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Upstate Medical University to offer ‘music for healing’ course

Dona Wonacott, a local harpist and certified music practitioner, who will coordinate the Music for Healing and Transition Program at Upstate. An informational session on the course will be held Monday, Sept. 26, at Trinity Episcopal Church in Fayetteville.

Dona Wonacott, a local harpist and certified music practitioner, who will coordinate the Music for Healing and Transition Program at Upstate. An informational session on the course will be held Monday, Sept. 26, at Trinity Episcopal Church in Fayetteville.

— Upstate Medical University will offer a course on the use of music for healing that prepares the musician to use live therapeutic music to create a healing environment for those with acute and chronic illness, and for the dying.  The course will begin in March 2012.

An informational session on the course will be held at 7 p.m. Monday, Sept. 26, at Trinity Episcopal Church, 106 Chapel St., Fayetteville. The session will take place in the church’s library.

The Upstate course consists of five weekend training classes, to be offered over several months, followed by a 45-hour internship of bedside work. Participants may take up to two years to complete the program. The course will lead to certification as a music practitioner.

Upstate will be the first and only academic training site in New York for certification in the national Music for Healing and Transition Program, which is accredited by the National Standards Board of Therapeutic Musicians.

Dona Wonacott, coordinator of the Upstate course, said participants should have a background in instrumental or vocal music and the desire to provide comfort and care to individuals in a healthcare setting.

“It’s an immensely rewarding experience to share one’s talent and love of music in a way that provides comfort to patients and their families,” said Wonacott, who spent 40 years as a physical therapist before earning her music practitioner certification.  Wonacott, a harpist, did her clinical internship at Upstate University Hospital.

For more information on the Upstate program, call Wonacott at 303-4015 or email dwonacot@twcny.rr.com. More information on the Music for Healing and Transition Program can be found at www.MHTP.org.

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