyalgia, and chronic pain.  Music therapists can complement and enhance the work of other allied health professions such as physical and occupational therapists and can often see positive results when other modalities have not been successful.

 Melissa Hirokawa, the owner and board-certified music therapist with LSTS, has a Master of Music in Music therapy; has received advanced training in hospice music therapy, Neurologic Music Therapy, work with the elderly, and music and imagery; is a Fellow in the Academy of Neurologic Music Therapists; has experience providing music therapy services with a wide variety of clientele; has provided eight years of direct care for people with special needs; and has presented locally and nationally on music therapy

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