Music Therapy

The Augusta Symphony is taking its mission “to share the joy of music with our community” beyond the walls of the concert hall by offering music therapy services at the Knox Music Institute at the Miller Theater.

The Symphony is deeply grateful that longtime supporter Piedmont Augusta is the Presenting Sponsor of Community Chords Music Therapy.


According to the American Music Therapy Association (, music therapy is the clinical and evidence-based use of music interventions to accomplish individualized goals within a therapeutic relationship by a credentialed professional who has completed an approved music therapy program.



In year one, Community Chords Music Therapy will provide services to approximately 50 adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities by partnering with four CSRA organizations to provide free group music therapy at the Knox Music Institute to their beneficiaries. Group sessions target clinical goals such as socialization, communication, self-expression, motor function, cognitive stimulation, and mood. Additionally, these groups provide opportunities to work on goals of community integration and functional independence as beneficiaries venture to the Knox Music Institute each week to attend music therapy.

In subsequent years with appropriate funding, Community Chords Music Therapy hopes to expand the program to include more beneficiaries for marginalized groups in this community-based model.

Critical to the Community Chords group music therapy program is the desire to make it free of charge to participants and organizations. While physical, occupational, and speech are often covered by medical insurance, music  therapy is much less likely to be covered. The Symphony and Community Chords will work and advocate for these services to remain free and are thankful to donors who financially support this program.


Veronica Andreassen-Barker, an Aiken native, is a licensed and board certified music therapist, having studied music and psychology at Furman University (Greenville, SC) and music therapy and counseling at Lesley University (Cambridge, MA). She began her career as a music therapist in 2003 at the Durham Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Durham, NC where she worked in hospice, mental health, and physical medicine and rehabilitation. Inspired by the service of the veterans she worked with, Veronica and her husband, David, joined the US Peace Corps and served in the Moldavian region of Romania from 2009 to 2012, where she worked with adults with mental illness and intellectual disabilities, providing services focused on life skills training and community integration. Since returning to Aiken in 2014, Veronica has been immersed in the important work of raising her children, but she is thrilled to be back in the clinical world, taking on the challenge of developing and implementing Community Chords Music Therapy with the Augusta Symphony so that more people and organizations in the CSRA have access to community-based music therapy.



To connect with Community Chords Music Therapy, email or call 706-622-8057.

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