Bringing Music to Pediatric Therapies

Two families team up to fund music therapy for young patients

The music room in NC Children's Hospital

Two families team up to fund music therapy for young patients

For the next three years, a part-time music therapist will work with patients at N.C. Children’s Hospital, thanks to the generosity of two families. The Schmonsees and Reed families of Chapel Hill have combined gifts to support this three-year position.

“At age 3, our daughter Morgan had a medical emergency and spent a week in the seizure unit at UNC Children’s,” Cathleen Schmonsees said. “The incredible support we received from each and every staff member was imprinted on our hearts, and we are forever grateful. Supporting this music therapy position is the Schmonsees family’s “way of saying thank you.”

Music therapy is the clinical use of music to accomplish individualized goals such as reducing stress, improving mood and encouraging self-expression. It is an evidence-based therapy well established in the health community.

“We are so excited and grateful to have the opportunity to welcome a board-certified music therapist to our pediatric therapies team,” said Amy Kujawa, clinical supervisor with rehabilitation administration at UNC Children’s.

For the Reed family, the opportunity to support music therapy at UNC Children’s was also personal. Debbie and Gray Reed and their two daughters, Caroline and Deborah, made the gift to honor Gray’s late mother, Virginia G. Reed, who was a teacher and lover of music.

“We are making this gift in honor of our grandmother, who passed away January 2021,” Caroline said. “This perfectly combines two things that she was very passionate about, music and education.”

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