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August 24, 2022

Music Meets Medicine

CMCB’s Partnership with Mass Cultural Council’s “Culture RX” Social Prescription Pilot Program

Since 2020, CMCB has participated in Mass Cultural Council’s “Culture Rx” pilot program, funding free and low-cost referrals for patients at South End Community Health Center to arts programming at CMCB. Once connected with CMCB, these patients are able to participate in their preference of our music therapy services or private lessons. The majority of individuals have used this referral to work with our amazing faculty members, who design a curriculum centered around that individual’s needs. 

CMCB has been uniquely successful in this program due to the skills and diversity of our faculty and staff. With a full team of board-certified music therapists, multilingual faculty and staff, and our ability to provide music therapy and lessons as part of this program, we can accommodate a great variety of participants. In fact, some families involved have already asked about re-enrolling for the upcoming year before the program has even ended, adding to the success of the pilot program. 

Chris Perry, our Senior Director of Community Engagement Programs, describes the partnership as, “A unique opportunity to receive information and referrals from healthcare providers that allows us to more fully understand the ecosystem of a student’s life and be able to fit into it and make a connection for the rest of their life.” We believe our faculty’s work to be a supportive force in that ecosystem is what characterizes the practice of really good teaching. 

This “social prescription” pilot has produced very promising research regarding the intersections of arts, culture, and health. In their blog, the Mass Cultural Council shared a study by Tasha Golden, Ph.D. that notes “increased feelings of self-worth and self-efficacy” in program participants. In fact, the results have led to recommendations to not only increase partnerships within Massachusetts but also to create new pilot programs nationwide. We’re delighted to continue to be a part of this program and can’t wait to see how this research will continue to help our communities near and far.

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