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When the longtime Aspen-based folk singer and music therapist Mack Bailey works with military veterans, one of the first exercises he has them do it to hold their index finger on a guitar’s high E string and pull it up toward the D string, hold the tension between them and then lower it back down.
“We’ll do that a couple of times and 100% of the time they equate that to using their trigger finger,” Bailey explained. “It’s another way for us to reframe what they’ve become accustomed to through their military experience.”
Bailey founded the nonprofit Music Therapy of the Rockies in 2019 and has focused the small upstart’s mission in its first three years on military veterans, treating post-traumatic stress disorder with songwriting.