Dr. Barbara Reuer’s brother, Ronnie Reuer, was diagnosed with Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy (DMD) at a young age, characterized by progressive muscle degeneration and weakness. In the absence of special education in the 1960s, the Reuer family found that music quickly became his favorite subject and pastime. Ronnie battled multiple bouts of pneumonia that ultimately took his life when he was just eight years old. Barbara’s inspiration for her career stems from witnessing the effect of music on Ronnie and the desire to bring the healing power of music to other children.
Our story begins in 1987, when Barbara Reuer founded MusicWorx, her music therapy and consulting agency. Over the course of several decades, she honed her practice in San Diego and began one of the first music therapy private practice internship programs in the United States. Interns choose special projects, reaching out into the community to provide no-cost music therapy services, but their volunteerism only touches the surface of local demand. For those individuals without access to these facilities or the funds to personally finance services, music therapy becomes an unrealistic treatment, despite its many proven benefits. Insurance coverage – for those that have it – is spotty at best.
MusicWorx is not a nonprofit; Resounding Joy was created to do what MusicWorx could not. Led by Barbara Reuer and the Board of Directors, we began as a team of volunteers offering music therapy-informed supportive experiences for socially-isolated seniors. A grant in 2005 for this Joy Giver training program helped us expand. Requests for music therapy poured in from low-income communities. Over time, programs such as Sounds of Healing Notes, Sounds of Service, Sounds of Community, and Sounds of Legacy have received generous support from the populations and communities we serve.
Since 2004, Resounding Joy has metamorphosed into a nonprofit with a full staff of MT-BCs, been featured in national publications such as Delta Magazine and NEA Arts, and continues to grow to meet the needs of the community. Last year alone, we served almost 3,000 individuals, most of whom live right here in San Diego County. Most of Resounding Joy’s clients will feel the effects of their diagnosis throughout their lives, whether it is depression, PTSD, a brain injury, Down’s Syndrome, congenital heart disease, or a rare disease. The team of Board-Certified music therapists (MT-BC) strives to transform the health of San Diego County by using music as a therapeutic medium to effectively address physical, emotional, social, and cognitive goals. Music’s unique ability to navigate damaged areas of the brain and transcend verbal communication makes it a powerful tool in the hands of a qualified professional.
For adult medical music therapy, music therapist continuing education, and the AudAbility program for people with Parkinson’s, please visit www.musicworxinc.com.