Music is the last thing we forget…


Selfhelp Earns Community Impact Award for Music Therapy Program

The Selfhelp Home has earned the Community Impact Award for its delivery of Music Therapy to all its residents. The award was given by The Association of Jewish Aging Services (AJAS) an organization representing nonprofit Jewish aging services nationwide.

The Selfhelp Music Therapy program, officially titled the Friedmann/Tuber Program for Cognitive Therapies, was originally designed for residents with dementia.

The program started in 2021 and was the vision of three donors – Philip Friedmann, Craig Tuber, and Selfhelp President Austin Hirsch. In 2023, the three donors challenged the Selfhelp community to fund Music Therapy for all residents by offering a matching grant in the Summer of 2023.

With the offer of matching funds, Selfhelp raised more than $130,000, which is enough to provide a full year of our celebrated Music Therapy program to every resident. Donors  were inspired by the generosity of Phil, Craig, and Austin and matched them dollar-for-dollar.

For older adults,  music therapy is proven to address a person’s health, thoughts, and memories, holistically. It aims to enrich and give freedom. 

While working with older adults’ music therapy is proven to decrease pain, anxiety, agitation, and depression all while enhancing engagement, interaction, communication, self-expression, and supporting physical, respiratory, speech rehabilitation goals.

The Friedmann/Tuber Program for Cognitive Therapies is delivered in partnership with Greater Chicago Music Therapy Program. Their team of board-certified music therapists are industry experts in older adult person-centered music therapy and their director is a leader and published researcher in working with Jewish clients. 

The program has already made a noticeable positive difference in many of our resident’s affect, mood, alertness, and sociability and meeting goals related to pain management, decreasing agitation, and communication.

The program has grown since its inception to meet a variety of needs and is facilitated through individual and group sessions or a support group for people suffering from loss.

Music therapy is now also incorporated into our short-term rehabilitation therapy program to encourage movement and exercise that is motivated by making music.

In addition, the program supports staff education and training for how to use music purposefully and intentionally in their work.

To learn more, and our partnership with The Greater Chicago Music Therapy Program, visit our Music Therapy page:

Above: Selfhelp accepting the Award for Music Therapy Program
Below: The Greater Chicago Music Therapy Program Inc. at Selfhelp Home