Mack Bailey has been a musician since the age of eight. He toured with various groups including The Hard Travelers, The Limeliters, A Musical Tribute to John Denver featuring John’s band members, and as a duo with his wife, Rachel Levy. In 2011, Mack went back to school to pursue his masters in music therapy at Colorado State University. After finishing the program and completing his internship at Colorado Children’s Hospital, Mack became board certified in the field. He then started his own music therapy practice, Music Therapy of the Rockies, in Aspen, CO. In 2019, Music Therapy of the Rockies will become a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization in Colorado focusing on mental health, music therapy research and techniques, and helping military veterans reframe their military experience.
Mack’s personal story includes a time of deep depression in which he did not seek support and found himself ready to end his life. He credits writing a song at the 11th hour with saving his life and through his education in neurologic music therapy, he became interested in how music rewired his brain.
Mack started working with veterans through Challenge Aspen in 2014, where he incorporated therapeutic songwriting as a means of self-expression and reframing their story. There were many powerful moments within the sessions and it became apparent that through structured, evidence-based techniques, the elements of music were instrumental in rewiring how the brain processed emotions, self-expression, and behaviors. Mack began developing a full curriculum of the research and studies to show that this belief could be replicated. With much success, Mack implemented retreats in Nashville (at Amy Grant and Vince Gill's farm) and in Cleveland, even being featured on CNN and Amy Grant's Holiday TV Special.
Music Therapy of the Rockies’ mission is to not only address the veterans, but also teach other music therapists the proven skills that have been positively affecting the lives of the veterans, as well as furthering research of music therapy and mental health locally in the Roaring Fork Valley of Colorado. As for seeking support during difficult times, Music Therapy of the Rockies believes that music can reduce the stigma of finding that valued support.
To reduce current suicide trends in military veterans and other at risk populations, such as but not limited to, victims of abuse, persons with social risk factors such as isolation, nationally and locally. To further the use of music therapy with these populations and expand current techniques, continuing education and research.
To increase the use of a variety of music therapy environments, training and expertise to serve at risk populations, and to expand the credibility of music therapy as a means to address mental health issues.
- Hold music therapy retreats focusing on PTSD in military veterans
- Hold continuing education workshops for certified music therapists
- Hold community presentations quarterly focusing on addiction, PTSD, Trauma, Abuse, isolation
- Hold yearly presentations for each of the school districts in the Roaring Fork Valley to reduce the stigma of mental health
- Engage in research regarding the neurological aspects of addiction, PTSD, Trauma and abuse in conjunction with music therapy techniques
- Expand the knowledge base used to improve the quality of the various music therapy techniques through research.