Dear IAMM colleagues,
It is my honor to greet you as the new President of the International Association for Music & Medicine. When I was nominated, the world was a different place. I was President of the Organizing Committee for the IAMM 2020 Boston Conference, and we were looking forward to welcoming you to our city, showing you the many music and medicine programs in our neighborhood, and inviting you to concerts, lectures, workshops, and other special events at Berklee College of Music. We looked forward to meeting you and people from around the world who work and play at the intersection of music and medicine.
Alas, as we still find ourselves in the throes of a global pandemic, we are all dealing with fears, uncertainties, dangers, and consequences of COVID-19. While isolated from others, many traditional coping strategies are failing us. Yet the music that unites us in our cause remains a powerful force to keep us focused us on the beauty surrounding us, and it inspires us to create and be creative in our daily lives. The world looks to music for both solace and energy; perhaps IAMM can bring us together for this purpose, while addressing the massive needs around us.
When the Boston conference was cancelled, IAMM collaborated with our World Federation of Music Therapy colleagues, whose World Congress also could not take place in a physical space. Our member musicians and a team of experts volunteered their time to create a virtual musical gift to the world, “Music is…” composed and conducted by Salvador Brotons for this occasion (view this and other music for IAMM’s 10th Anniversary on https://www.music-medicine.net/. Also view “Music is…” on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7v512WJGtvM).
In just a couple of months, IAMM’s Sixth International Conference morphed into IAMM2020, a series of virtual events to showcase the talent and expertise of those invited and accepted to present and perform:
A 2-day online conference IAMM’s 10th Anniversary Concert Special Interest Group Summer Webinar Series Fall Workshop Series (coming in September, 2020)
IAMM Scientific Committee Chair Vera Brandes created a whole new website to house recordings of these offerings, plus papers and posters (https://www.music-medicine.net). You can still register for IAMM2020 to access all of these assets at https://iammonline.com.
Our newly-elected officers, Board of Directors, committee chairs, Task Force leaders, and Special Interest Group members have taken on the challenge to create a vibrant platform for ongoing dialogue, collaboration, and discussion. We are committed to fostering an active global community that is inclusive and culturally responsive to diverse voices – from different continents, disciplines, specialties, practices, philosophies, races, socioeconomic backgrounds, sexual orientations, and composed of able-bodied and physically challenged, mature and young, student and expert, empowered and disenfranchised people.
We are IAMM, and I hope that you are ready to take part in building a dynamic future for music and medicine. I look forward to hearing from you about your ideas and potential contributions: email@example.com.
Sincerely yours, Suzanne B. Hanser, EdD, MT-BC President, International Association for Music & Medicine