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The Sunshine Singers Choir, a choral group of teenagers and young adults with developmental disabilities run by the Music therapy Wellness Clinic, is one of the programs supported by a new grant to the clinic.

The Sunshine Singers Choir, a choral group of teenagers and young adults with developmental disabilities run by the Music therapy Wellness Clinic, is one of the programs supported by a new grant to the clinic.

California State University, Northridge’s Music Therapy Wellness Clinic has received two gifts totaling $25,000 to support its individually designed music therapies for children and adults with disabilities and special challenges.

The first gift, a $10,000 grant from SHARE Inc. will support expanding the clinic’s services in the community. The second, a $15,000 grant from Environment of the People Foundation, will fund scholarships for clinic clients.

“We are honored to receive these grants and to be considered alongside many other worthy causes,” said Julie Berghofer, assistant director of the clinic. “In this current economy and with reduction of funding from the regional centers and local educational authorities, support from philanthropic organizations is crucial to maintaining and developing music therapy services. There is a growing need in the community for outreach projects and accessible services for children and adults with a wide variety of challenges.”

Founded 17 years ago, CSUN’s Music Therapy Wellness Clinic is dedicated to creating an environment where an individual with special challenges can acquire necessary life skills through the unique, creative and enjoyable medium of music. The clinic’s four therapists serve about 30 clients per week. Clients include children with special needs, adolescents with behavioral or emotional problems and elderly patients recovering from a stroke.

The grant from Environment of the People Foundation, a nonprofit organized by industry musicians to fund music therapy, will provide annual scholarships for up to eight clients.

All the center’s services are currently clinic-based, but Berghofer said the grant from SHARE, Inc., will allow the clinic team to develop collaborative community projects and serve a greater number of client populations.

SHARE Inc. is a Beverly Hills-based nonprofit, philanthropic organization composed of women committed to raising funds for developmentally disabled, abused and neglected children, as well as medical research for all forms of developmental disabilities.

The grant will fund an additional music therapist to work with the Sunshine Singers Choir, a choral group of teenagers and young adults with various developmental disabilities. It will also provide funds for a music therapist to supervise music therapy students conducting group therapy sessions at Locrantz Special Education School, a Los Angeles Unified School District School for children with individual education plans.

The Music Therapy Wellness Clinic is affiliated with CSUN’s music therapy bachelor’s degree program, the only such program in Southern California and one of only two music therapy programs in the state.

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