After witnessing the comforting power of live music at the bedside of a dying friend, Chuck Beckman knew he wanted to share the gift of music with other patients. For a season, he tried balancing the demands of a 35-year career in construction management with volunteering to play his guitar at a local in-patient hospice unit. But after discovering the Music for Healing and Transition Program (MHTP) in 2012, he knew he had found his life's calling. Chuck completed his therapeutic music training and certification requirement in 2013, and soon after began playing Live Therapeutic Music for patients around Atlanta full time; however, he soon discovered that most healthcare facilities did not have the resources to fund a Therapeutic Music Program. After a lot of prayer and planning, Chuck and his wife, Cheri, launched Strings of Mercy to "Help Change the Way We Care for the Suffering."
Currently, hundreds of Certified Music Practitioners across the nation are available to work, but are unable to secure the funding they need to provide Live Therapeutic Music (LTM) to patients in their areas, since LTM is currently not a reimbursable expense covered by Medicare or private insurance.
Strings of Mercy helps raise money through individual and corporate donors, grants and foundations to pay Music Practitioners who bring LTM to patients in need. We currently have six Music Practitioners providing LTM at area hospitals, hospice and skilled nursing facilities.
We are working toward the day that every nurse and physician working in healthcare is aware of the benefits of Live Therapeutic Music and refers LTM to their patients who would benefit from this non-pharmacologic, complementary intervention.
Chuck Beckman, Executive Director
These Non-Profits, businesses and health care providers have either partnered with Strings of Mercy or have supported the provision of Live Therapeutic Music in the metro Atlanta area. We are thrilled and humbled to partner with each one.
MHTP trains and certifies Music Practitioners all across the U.S. with more than 1,000 Certified Music Practitioners providing LTM to patients in hospitals, skilled nursing, memory care, assisted living, personal care and hospice facilities. Recognized by the National Standards Board for Therapeutic Musicians (NSBTM), MHTP is the largest accredited certification program for musicians desiring to work as clinically trained therapeutic musicians. Visit www.mhtp.org for more info.
Northside Hospital Gwinnett and Duluth (formerly Gwinnett Medical Center at Lawrenceville and Duluth) provide complementary LTM services for their patients through the Spiritual Care Department. Funded in part by the Gwinnett Medical Center Foundation, Strings of Mercy helped develop the hospitals' Therapeutic Music Programs and currently has three part-time CMPs working at these two Atlanta area hospitals in Gwinnett County, GA.
Strings of Mercy also provides Live Therapeutic Music services at Northside Gwinnett Joan Glancy (formerly Glancy Rehabilitation Center) in Duluth and the Northside Gwinnett Extended Care Center (formerly Gwinnett Extended Care Center) in Lawrenceville. These facilities provide rehab services and long term care for patients in Gwinnett County, GA. The use of LTM is especially useful in helping these patients relax and rest while recuperating from long term trauma and illness issues.
In 2017, St. Mary’s Health Care System and Strings of Mercy partnered to co-fund a Therapeutic Music Program that provides LTM services for 4 hours per day, one day per week at St. Mary’s Hospital in Athens, GA. This arrangement will continue through July 2020, when St. Mary’s expects to fully fund the part-time Therapeutic Music Program through the hospital's Auxiliary and Foundation.
In June 2019, Northeast Georgia Medical Center hired Chuck Beckman, CMP, as the hospital’s Therapeutic Music Program Coordinator. Chuck is developing a therapeutic music program where he and several other certified therapeutic musicians will provide up to 8 hours of LTM services daily, Monday through Friday. The program, funded by the Northeast Georgia Health Systems Foundation W.A.T.C.H. Committee donors, will provide Live Therapeutic Music as a clinical intervention for the hospital’s ICU patients. The Therapeutic Music Program at NGMC will be one of the largest and most comprehensive LTM programs in the country.
Since 2016, Strings of Mercy has been working with Agape Hospice Care to provide comfort to patients dealing with end of life symptoms that are not always managed by medications alone. Strings of Mercy currently has two part-time CMPs working with Agape Hospice patients. With the continued growth of Agape, the company is poised to expand to more and more patients.
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Everything Strings of Mercy ever accomplished actually began taking root when Chuck Beckman emailed Denver-based Mercy Music in 2012. By 2013, Chuck and Mercy Music Executive Director Brad Richardson began a partnership that continues to thrive to this day. For two years, Chuck worked in Atlanta as a ‘Musicianary’ under Brad’s supervision. But it soon became apparent that God was calling Chuck to launch Strings of Mercy with a local board who shared Chuck’s vision of ‘Changing the Way We Care for the Suffering through Live Therapeutic Music.'
Mercy Music is a ministry that is dedicated to develop Musicianaries who are called to play Music for Healing, Music for Worship and Music for the Next Generation.
To learn more about Mercy Music, go to www.mercymusic.org.
Baruke Guitars owner / founder Allen Williams hand-builds fine acoustic guitars in his shop nestled in the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains near Gainesville, GA. Allen’s 35+ years experience as a luthier, his use of rare and premium woods, a meticulous eye for detail and his pursuit of perfection for every guitar he builds makes Allen’s guitars easy to listen to and play.
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