Ranch Ehrlo Society has long seen the impact that music has on the people who come to us for support.

In 2011, we started more consistently incorporating music therapy with the participants in our Supported Living Program (SLP) which supports persons with differing abilities and youth in our Group Living Program.

Thanks to a generous grant from the National Music Centre, Ranch Ehrlo has received $50,000 to expand its therapeutic music program to benefit even more youth, adults, and families!

The grant from the NMC will expand the program into the Family Treatment Program (FTP) and the Family-Centred Addictions Program (FCAP) as well as support the youth and SLP adult participants who belong to the Ranch’s 2SLGBTQQI+ True Colours support groups.

“Since 2011, we have noticed many benefits to their mental health and improvements in their daily lives,” explained David Rivers, vice-president of clinical and family services.

Melanie McDonald, accredited music therapist (MTA) explained how the program has expanded at the agency.

“Clinical hours grew over the years and even continued with virtual sessions during the pandemic. Now in 2023, there are 32 clinical sessions per week,” said Melanie.

She added, that individualized goals are developed by the clinical consultants in the programs and the music therapist working together.

During sessions in the past 11 years, the following outcomes have been observed in participants:

  • Increased focus and active engagement.
  • Elevated mood and decreased anxiety.
  • Enhanced self-esteem.
  • Enhanced executive functioning.
  • Enhanced communication.
  • Cultural connection.
  • Improved self-regulation.
  • Enhanced trust and relationship development.
  • Enhanced social interactions and cooperation.


Music therapy has been incredibly beneficial to our participants!

Patti Petrucka, director of the FTP, said she is excited to see the benefits to her families with this expansion.

 “We look forward to seeing the proven benefits of music therapy for our families. Music can strengthen connections and assist our families to heal.”