Music and Healing

Strengthening bonds with music, imagination, and love.

ACG Music & Healing brings human connection, beauty, and expressivity to individuals facing isolation and challenge, through collaboration with a skilled and trained ACG Artist. These services are available to a wide variety of clients through partnerships with more than a dozen social service providers including hospitals, shelters, residential rehabilitation facilities, parental education and family health organizations, and veterans service providers. 

ACG Music & Healing utilizes a trauma-informed, strength-based approach to facilitate a medium for meaningful expression and personal narrative through music making. We provide individualized music experiences for Central Texans navigating such challenges as poverty, homelessness, physical and mental health diagnoses, and trauma from past experiences. 

ACG musicians are focused on musical and expressive outcomes working side-by-side with social workers, music therapists, counselors, and doctors to identify unique goals with participants on an individual basis.  Activities include artist-participant songwriting collaboration and composition, one-on-one guitar instruction, group instruction, professional performances and more.

“Do it. You will feel safe, you will not be alone, they will take care of you and guide you, and at the end, you’re going to have a physical thing to represent the feelings inside you. It’s going to be really good for you to have the song; there will be days when you’ll be so glad you do … even if you don’t share it with anyone, even if it’s just for you.”

Christina, Music & Healing Participant

“ACG is such a wonderful organization that truly focuses on individualistic strength and empowerment of each child they serve. Here at Dell Children’s, I have personally witnessed our long-standing ACG volunteer work with patients on developing not only their musical skill, but connecting emotions and important moments in their lives to the music they create. When a patient hears for the first time that they get to take their ACG guitar home, their smiles and joy are immeasurable. Working with ACG is such a gift, and as a board-certified music therapist, I am so grateful for their contribution to the healing journeys of our patients and families.”

-Nicole Valerioti, MT-BC
Board Certified Music Therapist, Dell Children’s Medical Center

PARTNER ORGANIZATIONS

Any Baby Can

Resilient Me

St. David’s Healthcare Systems

Dell Med School

Livestrong Cancer Institutes and the CALM Clinic

Red Oak Hope

Community First Village 

Dell Children’s Hospital

Travis County Correctional Complex

Salvation Army Women and Children’s Shelter

Front Steps Austin

LifeWorks

Why do we have so many partners? ACG Music and Healing builds flexible relationships with multiple providers because the nature of this work is complicated and dependent upon many factors that are difficult to predict. Certain facilities and organizations may experience more or less demand for Music and Healing services depending on seasonality and programming schedule. They may or may not be able to facilitate projects based on things like staffing, bandwidth or competing priorities. By having multiple partners we maximize our service reach, offering expressive experiences for individuals who need them most, precisely when they need them and we better guarantee steady work for our trained Music & Healing artists. 

PROGRAM STRUCTURE

ACG Music and Healing Artists are carefully selected based upon interest in service for the greater good, artistic skill, and desire for responsible, empathic, interpersonal interaction. Musicians are formally trained, deployed for an apprentice period of group-service alongside experienced artists, and then able to work independently. While the core skills are the same across partner projects, artists must complete special training for each category of service: Lullaby Project, healthcare (adult), healthcare(child), human trafficking, homelessness, veterans services, and work in the prison system. In some cases, additional certification, background checks, and health screenings may be necessary. 

Artists are paired with clients and first communicate with supportive staff such as social workers, music therapists, counselors to assess specific needs and considerations . In many cases, the client will engage in a series of conversations led by the artist culminating in the co-creation of an original song or similar personal expression. The song is composed, performed (in some cases with external collaborators, in some cases with live audience), and recorded. The participant retains primary songwriting credit and all rights to the music they create. Artists are paid a base rate of $600 for each completed, recorded song. In the case of some partnerships, longer or shorter-term experiences are most appropriate such as: one-on-one guitar lessons, group instruction or professional performances. Here, artists are paid hourly. 

PROGRAM OUTPUT

ACG Music & Healing primary output is focused, creative time spent between client and artist during which deep listening, compassionate connection, and storytelling are facilitated by the organizing principle of artistic co-creation. The secondary output is the recorded song, which the participant is able to keep and share as they choose. ACG shares these songs and music videos from time to time in various formats, some of which you can listen to online in the following places: [links to soundcloud, youtube, blogs, etc.] In many cases, ACG will work with partners to create celebration concerts that allow the community to join in honoring the journey of participant songwriters.

LEARN MORE

Christina: participant story

GIVE: Oli Boy

GIVE: Samuel’s Smile

GET INVOLVED

We welcome inquiries from potential participants, care providers, current or potential sponsors or partners, and media personnel. Contact us today.