Student Raises Music Therapy Awareness

One of the goals of Friends of Music Saratoga Springs is to highlight the achievements of our extraordinary musician scholar students. Let’s meet Meredith Craig from the class of 2016.

Meredith has always been passionate about music. She began playing the viola in fourth grade. She has been involved in just about every string ensemble available to a young person in our area. Her education and experience provided by her teachers in Saratoga Springs City School District prepared her well for ultimately become part of the Empire State Youth Orchestra.

Meredith has also been an active participant in Girl Scouts. Early on in her Girls Scout journey, she set her sights on the Gold Award project (the equivalent of an Eagle Scout project for the Boy Scouts.) While she initially didn’t know exactly what she would do for this project, her music would lead her to discover not just a great project, but also to discover her path beyond high school.

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Meredith at Saratoga Polo Association performing the national anthem

Every year, the Empire State Youth Orchestra performs as part of WRGB’s (CBS 6) Melodies of Christmas performance. This is a televised concert that benefits the Melodies Center for Childhood Cancer and Blood Disorders at Albany Medical Center. As Meredith enjoyed learning the music and the holiday spirit around her, she also began learning about music therapy. Also around this time, Meredith began volunteering at a physical therapy clinic in Saratoga Springs. She said, “I love witnessing the liberation that therapy can bring.” 

Meredith put together a volunteer project for her Gold Award project to support the music therapy program at Albany Med. Through year-long fundraising efforts, she raised enough money to secure 2 high-tech “Snuggum” music therapy pillows, 6 headsets, 2 IPod Touches, and several blank CDs and iTunes gift cards. She also performed a number of times as well. Her project culminated in the creation of a YouTube video about the program. 

Meredith is also quick to recognize the efforts of her fellow orchestra members – Alison Genevich, Josiah Martuscello, and Meghan Schooley. It’s great when friends help friends to achieve their goals.

Meredith will be attending Northeastern University in their six year early entry Doctorate of Physical Therapy program, with a major in Rehabilitation Science and a minor in Music. 

A major component of all Gold Award projects is that they are sustainable. Meredith plans to continue to help the music therapists at Albany Med as time permits while she is in college.

For more information about music therapy, go to www.musictherapy.org for information provided by the American Music Therapy Association.