What is Music Therapy? 

Elizabeth Jacobi, PhD, RMT, FAMI-Founder/Director 

Ronald J. Jones - joins MMI as Exec. Director 

Candace Deshler - Music Therapist joins MMI 

Allison Boyd, Sara Longwell - Program Partners  

Jeannelle Benek, MA, HPMT, MT-BC 

Denise Ondishko, Ph.D.  

Chris Butler - Volunteer 

Volunteer Opportunities 

MMI Announces Staff Addition To Expand Program Impact

Candace Deshler, MT-BC, has joined Savannah’s Music Medicine Institute (MMI) in what the organization’s founder, Elizabeth Jacobi, PhD, RMT, describes as a “strategic expansion” of the Institute’s reach and impact.

“While Candace brings exciting youth and enthusiasm to the institute, she also brings valuable hands-on music therapy experience at large educational and medical institutions, providing the institute with critical, growth-oriented program development and execution capabilities,” Dr. Jacobi said in announcing Ms. Deshler’s appointment.

Raised in Virginia, Candace studied clarinet and voice from age nine and was a member of her middle and high school bands.  She graduated Magna Cum Laude (BS Music Therapy) from Shenandoah University in Winchester, VA, where she played in the band and served as both historian and president of the school’s music therapy association.

Candace was board certified as a music therapist in late 2011 and has served in a variety of professional capacities at Virginia Commonwealth University Medical Center, Piedmont Geriatric Hospital and Shenandoah University.   Her experience includes public school, hospital, assisted living, and psychiatric care settings, working with patients of all ages having a wide range of clinical needs, including brain injuries, neurological disorders, autism, developmental delays, physical disabilities, dementia and ageing-related illnesses, palliative care, and overall body wellness.

“I am excited about my new association with the Music Medicine Institute and helping it continue its growth and impact on patient needs in Savannah and the surrounding area,” Candace said in accepting her new position.  “I’m very impressed not just with the services that MMI provides, but with the integrative therapy approach it supports.”

“Music therapy uses musical creativity and expression to assist in the medical and therapeutic treatment of individuals as a whole, and it requires advocates in both healthcare and the arts to envision all of its possibilities,” she added.  “It’s clear that the institute team is very passionate about serving the community, and I look forward to contributing my skills to its growing collaboration.”

In addition to direct patient experience, Candace is outgoing president of the Virginia Music Therapy Association, and has completed training programs with Music Together (2012) and the International Neurologic Music Therapy Training Institute (2015).  She was the recipient of music therapy service and scholastic awards (2010 and 2011, respectively) from the Shenandoah Conservatory, and a scholarship from the Mid-Atlantic Regional Association of Music Therapy Students (2009).

She resides in Bluffton, SC, and enjoys hiking, reading, going to beach, anything that makes her laugh, and, of course, making music. 

(Photo above right - Candace Deshler leads class in June at The Landings Club Day Camp 2017)