Music Therapy of the Rockies has rebranded to Music Therapy Retreats — Learn More

February 19, 2024

Meet Mallory Even, Our New Continuing Education Director

We can’t wait for everyone to meet you. Can you tell us a little about yourself. Who is Mallory Even?

I wear a lot of hats, and love each of them. I am a mom of twins, a wife, the Director of Operations at a humanitarian nonprofit, a guitar player/singer/songwriter, and most recently, the Continuing Education Director for MTR (Music Therapy of the Rockies). I’m a lover of all good movies and music and I love my family and friends deeply. 

What is music therapy to you and how does it play a role in your life?

I am an old musical soul and was raised on the best genres of music: 60’s/70’s/80’s folk, pop and rock and roll. While music has changed and evolved a lot since then, I still attest that music was never better than it was then. But I digress… I played french horn in middle and high school, and nearing high school graduation, I knew that I wanted to use music to help others, I just wasn’t sure what that could look like, career-wise – I only knew of music education and music performance as career options. I loved my high school band experience because of my band director, so I declared my major as music education when entering the Florida State University. During my freshman year in the college of music, Dr. Jayne Standley came to one of my classes to present on using Music Therapy in the NICU with premature infants. I was enamored by the concept and scientific evidence that music was helping these babies learn to suck-swallow-breathe while in the NICU, effectively allowing them to learn to eat faster, gain weight, and be discharged about two weeks earlier than their peers. I went to see Dr. Standley in her office later that day to ask more about the degree and field of music therapy, and changed my major after that. To me, music therapy is the perfect pairing of being able to utilize my gifts of making music and my passion/impulse to help others whenever I can. Music is a powerful medium and when used appropriately and therapeutically, I have seen it heal physical, mental, emotional and spiritual wounds that other means of treatment or therapy could not touch. 

Music has played a vital role in my life – in some of the happiest times and in some of the hardest – and this personal relationship with music has allowed me to see and believe wholeheartedly that music can bring healing into others lives, as well. Music Therapy is the established healthcare field that effectively helps people get “unstuck” – emotionally, mentally, physically or spiritually. And the best part? We use your favorite music to do so.

What was your defining moment with Music Therapy of the Rockies?

In 2018, I signed up to take the CMTE course with Mack and MTR. I was in the throes of fresh grief over losing my father to a short and aggressive battle with cancer only a few months before this, and really wasn’t sure why I had signed up, but internally, I knew it was something I needed to do. I was also professionally burned out from owning a business. Because of my grief, I had not picked up my guitar since the day my father died, and honestly I wasn’t sure why I had driven myself from Atlanta to Nashville to attend the course. 

During the 4-day course, we learned the intellectual/educational pieces of how to best support clients experiencing trauma with music therapy and songwriting techniques. And then we got to be a part of an actual retreat for veterans and observe the entire retreat process from start to finish. 

To be as succinct as possible, meeting Mack, taking this course, and being a part of an MTR retreat re-ignited my passion for music therapy within me and also began some healing processes for me in very personal and deep spaces. 

After that weekend, I told Mack I’d support him and his organization in any way that I could. He then invited me to be on the board of directors, for which I was the president for four years. At retreats, I’ve played a few different roles: volunteer, songwriter, and I have also been honored to lead two retreats in the Atlanta area. I’ve recently moved from the president of the board position to an ex-officio board member so that I could join Mack on the staff of the organization. I’m so proud to be associated with and a part of the organization and the amazing work that is being done. 

What are your dreams for the future of music therapy and Music Therapy of the Rockies in particular? 

To be better understood, recognized and utilized as a holistic, non-pharmacological treatment option for mental, emotional, physical and spiritual health. For MTR, I want retreats to be regularly offered all over the country and I want anyone who needs help healing from trauma to be able to have access to these life-changing retreats. I have seen countless individuals come to our retreats with deeply rooted trauma and pain … and walk away three days later with their spirits lifted, their relationships on the path to healing, and their loads lightened.  

Introducing...

Our New Look

Music Therapy Retreats - Primary Logo

Music Therapy of the Rockies has changed its name to Music Therapy Retreats and we're celebrating with a new logo and branding.