Our History

Highlights of Achievement and Growth


Dr. Barbara Reuer, after founding her San Diego-based music therapy provider, MusicWorx Inc. in 1987, realized the nationwide shortage of music therapists. Dr. Reuer envisioned a concept of training volunteers how to provide supportive and recreational music programs under the direction of music therapists. In 2003, she applied to Wheat Ridge Ministries through MusicWorx Inc., and received a $38,000 two-year grant (2004-2005) to develop this outreach program.  Calvary Lutheran Church in Solana Beach not only served as a fiscal sponsor, but also adopted it as an outreach program called ReSOUNDing Faith Ministry.

Thirty members from two churches immediately trained to become volunteers to provide supportive and recreational music to individuals confined at home or in skilled nursing facilities.  The volunteers were eventually called Joy Givers and the program became the Mindful Music program.  In 2005 Resounding Faith Ministry changed the name to Resounding Joy Inc., and incorporated as a California 501(c)3 nonprofit and by the end of the year, contributions, gifts and grants totaled $47,000.

Resounding Joy launched an international program in October of 2008 by bringing music therapy to a children’s hospital in Cambodia. Later in February of 2012, a group of 13 music therapists and Joy Givers volunteered to travel to India for two weeks to experience the use of music therapy in palliative care while partaking in the rich traditions of Indian Culture.   Another trip to India is planned for January of 2018.

As the needs of other populations were brought to Resounding Joy’s attention, Sound Minds, Healing Notes and Semper Sound joined Mindful Music as core programs.

In 2007, the Sound Minds program received funding from a donor to start at Mark Twain High School, using music in order to encourage development and bonding between young children and teen parents.  Additional schools are added as funding allows.   The Sound Minds program continues within the California School Age Families Education high school infant centers in order to prepare teens and their children for a better future.

In 2010, Semper Fi Fund supported the creation of Semper Sound to bring joy and music to active duty military and veterans, and has been running programs around Southern California ever since. The Wounded Warrior Project awarded Semper Sound with program development grants in 2012 and 2013 to support outreach at the Wounded Warrior Battalion – West and Naval Medical Center San Diego.  Semper Sound helps military service personnel and veterans challenged by Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, Traumatic Brain Injury, substance abuse, as well as other physical and psychological diagnoses.  In 2014, Resounding Joy established a Semper Sound East Coast Satellite program in Chelsea, Massachusetts, and was featured in a white paper, “Music Therapy and Military Populations,” by the American Music Therapy Association.

Healing Notes, founded by Allison Tartari, merged with Resounding Joy in 2010 combining resources in an effort to bring music therapy to children in hospitals across San Diego County.  This has transformed into one of Resounding Joy’s core programs.  Several years later, the Ariana Fund merged with Resounding Joy to create the Ariana Miller Music with Heart program.  Music with Heart raises funds for children with cardiac diagnoses, primarily through the annual Heart of a Child concert.

In 2012, the current Resounding Joy headquarters, the Recreational Music Center and Clinic, was established in Sorrento Valley.   The suite serves as the current office space for staff and MusicWorx interns, and was the location of choice for Resounding Joy’s classes and events until the opening of the Music Wellness Center.

In 2012-13 Wheat Ridge Ministries provided Resounding Joy a grant of $42,500 to explore a strategy to grow and replicate, on a national scale, Resounding Joy’s volunteer Joy Giver program and its associated inter-generational program, Junior Joy Givers. As a significant part of our future sustainability, this initiative will allow us to turn Joy Givers into a profitable social enterprise project by licensing and selling the program, methodologies, and training required to deliver the program.  Plans are in process of creating a simple template and instruction manual so that other organizations can begin their own Joy Giver programs.  In addition, in 2014, Dr. Reuer received a social enterprise grant from Remo & Ami Belli to provide instrument support to music therapists on selected comfort sound technology drums.  The purpose of this grant is to help develop a sustainable funding stream to support our programs.

In June of 2016, Resounding Joy opened the Music Wellness Center.  This suite allows Resounding Joy to host different classes and events, such as drum circles and training programs. The training programs help medical professionals integrate drumming and music therapy techniques into their workplace or community.   These outreach opportunities provide a deeper connection to the community outside of working with those struggling with personal or medical challenges.



  • 2003 – A health and wellness grant for $38,000 was awarded to MusicWorx from Wheat Ridge Ministries to develop ReSOUNDing Faith Ministry
  • 2004 – Birth of ReSOUNDing Faith Ministry volunteer outreach programs started at Calvary Lutheran Church in Solana Beach and St. Brigid’s Catholic Church in Pacific Beach
  • 2005 – Transformation into Resounding Joy Inc., a 501(c)(3) public benefit nonprofit, August 18, 2005
  • 2006 – Sound Minds begins at Mark Twain High School — Received Certificate of Appreciation from Supervisor Ron Roberts for this work
  • 2007 – Launch new Resounding Joy website
  • 2007 – Hired a grant writer consultant to help develop major funding
  • 2008 – First 5 Commission of San Diego granted $75,000 to expand the Sound Minds program to three additional high schools
  • 2008 – The Mindful Music – Junior Joy Giver program is born
  • 2009 – Publish a 5-year Anniversary Annual Report
  • 2010 – Semper Fi Fund supports the first Semper Sound music therapy program at the Naval    Medical Center San Diego in October
  • 2010 – The Healing Notes nonprofit joins forces with Resounding Joy to begin our Healing Notes programs at Rady Children’s Hospital
  • 2011 – This is the year of the House Concerts:  Friend Builders
  • 2012 – The Recreational Music Center & Clinic opens their doors in Sorrento Valley in July
  • 2013 – The Wounded Warrior Project awards a grant to develop a Semper Sound program at the Wounded Warrior Battalion-West
  • 2013 – We hired our first office staff assistant
  • 2014 – Launch of East Coast Semper Sound program in Boston, MA
  • 2014 – Resounding Joy brings on board the Ariana Fund to create the Ariana Miller Music with Heart program
  • 2015 – Palliative children’s music therapy program launched
  • 2015 – Resounding Joy hired its first development director
  • 2016 – Resounding Joy opens a Music Wellness Center in partnership with MusicWorx
  • 2017 – Advanced documentation systems implemented for improved data reporting
  • 2017 – Resounding Joy moves to new location: 10455 Sorrento Valley Road, Suite 208, San Diego, CA 92121-1620