PHOENIX (December 9, 2021) — The Musical Instrument Museum (MIM) has been awarded a $30,000 grant by the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) to evaluate and implement MIM’s virtual Senior Wellness programming, which was developed in collaboration with Arizona State University (ASU).

The program’s two video collections make music therapy accessible to seniors from the comfort of their homes or living communities. The Senior Wellness collection meets the needs of active seniors, and the Memory Care collection serves seniors with memory loss. Each collection contains five 15-minute videos that allow seniors to virtually visit some of MIM’s most popular geographic exhibits with museum curators and exercise their cognitive, physical, and social skills through fun music-making activities. ASU music therapy students invite participation by playing instruments, singing, encouraging movement, and instructing at-home instrument making.

“While we’ve already received a positive response to the programming, the IMLS grant will allow us to better understand the effectiveness of the collections,” says Katherine Palmer, DMA, MIM curator of education. “In this way, MIM aims to better serve the senior community.”

The IMLS grant will help MIM evaluate the video collections at senior living facilities and determine the impact of the program’s more than two hours of content, which includes 20 music therapy sessions. The research will be conducted in partnership with Covenant Health Network (CHN) and its director of research and analytics, Dr. Tana Luger Motyka. CHN will gather information about engagement, quality of life, and social isolation to inform implementation that will support senior audiences recovering from the pandemic and outline how the program can be utilized in the future.

The Senior Wellness video collections were developed in response to the physical and social isolation that many older adults have experienced over the past two years. MIM quickly realized that virtual programs could meet the needs of audiences that often cannot participate during in-person activities regardless of the pandemic, including people who cannot travel because of physical disabilities and people who live outside of Arizona.

“We are also looking at a lot of psychosocial components, which deal with feelings of usefulness, motivation for engaging with life, and decreasing isolation,” says Dr. Melita Belgrave, director of ASU’s music therapy program. “We are providing access to lifelong learning spaces while we take everyone to the different galleries in the video content.”

MIM’s Senior Wellness programming aims to better participants’ physical health and functioning, reduce their cognitive decline, and increase their longevity and mental well-being. Research suggests that music can lower stress and improve seniors’ quality of life, and MIM hopes to help seniors maintain their cognitive and physical skills by providing lifelong learning opportunities. 


About the Institute of Museum and Library Services

The Institute of Museum and Library Services is the primary source of federal support for the nation’s libraries and museums. It advances, supports, and empowers America’s museums, libraries, and related organizations through grantmaking, research, and policy development. Its vision is a nation where museums and libraries work together to transform the lives of individuals and communities.

About Covenant Health Network
Formed in 1997, Covenant Health Network (CHN) is a non-profit post-acute care integrated delivery system that encompasses 111 senior care facilities across five states. CHN’s mission is to provide a seamless continuum of post-acute and senior care services while leveraging collaboration to improve quality, resident satisfaction, and reduce administrative costs. Since its inception, CHN has provided more than $30 million in charitable contributions to network members to better enable them to meet their charitable mission. By supporting post-acute care providers through services such as enhanced payor contracting, continuous quality improvement, education & training, strategic management, and an evidence-based system of care transitions, CHN furthers member ability to serve seniors.

About the ASU Music Therapy Program
The Bachelor of Music program in music therapy at ASU’s Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts provides training in the therapeutic and clinical uses of music while also further developing artistic competencies. Students learn how to use music as a tool to improve the lives of clients of all ages. The music therapy program prepares students for a career in health care, community-based, and special education settings.

About MIM
The Musical Instrument Museum (MIM) enriches our world by collecting, preserving, and making accessible an astonishing variety of musical instruments and performance videos from every country in the world. MIM offers guests a welcoming and fun experience, incomparable interactive technology, dynamic programming, and exceptional musical performances. MIM fosters appreciation of the world’s diverse cultures by showing how we innovate, adapt, and learn from each other to create music—the language of the soul.

The Musical Instrument Museum is located at 4725 E. Mayo Boulevard in Phoenix (corner of Tatum and Mayo Boulevards, just south of Loop 101). For general museum information and a full schedule of events, visit or call 480.478.6000.

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Media Contact
Johann Warnholtz
Media Relations Specialist