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My Mentor – Fran Herman

Last week the life of Fran Herman was celebrated at the Canadian Music Therapy Fund Centre. I had the pleasure to share a few words from the Canadian Association of Music Therapists and music therapists from around the world who have loved and learned from Fran. 

Here is a little of what I shared:

In 2009 I interviewed Fran for a global online journal. At that time she was over 80 and I asked if she had any intention of retiring – and then we giggled. Oh, how I loved her giggle.  You see at that time she had moved seamlessly from musician to music therapist to mother to fundraiser-in-chief – Over all the years I had known Fran I had never heard the word retirement utter from her lips.

This particular interview happened just after she was recognized by the Music Industries Association of Canada with their inaugural MIAC award for Advocacy for music for children. I mentioned that I was certain the award would mean something to her – but perhaps it should also mean something to music therapists? 

This is how she responded:

“Well, all I can say is that I hope it makes music therapists learn that little by little people are getting to know this term (music therapy) and perhaps it will open some doors for them. I think that every little step we achieve helps make people realize how empowering music therapy can be. Every time we have success with a client, every time we touch someone and there is a response that benefits them positively, it helps to widen the awareness – and this is what will ensure the profession grows.”

Well Fran we plan to continue to do just that!!!

From the classrooms to corrections, from the boardroom to the palliative care unit, from Intensive Care to the Music Therapy Centre and everywhere in between we will continue to do this work that changes lives every day.

So from all of us music therapists who have benefitted from your stories, your insights, your advocacy, your hospitality, your humour, your pointed comments when something wasn’t right, your friendship and your love – thank you Fran.  We (me the most) miss you. #rip