Maine Music & Health, LLC, in Saco, seeks to expand the visibility and acceptance of music therapy to help individuals improve physical and mental health. When visionary founder Kate Beever started her practice, she quickly learned that outreach and educational efforts were needed to help people understand the field. What motivated her? “Clients! And Music! It’s pretty simple,” she said.
In addition to overseeing her own music therapy practice, Kate is the leading advocate for MaineCare coverage of music therapy, and produces the annual Creative Health Conference, a day-long arts therapies seminar in Portland. In recognition of Kate’s commitment and impact, Maine Music & Health was named the Small Business Administration’s (SBA) Maine Micro-Enterprise of the Year in 2017.
Music therapy does not follow a prescribed formula. Clients drive the work to create an individualized approach based on their needs.
“When someone who has been depressed and nonverbal for ages suddenly realizes that they are making music, the result can be incredible. That client will slowly smile, start singing along and then laugh with joy. It looks like magic, but it’s not. It’s music and neuroscience.”
-Kate Beever, Owner, Maine Music & Health
Kate will often re-tune guitars so that there is no ‘wrong note’ when clients are playing along with her. “The positive outcomes speak for themselves, and once people see music therapy in action they understand it.”
Now that Kate has established a solid client base, in home settings with individuals, to group sessions at hospitals, she is giving more attention to advocating for state recognition of music therapy. She has seen firsthand the barriers that low-income clients face in accessing music therapy.
“I get a lot of requests from families looking for music therapy services who can only access healthcare through MaineCare,” she said. “I believe all families should have choice and access to the care that they need, and that includes integration of all the therapies.”
Support is growing among senators, therapists, and clients for a bill that would require MaineCare coverage for music therapy. Due, in part, to Kate’s advocacy work in the field, there are now 14 music therapists in Maine.
Kate worked closely with Sarah Guerette, Director of the Women’s Business Center at CEI, as her business was growing. Last fall, Maine Music & Health moved into a clinic space in Saco. Kate anticipates hiring another music therapist to work in the clinic while she focuses on oncology and clients with developmental disabilities.
“I am so grateful to Sarah Guerette and the team at CEI for pushing me to grow my business in the direction that works for me,” said Kate.
“Sarah taught me so much about accounting and goal planning. I’ve finally started to feel a sense of balance and continuity in my business,” she said. “That allows me to focus my energy on helping my clients meet their goals, and to enjoy the musical process!”
Next up, Maine Music & Health will be part of a new integrative medicine center called Good Medicine, which is scheduled to open in November 2018 in Portland. Additionally, Maine Medical Center has integrated the music therapy program which was established four years ago with the help of grant funding, and Kate is a key part of the team.