Music connects us all and helps us to communicate no matter our abilities.

Ranch Ehrlo Society provides music therapy for many of its participants including the youth and adults in the Supported Living Program (SLP) participants.

Ranch Ehrlo’s SLP supports persons with differing abilities by providing group living, educational, and vocational programs to people with multiple, complex developmental needs.

Thanks to a generous grant from the National Music Centre (NMC), Ranch Ehrlo Society has received $50,000 to expand its therapeutic music program!

The NMC grant will be used to expand the existing program to Ranch Ehrlo’s Family Treatment Program and the Family-Centred Addictions Program. It will also expand to our True Colours, which are support groups for youth and SLP adults who identify as 2SLGBTQQI+.

The NMC believes a key component of music is its capacity to heal, and its ability to empower and strengthen those who are facing some of life’s most difficult challenges.

With this philosophy in mind, the Ranch will expand its music program to benefit even more participants! We wanted to take this opportunity to highlight many of the benefits that music therapy brings.


Melanie McDonald, contracted Certified Music Therapist (MTA) at Ranch Ehrlo, said, “Within music therapy, the MTA and the participant use their voices, instrumental improvisation, psychodynamic music therapy models, exploration of musical space, unique sounds, emotions, movement, sensory experiences with improvised, contemporary, and classical music.”

She explained that the music therapist intentionally uses tempo, timbre, melody, harmony, pitch, and genre in creating music with the person or group for a specific therapeutic purpose.

“It is through the intentional and evidence-based use of music within a therapeutic relationship that music therapy works to bring wellness on many levels,” she said.

There are many benefits that have been observed with participants who have experienced music therapy such as improved executive functioning, enhanced focus, active engagement, elevated mood, decreased anxiety, enhanced trust, cultural connection, and relationship development.

As a stand-alone therapy and when used in conjunction with other therapies, music is making a positive impact on everyone at Ranch Ehrlo.