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Tapping Into the Life Force: Virtual Music Therapy for Addressing Our Elders' Deepest Needs
Friday, December 04, 2020, 11:00 AM - 12:00 PM PST
Category: Educational Events

Tapping Into the Life Force: Virtual Music Therapy for Addressing Our Elders' Deepest Needs

In this workshop we will enjoy some great music and learn how older adults are benefiting from virtual music therapy amid the COVID-19 pandemic. This fun and interactive presentation will describe several virtual services success stories ranging from individuals in hospice care to groups of people with dementia, all who are keeping the music alive remotely. We will share health-based music experiences to relieve stress, increase sense of community, and access some of our deepest needs in this time.

Intended Audience: This presentation is appropriate for all professionals working with older adults, whether in a long-term care or health care setting or a community center. It is also appropriate for educators, researchers, and students in the field of gerontology, sociology, social work, public health, and health sciences. Finally, professionals working at the city, county, or state level of government and community developers can gain from a richer understanding of virtual music therapy services for older adults.


  • Kristen McSorley, MMT, MT-BC strives to work collaboratively with clients to access essential human experiences, such as play, creativity, joy, and belonging, through shared music experiences. In her practice, she considers each person’s resources, past traumas and cultural context, in addition to systemic barriers that may impact their wellbeing. Kristen received her master’s degree in music therapy from Slippery Rock University and has seven years of experience working people of all ages, from infants in the NICU to elders at the end of life. She also directs Earthtones Northwest's communications department and music therapy internship program.
  • Maggie Johnson, MT-BC, is the Music Therapy Director for Earthtones Northwest. Promoting the universal benefits of the art of music, her clinical focus is music therapy for groups and individuals experiencing isolation and marginalization due to health and societal barriers. She has served as a lead music therapist for many of Earthtones Northwest’s community arts projects in partnership with organizations such as The Oregon Symphony, The Alzheimer’s Association: Oregon Chapter, and Parkinson’s Resources of Oregon.
  • Kate Caruso, MT-BC, originally from Salem, OR, graduated with a B.A. in Spanish and General Music in 2015 from George Fox University and continued her education by pursuing her Bachelor’s in Music Therapy from Saint-Mary-of-the-Woods College. She has worked as a K-5 music teacher, and lead music theory workshops in rural areas of Nicaragua. Kate enjoys working in a wide variety of clinical settings including virtual services, adult day services, memory care, preschools, psychiatric units, care homes, and private residences. Kate meets her clients where they are with great respect and creativity.

 Registration Fee

  • OGA members: Free!
  • Non-members: $10
  • Non-member students/seniors and registrants with limited financial means: $5

Why do we ask for a fee?

OGA is a non-profit organization run by volunteers. Events and donations are our main sources of income to fund our educational and networking programs.

Reduced or complementary event registration is one of the great benefits for OGA members! If you like our educational program - we strive to offer one event per month - becoming a member will pay off quickly! To learn more about OGA membership, please visit our Membership page.

However, we understand that many of us are struggling to make ends meet these days. No one will be turned away! If you cannot afford $5 at this moment, please contact us at [email protected] - thanks to the generous donations of OGA members and friends throughout the year, we can cover a small number of registrations for each event.

PLEASE REGISTER HERE to receive the Zoom link. Should you encounter any difficulties registering online, please don't hesitate to reach out! Please note that payment via check is currently not possible through the online form! If you cannot or do not wish to pay electronically, please do not complete the form. Instead, contact us at [email protected], and we will guide you through the offline payment process.

Contact: [email protected]