Bob & Joey Jackson Music Therapy Program

An inspiring program that amplifies music’s power to change lives.

Allow us to take you inside the Bob & Joey Jackson Music Therapy Program, offered by Hospice of Santa Cruz County.

Music therapy changes lives by:

Making music a personal experience. Anya Ismail, our board-certified music therapist, visits with patients and families. She takes a patient-centered approach to creating a shared musical experience using guitar, voice, and an expansive repertoire of music.

Powerfully reigniting long-lost memories through music. Musical memories are often so deep – a patient will hear a certain song and their memories come into focus. These musical memories can help patients be more alert and present, and can reduce their feelings of isolation.

Harnessing the power of sound to spark changes in the body. The researched effects of music therapy include decreasing respiratory distress, managing pain, and symptoms of anxiety and depression.

Making changes, small and big. The effects of music therapy are profound – physically, emotionally, and spiritually. Patients often experience improved self-esteem, regained sense of control, and an increased ability to identify and express emotions.

If you’d like to learn more about music therapy, the American Music Therapy website is a wealth of information.

The story behind this program

This program was born out of friendship, and a shared love for music.

Dr. Rodney Lowe was a baritone in the Cabrillo Symphonic Chorus for 28 years. His wife, Rachel, joyfully accompanied him for years, as he played at the Vatican, the Washington National Cathedral, and Carnegie Hall. Although music was a cherished and enormous fixture of their lives, the Lowes did not know its profound and healing nature until, years later, when they received some unexpected news. Their dear friend, Joey Jackson, was nearing the end of her life. Her husband, their pastor, Bob Jackson, arranged for the Mount Madonna Choir to sing for Joey. The experience deeply moved them all. Later, when Bob Jackson died, the Lowes wanted to honor their decades-long friendship with a generous donations to Hospice of Santa Cruz County to help launch its Music Therapy program. In the same spirit, the Jackson family contributed a Legacy gift. Through their gifts, a music therapy program was born: a program dedicated to bringing the healing beauty of music to hospice patients and their families.