The Sun Lakes Creative Engagement Partners initiated music therapy for families with Parkinson’s and memory impairment and has been supported by the Cottonwood Palo Verde Foundation. Many times, the participants develop a family of friends who help support each other and provide new socialization opportunities. The sessions are held each Thursday in the choir room at the Sun Lakes United Methodist Church at 1:00 p.m. Since the program started, families are driving from Maricopa, Tempe and other retirement communities along Riggs Road. For more information, call 480-274-3206.
Director Sun Joo Lee has a strong background in music therapy applications. She has a master’s degree in voice and a master’s degree in Music Therapy, with board certification from Arizona State University. Additionally, she completed the additional requirements for Neurologic Music Therapy. While general music therapy seeks to treat many different aspects of patient needs (emotional, physical, mental, etc.), with music, Neurologic Music Therapy focuses specifically on music and rhythm’s physical effect on the brain and brain connections (called neuropathways) through specific research-based techniques (called NMT interventions).
In addition to holding this weekly session in Sun Lakes, she directs two Parkinson’s Tremble Choirs in Sun City and Scottsdale, provides client-based services, serves as a pre-clinical supervisor at ASU Music Therapy department and is active with many groups within the Phoenix area involving music therapy.
Sun Lakes Creative Engagement Partners is a coalition of non-profits whose goal is to create programs for families with Parkinson’s and Memory Impairment. The programs are designed for both the caregiver and their partners to eliminate the feelings of isolation and loneliness. The partners include Southwest Chapter of the Alzheimer Association, Neighbors Who Care, Oakwood Creative Care, The Perfect Place and Wayne Mangold, an Alzheimer’s caregiver.