Lori and Jerry O’Leary


Late one night in 2000, Jerry O’Leary sketched a G clef, staff lines, and the word MusicWorks on a diner napkin, telling his wife, Lori, that, in two years, he wanted to open his own music-therapy business. At the time, Jerry was a newly board-certified music therapist. Today, he leads a whole team of therapists, and Lori serves as their executive director.  

MusicWorks looks for little miracles every day, as it provides music therapy to children and young adults with autism, Down syndrome, cerebral palsy and developmental delays. It also helps improve the quality of life for seniors with Alzheimer’s, dementia, depression and other challenges. MusicWorks therapists currently serve over 500 individuals per week. For each age group, music therapy benefits participants through learning and communication, focus and attention, and—most importantly—socialization. 

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As a nonprofit, MusicWorks’ mission is to raise funds for families who can’t afford music therapy for their loved ones. Money is raised through private donations, corporate sponsorships, special events and the annual fundraiser Music & Miracles, held every March. 

MusicWorks strongly believes in the inherent worth and dignity of every person, regardless of ability. There’s no better place to witness the life-changing effects of music therapy than by watching the videos posted to the MusicWorks website.

—Linda Hohn, board of directors, MusicWorks


Photo by Jim Graham

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