#MusicHeals

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At one of our music workshops, a young wounded vet named Joel said to me, “I used to play guitar. I played in a band. Because of my injury I can’t remember things, so I can’t play anymore.” I paused for a moment, then said, “Have you tried?” and I handed him my guitar. He […]

Country Joe and the Vets

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Every Monday Heroes’ Voices does music and poetry with veteran inmates at the San Francisco County Jail. Our contact at the jail is Ron Perez, a leader in veterans’ services in the San Francisco Bay area. A couple of weeks ago he called me with an exciting bit of news. Ron invited Country Joe McDonald […]

Healing Veterans in Silicon Valley

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Heroes’ Voices began serving veterans almost four years ago. Our first series of music and poetry workshops were at the Veterans Administration in Menlo Park. We made the initial connection to Menlo Park through the staff from Senator Barbara Boxer’s office. The VA facility in Menlo Park has been around for decades and it was […]

Blowing in the Wind

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On Friday afternoons Heroes’ Voices does a singing workshop at the Psychiatric Intensive Care Unit of the VA Hospital in San Francisco. Veterans there suffer from a range of issues including PTSD, depression, bipolar disorder and other challenges. Sometimes patients there are on suicide watch. Veterans at the PICU come and go, so I develop […]

Music, Science, Conflict Resolution, and Healing

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Several days ago, I met with a group of internationally renowned neuroscientists who study the extraordinary healing power of music in the brain. I also met with an equally renowned musician who is interfacing with scientists, exploring and utilizing music to facilitate negotiations and conflict resolution. First, I enjoyed a lively brunch meeting with a team […]

Veteran Poet in Orange

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One of the high points of our San Francisco performance of The Soldier’s Journey was a young veteran reading a poem that he had recently composed. That moment was particularly moving for me because, until that day, I had only seen Robert wearing an orange prison uniform. Robert, a US Navy veteran, was released from […]