Get To Know Amanda Russell, Music Therapist

Amanda Russell is excited. And why not? As the new staff music therapist at Sharon Towers, she has a few hundred potential students. Whether it’s working with groups improvising with instruments, playing musical “Jeopardy” to help keep residents’ mind sharp and working one-on-one in adapted vocal lessons, she sees possibilities for the power of music everywhere she looks on the Sharon Towers campus.

Armed with a guitar or sometimes keyboards, Amanda is working to expand the music therapy programs every way she can. More independent living classes. More individualized lessons. Even bringing in family members. All to find ways to engage residents and connect them with them in ways only music can.

Originally from Charlotte, Amanda graduated from Appalachian State University in 2017 and trained in a forensic psychiatric hospital outside of Baltimore, Maryland. There she learned firsthand about the impact that person-centered care could have in her future line of work. Now back in her hometown, she’s applying that knowledge to individual and group activities.

Even in her short time in her current position, Amanda has noticed shifts in tastes. As residents have gotten younger, there’s less interest in religious music and more in rock n’ roll – even metal and rap! She’s game for just about any type of music that engages residents. Achieving the best quality of life is her goal, regardless of the individual’s genre preferences or abilities.

Want to know more about Amanda’s work or music therapy at Sharon Towers? Contact Jessica Bourque, Director of Vitality and Well-being at 704-553-3812 or jbourque@sharontowers.org.

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