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Music Therapy Program Works with Kids & Families in Dominican Republic

Associate Professor of Music and Coordinator of the Music Therapy Program, Laurie Jones recently designed a new course: Global Outreach in Music Therapy. To research the Dominican Republic as a possible site for this course, Laurie and Instructor of Music Therapy Sarah McMeekin traveled to the country with five music therapy majors and a larger mission group from churches across Western Pa.

 Hato Mayor served as the group’s home base in the Dominican Republic. From here, they travelled by cattle truck to various towns with large populations of families in need. In the villages, members of the group would provide medical services, assist with construction projects and pray with the families. The Seton Hill participants worked primarily with children: singing songs, playing musical games, reading Bible stories and working on crafts. At the end of the week, the group went from village to village and to a school for the deaf handing out “family kits” (everything from toothpaste to coloring books) of donated items.

“It was an amazing time,” Laurie says, “and our little SHU group received much more than we were able to give.”

Laurie’s new course, Global Outreach in Music Therapy, will be offered soon at Seton Hill.

Pictured at top: Students Taylor Belcastro and Ashley Emrich with children in the Dominican Republic.